Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Rich Nelson's Top 5... World Cup Shirts

Rich Nelson from Nelson's Column and Escape To Suomi has kindly sent us his Top 5 World Cup shirts...

France (1986, Home)

A more refined version of the Euro 84 effort, yet to be replicated (unlike 1998’s copy of '84). The perfect shade of blue, matching with the shorts and socks to complete the Tricolore. Unfortunately this was the beginning of the end of the great French team, along with some really dreadful threads.

Zaire (1974, Home)

Worn in West Germany in 1974, this announced Zaire on the world stage. While they have become a parody as a result of THAT free kick, this shirt was simple yet different. The fact that the picture of the Leopard needed a caption is such a humble, understated notion. Plus that free kick was hilarious.

West Germany (1990, Away)

While it feels wrong to appreciate the battle garments of certain rivals (Argentina, Scotland, Germany), this one belongs in the history books. Taking the classic late '80s Adidas template and running with it, it also made light green work - so much so that an Adidas re-release this year sold out within days (according to a reputable online store). Let’s just forget the penalties…

Cameroon (1990, Home)

Beating the world champions in the San Siro is the stuff of dreams. Wearing what looks like a hand-me-down, they made it work by adding an indomitable lion and a striker of questionable age and gyrating hips. The shirt’s oversized crest worked. Future attempts by Puma to remove sleeves and add rips down the sides just took it too far.

Holland (1974, Home)

The premiere of Total Football on the world stage, and subject of a petty contractual dispute. Another shirt to spawn retro knock-offs, it was a simple design to allow the football to do the talking... except for Johan Cruyff and his contract with Puma, leading to him removing a stripe from each sleeve. Great colouring, and a reminder of the tempremental Dutch we all love to hate.


  1. The France 86 nearly made it onto my list of my favourite France shirts :)

  2. Much as the Cameroon '90 shirt has now become legendary, I still think it looks odd with those white panels on it. Had they been in yellow, however, we might have had a REAL classic on our hands... :)

  3. Cameroon's change kit in World Cup 90 was yellow. It doesn't get so much love as the green as they only wore it in one game, their 0-4 loss to the Soviet Union in the group stages. (and very few good pictures exist of the kit).