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Talking Trikots: Ranting about the god awful new World Cup kits

This World Cup will NOT be looking good at all on and off the pitch.

Korea Republic v Germany: Group F - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Photo by Stefan Matzke - sampics/Corbis via Getty Images

Welcome back to Talking Trikots! Today, we’re not focusing on Bayern Munich kits for a change. Instead, we’re taking a look at the kits of the national teams around the world as they enter the final stage of preparation for the World Cup.

Now, there are a lot of kit sponsors to go around, but most football fans will agree that the big three makers are currently adidas, Puma, and Nike. 26 out of the 32 teams are sponsored by one of the three, with Nike taking the prize for most countries sponsored (13).

With the World Cup coming around, all three brands have released their new kits for the upcoming tournament. However, this writer is sorry to say that most of them are average, a lot of them are bad, and some are just hideous. It’s hard to find a good shirt from any of the three brands. Let’s take a look at all three and see just how bad they are.


The German flagship brand probably gets the least amount of criticism for their work, but that’s not saying too much. adidas is normally known to release some gems in major tournaments, but this time, they have not delivered. Argentina, for example, have been presented with a jarring purple away strip. Mexico’s away shirt is a sorry attempt at combining Aztec drawings with football that just looks bizarre and dizzying. Spain’s away kit is blue with a set of wavy lines that make one seasick by looking at it. Belgium’s away kit doesn’t look remotely Belgian, whatever that means.

Heck, even Germany has been treated to the ugliest kits they’ve got in the past decade, and it’s very hard to mess up a Germany kit. How do you go wrong with white and black? This batch of adidas kits is definitely one of their worst works in recent memory, but they look marginally better compared to what we’re going to see next.


The other big German brand has shown on multiple occasions why it just cannot escape the looming shadow of adidas, and this World Cup is no exception. The home kits, like adidas, aren’t really too big an issue (although they’re not golazos either), but the away shirts are just ghastly. Every single one of the six away kits has some gigantic box smack in the middle of the shirt for the numbers to go in. It looks like something that someone would wear while running a marathon or a sprint, not in a football match. Without the numbers, it looks even worse. Imagine a gaping hole in the middle of your shirt with nothing to plug it. It looks ugly, it looks out of place, and it is not something that people would want to wear anywhere, be it on or off the pitch. Whether you support Uruguay, Ghana, Switzerland, Serbia, Morocco, or Senegal, you will be severely disappointed to see your team suit up in one of these kits.


We now come to the biggest brand at the World Cup, and probably the worst. Nike has been notorious for releasing ugly football kits, and they really hit rock bottom at this World Cup. They have a variety of patterns, none of which really stick. Brazil’s home kit resembles a dried up lakebed. The English and American home kits are pretty plain. Portugal’s home kit is probably the worst of the bunch, with the shirt being split diagonally between green and red. The Dutch home kit looks like yellow tinfoil. Croatia’s home kit just looks unfinished. South Korea completely lost their national colors of red and white for pink and paint-sprayed black. One could go on and on, but that would just be a waste of time. These shirts don’t deserve attention.

Nike also has a template that a lot of club teams have already been subjected to: an arched line that stretches from shoulder to shoulder. It looks pretty bad, and no kit makes it work. England’s kit tried to make it work, but failed miserably. All in all, yet another horrendous year for Nike. Lord knows who’s in charge of designing those Nike kits, but they should either be fired or forced to take a pay cut. In fact, the only country who got off scot free is defending champions France, who actually have the nicest looking kit in the tournament. Fans will be curious to see if the team can live up to its kit and avoid the defending champions’ curse.

By the way, Canada doesn’t even get a new kit. They’ll be wearing their old kits at the World Cup. That’s just disrespectful from Nike, but maybe they dodged a bullet.

Final thoughts

This World Cup has been controversial for multiple reasons, and the kits are not helping the tournament’s image at all. Perhaps the designers at all three brands just decided to boycott this particular World Cup with hideous designs just to tarnish its reputation? Whatever the reason is, this promises to be one of the ugliest World Cups in living memory.

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