Few will know the colour ‘EQT green’ by name, but there is something immediately recognisable about this German offering. Just a glimpse of this beauty conjures up memories of Klinsmann, Matthäus and Brehme et al and Die Mannschaft of the early 1990s.
No list of footballing style is complete without the French. Consistently at the top of the pile, their output has been exceptional for the last decade. While this doesn’t quite reach the Breton stripe pinnacle (more of which later) of a few years back, it’s still packed full of Gallic charm.
The design template may be exactly the same as Argentina’s away shirt, but incorporating it into Colombia’s vivid yellow takes it from good to great. Heavily influenced by the country’s Italia 90 kit, this features more navy (to match the shorts) compared to the original’s heavy red. Either way, it’s a handsome devil.
Nigeria have won the World Cup before a ball has even been kicked. Just look at it – and yet there’s absolutely no way this lime-green, mini-chevron design has any right to look as good as it does. Although the basic template is the same as all the Nike kits across the board, it stands out far beyond its rivals. Daring and utterly brilliant.
Among the greatest football kits of all time, Peru’s home shirt from the 1970s would comfortably make most people’s top five and if it aint broke, don’t fix it. If only more kits were designed by Umbro, because they rarely get it wrong. Clearly, we’re all a sucker for a sash, and few compare to this. Well, maybe their away kit…
Everyone’s second favourite team have the same design template for their home, away and goalkeeper shirts. So rather than opt for the home or away (blue and white), the contrast of this red option gives the blue shoulders some extra pop.
Describing Mexico’s away shirt to someone who hadn’t seen it wouldn’t immediately instil excitement, but this understated effort looks like a modern classic in the making. Connoisseurs will appreciate the nod to the 1950s.
All of Puma’s World Cup alternate kits for 2018 are white, with coloured detailing (depending on the respective side’s home kit), but Serbia’s has the added bonus of the country’s flag running down the middle of the shirt’s front. Simple but elegant.
The powder blue-and-white stripes is such a good combination that an Argentina home kit is hard to mess up, and while this looks like a safe bet from adidas, a closer look reveals charming detail. Keeping the collar and cuffs all white, plus the pixelated blue on the stripes, creates a kit that pays homage to their 1993 Copa América effort.
While the red-and-white chessboard design on Croatia’s home kit is one one of the best in international football, this exceptional away kit marks a change from the usual royal-blue designs of the past. Navy and (in particular) black football shirts are often among the best looking, so putting the two together was always going to bear beautiful fruit.
Representing New Balance in Russia this summer will be the Central American pairing of Costa Rica and Panama, and while both teams’ home shirts are a little teamwear-ish, Panama’s away kit provides some additional ‘Pan-blue’ chevron on the front. It’s not incredible, but does just enough to squeak onto this list.
Modern replica kits can be fairly restricted in their designs – gone are the days of the 1990s hedonistic goalkeeper shirts and Chelsea’s ‘tangerine-and-graphite’ number – but teams’ training tops can often offer a bit more in the way of creativity. England, France and Nigeria have all released fantastic training wear this year. In fact, Nigeria’s whole range is exquisite. Roll on Russia…