Thursday, 30 August 2012

Steven Gabb's Top 5... World Cup Shirts

Yet more suggestions for the best World Cup Shirts now from Steven Gabb from the excellent blogsite Spirit of Mirko who has come up with his own mixed bag in more ways than one...

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.

East Germany (1974, home)

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...


  1. About the shirt of Uruguay, I must say that this shirt is from Bolivia. They played their last match in the first round and decided to wear that shirt with the phrase "Uruguay Viva" ("Hail Uruguay"). Sadly one of the players got injured and in the end the photo had the sentence "Urugay Viva".

  2. Thanks for the clarification, FootballGaffesGalore. It certainly would have been very brazen for any team to have worn this as an actual match kit!

  3. Mirko Bolesan (Steve)30 August 2012 at 19:41

    Ah! Thanks for the clarification, Bolivia it is then!

  4. I've only discovered this site today, and spent a great hour or so checking out the previous posts, with these world cup kits being particularly enjoyable. So you can have this one of Chile's, I thought this was a fantastic kit in World Cup 98, mainly because of the MASSIVE names and numbers on the back.

  5. Hi Kev, Thanks for dropping by! I also remember liking that Chile kit in '98, especially for that huge Reebok logo on the front of the shirts. And you can never go far wrong with big numbers on the backs too... Thanks for bringing it to our attention!

  6. I personally hated that Chile kit, mainly because of that Reebok logo. In the same way I dislike the Adidas kits from the 94 World Cup, when the manufacturers logo becomes the sole design element on a shirt, it's a line crossed for me.
    The gigantic numbers are funny the early days of player names on shirts, they seemed to make them as large as possible :)

  7. el equipo que luce la leyenda "viva urugay" es Bolivia y no la selección uruguaya, pretendían homenajear al anfitrión pero a la segunda u le dio cagadera. (en serio).