United States (1950, home)
Some kits are classics because they are stylish, others because they were used during a particularly successful era for a team. But to be a true classic I think the perfect storm of a wonderful performance and a great design are required. This is certainly the case for USA's 1950 kit. Not only is it smart - it's a truth universally acknowledged that the best kits feature a sash - the US recorded one of their finest ever international results wearing it, a 1-0 victory over Tom Finney's England.
The colour of the East German kit for this tournament was a lovely deep shade of royal blue. This kit was so blue it was surely “hand-wash only”. East Germany’s kit man would surely never have washed the shirts with the lilywhite shorts. Two separate washes would be required unless the communist state wanted to wear off blue shorts with their royal blue shirts and socks.
Not only is the colour of the kit perfect, the bold white collar and the three letter abbreviation DDR in white complete this shirt as did the fact they topped their group against eventual World Cup winners and neighbours West Germany.
Angola (2006, home)
They might not always perform to the finest of their abilities on the world stage, but the Africans always leave tongues wagging with their eye-catching kits. The obvious choice for an African classic World Cup kit would be Zaire from 1974. Whilst I'm fond of this kit I'm not sure it's even the best Zaire kit of all time (their 1968 Africa Cup of Nations kit was something special, look it up!).
I'm a big fan of bold juxtapositioned colours and I think Angola pulled it off perfectly in 2006, their only World Cup finals appearance. Red and yellow has always been an iconic combination (the colours of Roy Race's Melchester Rovers) and the black only underlines what is a unique and beautiful kit.
Uruguay (1930... celebratory?)
I suspect I’ll be the only contributor selecting a kit from the inaugural World Cup, a competition that was played half a century before I was born. However I feel duty bound to spread the word about this kit, though I’m unsure if it were ever used in a game. Whoever thought it was a good idea to daub the letters V I V A U R U G U A Y on the Uruguayan kit deserves a medal to services to kit design. I wonder if York City took inspiration from one of the La Celeste when they used their marvellous Y kit during the 1970's?
USSR (Goalkeeper kit, worn by Lev Yashin)
There’s something to be said for simplicity, and that’s exactly what we had with Lev Yashin’s goalkeeping kit. Whilst much of the goalkeeping union were wearing either green or yellow, the keeper of a communist country Yashin was displaying daring individuality by donning an all-black kit. It was this individuality and his expert keeping skills that earned him the moniker “black spider”.
Many thanks to Steven Gabb for his largely black-and-white selection! What are your Top 5 World Cup shirts? Drop us a line and let us know to admin [at] thefootballattic [dot] com...