Most iconic World Cup kits ever

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The World Cup has seen some classic kits over the years and here is our rundown of the competition's finest catwalk entries.

FIFA World Cup

Forget best players, most spectacular goals, or worst refereeing decisions – the World Cup topic that really gets football fans worked up is which are the most iconic kits in the tournament’s history. 

Here are five of the sharpest shirts spotted on football’s greatest catwalk over the years.

Brazil (1982)

Brazil ditched their traditional white home kit following a traumatic defeat to Uruguay at the Maracana in the 1950 World Cup and since then their yellow-gold shirt has become one of sport’s most admired uniforms.

The Selecao have won a record five World Cup titles but arguably their sartorial highlight came in 1982 when a hat-trick from Italy’s Paolo Rossi knocked them out in the second group stage.

Their 1982 yellow shirt with simple green trim was complemented by light blue shorts, in the tight style favoured by 1980s footballers, with white socks and the kit was worn with aplomb by a dashing squad of stars, including midfield maestros Socrates and Zico. 

West Germany (1990)

The perms and moustaches of West Germany’s 1990 World Cup-winning squad may not have stood the test of time but their Adidas home kit remains a classic of the genre.

The Germans’ white shirt with sharp, angular stripes of black, red and yellow running across the shoulders and chest was a striking design, adding to the swagger of a team captained to Italia ’90 glory by Lothar Mattheus.

West Germany’s wardrobe of that era had plenty of strength in depth as their green away shirt, which they wore in their dramatic semi-final victory over England, was another cracker.

Croatia (1998)

Everything came together nicely for Croatia at the 1998 World Cup as their squad included a crop of world-class talents such as Zvonimir Boban, Robert Prosinecki, Davor Suker and Robert Jarni, who were all in the prime of their footballing careers.

Add to the mix a magnificent, red-and-white checkerboard Lotto shirt (and centre-back Slaven Bilic’s rock-star hair) and you’ve got the ingredients of a memorable campaign in which they thumped Germany 3-0 in the quarter-finals and lost narrowly to champions France in the semis before beating the Netherlands in the third-place playoff. 

Cameroon (2002)

Cameroon’s Puma kit from the 2002 World Cup was a divisive garment from the moment it was unveiled for the Africa Cup of Nations in Mali earlier in the year.

The Indomitable Lions retained their title as African champions while wearing a sleeveless green shirt, accompanied by baggy red shorts and yellow socks, but Fifa weren’t impressed by the bare biceps on show.

Samuel Eto’o, Lauren, Rigobert Song and the rest of the Cameroon squad were forced to stitch black sleeves onto their vests at the World Cup, where they finished third in their group behind Germany and the Republic of Ireland.

Puma continued to flaunt their creative freedom by producing a bizarre, skin-tight one-piece kit for Cameroon to wear at Afcon 2004. Unsurprisingly, it was banned by Fifa.  

Nigeria (2018)

Nigeria’s home kit for the 2018 World Cup in Russia was a massive commercial success for Nike as fashion-conscious football supporters around the world raced to get their hands on the Super Eagles’ shirt.

There were more than three million pre-orders for the eye-catching design featuring green and white chevrons and they can’t all have been big fans of Victor Moses, Alex Iwobi or Odion Ighalo.

Sadly, Nigeria’s on-field swag didn’t live up to their hugely popular kit as an 86th-minute winner from Argentina defender Marcos Rojo condemned them to a group-stage exit.

A single-handicapper, James always offers an interesting insight to the world of golf, with extensive knowledge of both the US and European Tours. James also has a wealth of information about the domestic and international football scene.
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