Welcome back to Talking Trikots! Just like Bayern Munich, we’ve taken a bit of a break, but that shouldn’t last too long. The final international break of 2021 has come to a close, and 2021 has served up many stories for the German national team as per usual, from the debacle against North Macedonia in March, the partially-successful-but-also-disappointing European Championship, and the possible redemption under Hansi Flick in the latter months.
Whatever phase they’re going through, though, Germany’s kits have always looked pretty sharp, unlike Bayern’s, which have been hit or miss. Here are the top five kits from the past decade of German football, which will bring back quite a few memories, good or bad.
#5. 2020/22 Home
Okay, some people might raise a fair few eyebrows at this entry. I mean, really? A 13-striped shirt? We’re Germans, not zebras. But hear me out. This is one of those kits that grows on you. It’s a unique look, one that has never been attempted before. Of course, that doesn’t always mean that it’s good, but this time, it’s not too bad. It’s pretty fashionable (who doesn’t love horizontal stripes?), it’s something that you could easily wear on the street as well as on the pitch, and it looks pretty dapper. It’s a lot better than people will say it is. The German national colors on the sleeves definitely help.
The kit’s record isn’t too pretty, and that’s probably part of the reason why it gets slated so much. The aforementioned reverse to North Macedonia, not to mention the 0-6 drubbing to Spain all happened in this shirt. But on the flip side, it’s also a kit of redemption. Hansi Flick’s new Germany recorded a darn near perfect World Cup qualification campaign in this kit, all the while slowly but surely turning the decrepit German train wreck into a full-steam-ahead locomotive. Whether Flick’s Germany will be as successful in the coming months remains to be seen, but he certainly has shed a new light on the jersey. Plus, we’ll always have that win over Portugal at the Euros.
#4. 2011/13 Home
This is probably the least complex looking kit on our list. But sometimes, simple wins. The kit is a clean white, with no other major detail other than three thin lines diagonally crossing the shirt. You guessed it, those three lines are in the colors of the German flag. Man, it must be good to have a flag that’s so flexible in terms of design. It’s a crisp, clean look that’s subtle, yet also sends a strong message out that “this is Germany’s kit.” There’s a little gray area between too little and too much when it comes to football kits, but this kit just manages to stay in that gray area, and it looks fantastic.
The kit was worn during Germany’s semifinal run in the 2012 European Championship, and also during the qualification campaign for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Notable results include the 1-0 and 2-1 wins over Portugal and the Netherlands at the Euros, a 6-1 away win to Northern Ireland during the World Cup qualifiers, and, on a slightly sour note, a 4-4 draw with Sweden that thankfully did not have a negative effect on the rest of the qualifiers.
#3. 2021/22 Away
I think we can all agree that Germany looks pretty decent in black. No, scratch that, football teams in general look pretty good in black. No, say again, almost everyone looks good in black. This year, adidas delivered the goods with the first all black kit in the past ten years(more on that later).
The shirt is jet black. Logos, stripes, everything is black. One could make an argument for metallic gray for the highlights, but whatever it is, it looks stunning. The only other colors on the shirt are on the sleeves, which are adorned with the national colors just like the home kit. I’m a sucker for subtle details that stand out like this, and this one just looks so good. It tells you that it’s a Germany jersey, but it could also pass as a very fashionable streetwear item, because again, who doesn’t look good in black? Monochromatic black as well. It just looks so sleek and sexy, it should be on a fashion runway as well as a football pitch. Heck, I’m wearing it as I write this.
The kit hasn’t been worn too many times, but it already has a good memory to its name. Remember that last gasp draw against Hungary at the Euros that propelled Germany from bottom of the group to the round of 16? Yes, this shirt was worn then. I still remember celebrating Leon Goretzka’s dramatic equalizer. Funnily enough, Goretzka also scored Germany’s maiden goal in this shirt, in a 3-0 win over Iceland back in March.
#2. 2014/15 Home and Away
I tried putting these two entries separately, but I just couldn’t, they’re equally beautiful and they both hold such a special place in every Germany fan’s heart. So let’s get into both of them at the same time.
We’ll start with the home kit, which hangs proudly on my wall. It has a massive chevron V-shape on the chest, colored in different shades of red that allow it to resemble the German flag. The design makes one look like a superhero when wearing it. It may not be the most subtle design on this list, but it’s definitely something that stands out in a good way. The red also adorns the collar and the sleeves, which is a good sign for us Bayern fans. Now here’s an interesting detail that might go unnoticed at first glance: sandwiching the red chevron are two very thin lines of black and gold. What’s black, red and gold altogether? You guessed it, the German flag. Now that’s subtlety at its finest, and I love it.
The away kit is red and black, with white/silver details. Large horizontal blocks of red and black decorate the shirt, which apparently took inspiration from Brazilian club CR Flamengo(where Bayern alum Rafinha used to play). It’s a bold look that also utilizes the German national colors very well. All that’s missing is the gold, but it’s still a cool looking shirt. Again, horizontal stripes can be very fashionable, and this shirt is no exception. There’s no jarring pattern or abstract design, just thick streaks of color that are eye-catching and stunning.
These two kits were worn at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The away kit was worn in two games, in the final group game against the USA, and the infamous 7-1 victory over hosts Brazil in the semifinals. The home kit was worn in the other five games, which included a resounding opening win over Portugal, a hard-fought win over France in the quarterfinals, and of course, the crowning victory over Argentina in the final. These are some historic kits, both by design and by record.
#1. 2010/11 Away
Germany has had a lot of great kits over the years, but this one really takes the cake. It’s black, which makes it hard to fail already, but its details are gold, which just makes it nearly perfect. We all know how well black and gold go together, just look at Bayern’s current away kit. This shirt takes the two colors and makes them starkly contrast against each other, making for a look that both pulls you in and flashes back at you simultaneously. Gold numbers and logos adorn the shirt, and there’s also a touch of red here and there, on the collar and in thin lines down the length of the shirt. So again, there’s our German national colors. It’s a look that stands out and also sends a clear statement: “we’re not here to mess around, we’re focused on the task at hand, and we’re going to win.”
And win indeed they did. The kit was mainly worn in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, in three games, and Germany won all three. It was first worn in the final group game against Ghana, then the quarterfinal against Argentina, and finally in the third place playoff against Uruguay. Germany scored a total of eight goals in those three games and conceded only two. Now that’s a strong record for a jersey.
I remember my first ever Germany game, that 4-0 win over Argentina. It was a shocking experience to watch those Germans clad in black, dismantling an Argentina side that had been one of the favorites for the tournament without any sort of mercy or doubt. Those kits were permanently burned into my eyes after that match, and to this day, they remain the most memorable kits that the German national team has ever suited up in, for me at least.
So there you have it! What’s your favorite Germany kit, and which ones did we miss? Let us know in the comments!