In just two days, the greatest soccer/football/futbol spectacle will kick off—literally. I’m, of course, referring to soccer’s biggest event, the World Cup. For the first time in its 64-year history, World Cup will be hosted by Brazil—a soccer powerhouse with some of the world’s most passionate fans and five World Cup titles to its name.
In the years leading up to World Cup, there’s a lot to look forward to: selecting the host nation, training camp gossip and revealing the final rosters. However, one part I look forward to the most is the unveiling of each nation’s jerseys, or kits.
Yes, we all know that Team USA will be sporting red, white and/or blue, Brazil will be in yellow, England in red and the Netherlands will be sporting their classic bright orange. But within the limitations set by national colors, jerseys come with endless design opportunities. It’s all about the details—collar or no collar, textures, patches of sweat-resistant material, patterns and more. Check out this overview of some of the jerseys you’ll be seeing this summer.
Once you’ve had a chance to see what each team will be wearing, I thought I’d share with you some of my favorite jersey designs and the reasons why.
I may be partial since my favorite color is blue, but since the switch from Adidas to Nike, I’ve found myself drawn to the navy blue color used by the French. The use of the rooster, which is the symbol of the French Football Federation, is a nice addition to a very clean and simple design. I also like the white collar and how it pops against the solid blue of the jersey.
Some people (cough, Rachel) may think this jersey is too loud or resembles a highlighter, but that’s the main reason I like it so much. It screams Dutch, and without any hesitation you know when they are playing. No other nation’s jerseys are as memorable, which is why this one is such a success.
When looking at Germany’s jerseys throughout the decades, the one consistent thing you will notice is the use of white as their dominant color. This year’s jersey has made the list of my favorites because of the addition of the red gradient “V” shape across the chest. The subtle use of accent color on the trim of the sleeves adds to the overall great design of the German kits.
One thing I like most about this jersey is that Ghana incorporated bits of their culture into the design. If you look at the collar (assuming that wasn’t already the first thing you were drawn to) it obviously stands out from most other national jerseys. The designers at Puma made a good decision when it came to the amount real estate that would be consumed by this traditional pattern. I think it’s used just enough to be tasteful without being tacky or too busy.
How could I leave out the USA? I know people may disagree with me about this one, but I really like the clean and simple design for the 2014 USA home jersey. I know much of the criticism about this jersey is that it looks like a golf polo, but I happen to like playing golf. For me, the simple design is why I like it. The classic patch with addition of red trim on the sleeves and collar makes this a jersey I would be proud to wear while supporting my squad. Though this isn’t my favorite USA jersey ever, it definitely ranks among to top on my list of USA kits through the decades.
Speaking of which, it’s only fair to show you some of the less fortunate choices Team USA has sported in previous years. I think you’ll agree that while some may scream patriotism, nobody—including the players—would wish this jersey on their worst enemy (no matter how ugly the 90s were).
A complete list of United States jerseys throughout history can be found here.
Now that you’ve brushed up on the jerseys, you have no excuse to miss World Cup. Start planning now with the complete schedule for the 2014 games—mark your calendars, call off work, use up your sick days, live-stream from your desk … just make sure you’re watching. Me? I’ll return back to work on July 14th. GO USA!
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