We kit you not ... these are the best-dressed football teams
There has never been a more stylish World Cup
The World Cup is a week away from starting, and though we can’t be sure how well the various teams will fare, here is a grand statement: this is the best World Cup for kits of all time. Recent tournaments have been weighed down by a few templates dominating the overall set; this year most of teams have something unique.
There is a pleasing mix throughout of tradition being respected, but playfully twisted. Astonishingly, among 64 kits not one is entirely horrendous.
A good international tournament kit is five things:
Correct for its time.
Slightly different to what has come before.
Aware that it will be seen on TV far more often than in person.
Perhaps most important of all, not all-white.
Nothing too fussy going on here, which has done for similar straightforward red-shirted outfits lower down in this ranking. But come on. Denmark, in a World Cup, in Hummel, as the football gods intended.9. Brazil (home)
Nike are taking few chances with one of the least-ruinable kit configurations in football. You don’t take chances after the trauma of 2014 and losing 7-1 on your own patch; you look to shut up shop, minimise anyone’s ability to hurt you and keep it tight at the back for the next 300 or so years. A kit to make new and better memories in.8. France (home)
Manchester City share this new Nike Vapor template, but it makes more sense here with a darker blue base colour and the brighter accents on the sleeves. The white shorts and red sock combo create an overall vibe like an accomplished classical music performance.7. Costa Rica (away)
There is some subtle magic occurring here because with white, black and a some basically invisible shirt patterning this should be forgettable. And yet I can’t stop looking at it. Perhaps I have been hypnotised by that shiny spiral of a crest. I do not mind, this is wonderful.6. Croatia (away)
Intimidatingly cool. Transcending the usual busted flush of all-dark kits with an unapologetically massive crest, pleasingly retaining its usual colours. Bigger checks suit the muted palette. Nailed on future-classic.5. Germany (away)
This is firmly up the correct alley of taking inspiration from the past rather than merely replicating it. Describe this to someone who hadn’t seen it and you’d probably use the same adjectives as for the West Germany 1990 away strip. They are related, but cousins rather than twins. The green has grown up, the geometry has shifted into something more complex, creating unresolved patterns which somehow add up to something coherent. Masterful and mesmerising.4. Japan (home)
There’s something strange and novel at work and it deserves to win hearts and minds. It’s as if Japan know the team’s not up to much so have concentrated trying to win at kits. In other words: Ideal. Unusual and beautiful.3. Brazil (away)
Pow! An utter stunner. Even the socks look super-cool. Would endorse getting drunk on Caipirinhas wearing this shirt, while getting drunk on Caipirinhas wearing this shirt.2. Germany (home)
Simultaneously modern and retro. Both bold and classy. Again, it has an echo of the 1990 West Germany kit but isn’t ripping it off. A sublime piece of work. You’d thank them for beating you on penalties.1. Colombia (home)
On first impression it looked to me like the yellow here was not quite popping like on Colombia’s also-spectacular 2014 shirt, with the neat diagonal pinstripes. I also wondered about stripe overkill this time: there are stripes on the nipple-troublers, located just underneath the Adidas shoulder stripes. But I have peeked at this kit periodically since it was unveiled in March. It got better every time I returned to it. As my excitement for the tournament has built, so has my appreciation for this kit. My initial problems were nit-picking in the extreme. Now we can see this kit for what it is: borderline pornographic. The winner.© The Daily Telegraph..