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The Worst Kits In World Cup History

10-Panama 2018

Edging both Honduras & USA in a tense final CONCACAF qualification round should have afforded the plucky Panama team a prestigious kit to match their prestigious feet. What they got in return was New Balance’s best attempt at a Pro Evolution unlicensed kit missing any kind of tribute to Panama’s heritage that other teams were rewarded by their respected kit sponsors. If your 5-a-side team is in need of some new kits, pick these up on discount after the finals. No one will know the difference.

9-England 2006

When a golden generation comes along there needs to be a kit to match the hype. Belguim got there’s this year with a classy design courtesy of adidas, even Errea did their best to bring a unique offering to Iceland team. This wasn’t the case with England in 2006. A timeless squad headlined by one name talents, Beckham, Owen, Gerrard, Lampard, Ferdinand, Terry, Rooney, Crouch amongst a literary of others were besieged with Umbro’s first attempt on Photoshop. Placing a manipulated St.George’s cross to the arm, it was more spice boys than Spice Girls.

8-Cameroon 2002

Messing with established designs such as jerseys and kits never ends well. Just look to adidas’s recent fiasco with sleeved Basketball jerseys for a reference. Puma decided to go the other way in 2002, providing Cameroon with sleeveless jerseys for their Africa Cup of Nations. More fakers than Lakers, FIFA soon clamped down on their bending of the rules and forced the national body to fix the fiasco. Their solution, stick black sleeves to the jerseys for the upcoming World Cup, and by stick, we mean the sleeves looked literally glued on to the vests to hit regulation. Not deterred by their run-in with FIFA, Cameroons next kit was introduced as a onesie. We look forward to their next showing at a World Cup purely for the kit.

7-Spain 1994

The 90s were a wild time for football kits.  More than half of our listings for worst kit in World Cup history have come from this period of technicolour nightmares, and 5 of them from 1994 at that. Starting our 94 bashing is the Spanish national team’s pitiful attempt at an ‘edgy’ design, and by edgy we mean the diamond cascade that found itself located to a singular side of each garment in the kit (right-hand side for the top, left for the shorts). The weird kind of polo, sorta shirt served as an influence for Spains 2018 offering. To put it bluntly, it shouldn’t have.

6-Belguim 1982

Ever wondered if BDSM and Football could work together? Look no further than Belgium’s pitiful attire in the 1982 world cup with their incorporation of Admiral branded suspenders into the design of the kit. Awful.

5-Republic of Ireland 1994

Our second 94 kit to appear on the list is from the ever-plucky Irish team. Unfortunately known for their famine in the 1800s, adidas decided to replicate this moment in time by starving the fans of a decent kit to represent the country at the World Cup. Consisting of 3 stripes that barely make it to the end of the kit, Ireland’s chances faded quicker than the stripes on their shirt thanks to the brilliance of Dennis Bergkamp and the dutch.

4-Mexico 1994 Home, Away & Goalie

To some, this year of Mexican football was a golden year, and that’s just the outrageous on-field stylings displayed by the Mexican team from home and away jersey, even managing to incorporate a Joeseph and his technicolour dream kit homage for the goalie. The traditional kit stylings were thrown out the window, thanks to their unusual all over embossing on the home jersey (don’t ask, we don’t have a clue) and their recreation of a bicep muscle being torn apart on the away kit.

3-Nigeria 1994

Looking like someone stapled a bunch of George Washingtons to a white t-shirt, it’s the usually interesting kit designs of Nigeria on the chopping block, their effort in 1994 being a particularly interesting spectacle, more than their football at that. The kit was so garish that they had to borrow the block coloured green shorts from their change kit so that they didn’t look like they’d stepped on the field with their pyjamas on, which would have been fitting as their football was lethargic at best.

2-Jamaica 1998

When it’s your first World Cup as a nation you have to make a spectacle of it. Jamaica, who’s one and only appearance in the finals came in 98, made a spectacle for all the wrong reasons. Their kit, incorporating an unusual statement C-shaped pattern that echoed the aesthetics of a headache or a QR code looked like a rejected Norwich kit from the 90s. Somehow the pattern managed to hypnotize the Japanese into giving them a win in the group stages.

1-USA 1994

Not saying anything more than a nation that has been at the forefront of fashion and design for the best part of a decade for denim stars and stripes were a great idea. For shame, ‘Murica.

The Best Kits in World Cup History

We present out 10 best football kits in World Cup history spanning 66-18, showcasing the most aesthetically pleasing designs that international football has ever seen.

10- France 2018

This year’s crop of kits has brought us a fresh offering on some established styles from Nike, adidas, Puma and New Balance amongst others. Taking a contemporary fashion slant to the always popular France national, Nike has updated their template for the tournament to include a simple henley button collar and a tonal gradient to the sleeves, plus a plethora of France specific embellishments to represent their heritage. Their breton stripe training kit is also worth applause for its quintessentially French display. We’re steps closer to an APC x FFA, we guarantee it.

9- Japan 2018

It’s only fitting that the forward-thinking fashion facilitators in the world are provided with one the most unique offerings of the current world cup. The nation that brought us Comme des Garçons and Edwin amongst others has developed an eye-catching kit consisting of a denim colour base and consistent spots flecked throughout the kit, inspired by traditional Japanese samurai warrior armour. Whilst other nations pay homage to their footballing heritage in the form of their kits, Japan is referencing their warriors of premodern Japan. On top of that, they’ve placed their traditional FA badge on the breast, with an embroidered flag above.

8- Netherlands 1974

Displaying a nice shade of oranje across their kits, the peak of Holland’s footballing capabilities also saw them peak in the kit department, decking the legendary Johan Cruyff and his men in a simple orange long sleeve with black accents. Presenting their coat of arms loud and proud, the details are sparse other than the 3 stripes of adidas seen on everyone but captain Cruyff, who famously shed his strip of one of the 3 stripes thanks to his then deal with fierce rivals Puma.

7- USA 2010

Although their showings at FIFA tournaments haven’t been up to scratch, the bold and brash stars and stripes have always provided us with competition in the form of their red, white and blue kits. Their away kit offering in 2010 finally placed them at the forefront of the football world for everything but their ‘soccer’ ability. Taking cues from Polo Ralph Lauren in their sporty yet preppy look, the kit displays a vibrant sash to the frontal area, a fitting design for the world leaders in pageantry.

6- Soviet Union 1966

2018’s hosts and its former collection of states made a splash in the 1966 World Cup. Refusing outright to wear the Umbro sponsored kits of the tournament, the CCCP took their first outing in their red kits at Roker Park to beat former world champions Italy 1-0. Aided by Ballon d’Or winning goalkeeper Lev ‘Black Spider’ Yashin, decked out in his token all black outfit, it was a stylish and ultimately entertaining affair.

5- Argentina 1986

Argentina may be associated with a lot more than just kits in this incredible year for football, but dodgy replacement quarter-final kits and goals aside, 1986 introduced the world to the quintessential light blue and white jersey donned by the legendary footballing bad boy Diego Maradona. Decking the humble cotton offering with the Argentine FAs emblem and clean crew neck, it was the simple yet effective kit that lent them a cool air whilst going all the way. Kurt Cobain had his Converse, Slash his top hat, Freddie Mercury his moustache, Diego Maradona had the best iteration of the Argentine kit of all time. Of. All. time.

4- Denmark 1986

Another favourite from 86 comes in the form of unusual contribution from Hummel and Denmark. Commonly known as the brand who ruin football kits for bad teams, it was a perfect design spark at the right time for a thriving Danish team aided by superstar Michael Laudrup. A red and white affair with contrasting pinstriped panels and chevrons down the sleeves, it was a statement of intent from a country looking to make waves with a generational bunch of talent. Although they may not have come close to winning, they won our hearts with this wholly unique style.

3- Peru 1978

2018 has seen kit designs ramped up with homages to past football heritage of all qualified teams. In the case of Peru, their current kits are a wild throwback to one of the most unique and cleanest displays in football fashion. One of the first countries to adopt the diagonal stripe to their kits, the 78 world cup saw the pinnacle of Peru’s national team journey displayed in its beauty all the way till it’s eventual quarter-final exit at the hands of Pele and Brazil. Still, one of the greats of all time made sure he was walking away with the red white displayed boldly on his chest, swapping shirts with Ramón Mifflin after the whistle had blown.

2- Nigeria 2018

It may be premature to dub Nigeria’s current offering as one of the greatest kits of all time, but we have a strong case we swear! The intersection of fashion and football was inevitable, but in the last decade we’ve seen high fashion brands adopt the sporting styles of the beautiful game to great effect, from Virgil  to Gosha and all the way down to their reciprocal collaborations with Nike and adidas, we’ve seen football fashion become an accepted way to present yourself, adding a prestige. Combine all that with the hypebeast culture that dominates our fashion scene and you get the Nigeria kit, the first football top to sell out as soon as it was made available. It’s revolutionary.

1- Germany 1990

The grandaddy of them all, the shirt synonymous with efficiency, with 90s style, with winning, the swooping technicolour design from Germany’s very own adidas. It’s quintessential ownership for any retro football fan. Everything about its design is so ironically unique considering the contrast to its wearers, all modelled on one another. Can anything ever come close to it?

Honourable Mentions:

France / Atletico Kimberley 1978

The only club kit to ever be worn in World Cup history thanks to a mix up between French and Hungarian FAs, local club Argentine club Atletico Kimberley bailed the French out from a faux pas that left both teams taking the field in white. The clean green and white stripe contrasted beautifully with the blue and red lower bodies of the France team.

England Third Kit 1990

We had to acknowledge a classic that was never donned by the 3 lions, the best blue shirt in England history, boosted by it’s showing in the timeless anthem ‘World In Motion’. New Order guitarist and singer Bernard Sumner rocks the 3rd choice kit flanked by suitably excited bandmates and John Barnes post-rap.

10 of the Worst Football Strips of All Time

The football season has started again in earnest, and with it come swathes of fans representing their side by sporting the team colours. Football kits are important to the game as a whole; they not only have to embody the team and their history, but also the legions of dedicated fans that follow them.  So spare a thought for the designers behind these kits: we’re not entirely sure exactly what they were going for with this selection of bright, bizarre and sometimes nauseating strips.


Hull City – 1993

Okay, so the team’s nickname is the Tigers, but this extremely literal take is inexcusable.

Nottingham Forest – 1995-97

The shade of yellow is bad enough, but the weird Microsoft Paint hieroglyphics on the shoulders take this to another level entirely.

Manchester United – 1992/3
The faux tie-dye look and needlessly huge logo make this look like a dodgy knock-off, but someone was (presumably) paid actual money to design this.

Brighton & Hove Albion – 1991
For when you want your team to look like a delicious platter of parma ham on away days.

Huddersfield Town – 1991
Another faux tie-dye job, this one’s so bad it’s almost good? Maybe I’m just half-blind by this point.

Norwich FC – 1995
Like the worst fever-dream of a pub carpet designer. Hideous.

England – Euro ’96
An absolute legend of horrendous strip design, this was mercifully only worn for two matches.

Sunderland AFC – 1994-96
Couldn’t leave our home team off the list. Believe it or not, this bizarre design lasted two whole seasons before its demise. Again, a little torn as to whether this one is awful or brilliant.

Celtic FC – 1991-92
Celtic have one of the most recognisable home strips around, which makes this drab, zig-zag catastrophe all the more inexplicable.

Wycombe Wanderers – 2017/18
Proving that nauseating design isn’t a concept consigned to the early-to-mid 90s, the League Two side present this magic eye/kaleidoscope monstrosity for the new season, ready to traumatise a new generations of football fans.

Have we left any out? Share your own nightmare kits in the comments below or on our social media channels.