The five best and five worst kits on show during the World Cup qualifiers
The international break may be an overall dull experience, but it’s often lit up by drama and unique storylines – and stunning kits, but there have also been some stinkers.
In this list, Squawka have compiled the five best kits on show over the international break so far, while also shaming five of the most wayward efforts that caught the eye for the wrong reasons.
Some of these kits won’t be around for too much longer as manufacturers gear up for a World Cup year for Russia 2018 when a flood new creations hit the stores.
The five best
Christian Eriksen scored the only goal against Montenegro on Thursday night, and he did it in style. Denmark returned to Hummel from Adidas this time last and it looks like a real homecoming, harking back to the chevron-heavy Danish Dynamite side of Euro ’92.
That’s how you do green and white. The collar and and the sleeves give this kit of slight look of Liverpool’s current home kit, perhaps the best looking in the Premier League this season. But the Mexicans have been handed a fresh, well-spaced and subtle shirt which is off-set by the lightly shaded red of the socks. And, of course, Chicarito looks glorious in it.
Occasionally, on the international scene, you will get a bit of identity displayed on the kits in a bold way with unabashed charm; Belarus’s home kit, here, shows off just that. It might appear jarring at first glance like a scrap of slightly naff Christmas wrapping paper, but the red pattern across the chest is the left-hand section of the Belarus flag.
Costa Rica Home
This retro-inspired white sash effect is nostalgic for the ’80 and 90s and wouldn’t have looked out of place at USA ’94. New Balance have used the sash to great effect in previous kits for other teams; think Stoke City’s likeable black and green away shirt from 2016/17. But this Costa Rican effort takes it a step further, screaming freshness.
Last month Mali were thumped 6-0 by a rampant Morocco side who were inspired by Ajax talent Hakim Ziyech, but their kits are everything an international football kit should be: loud, proud, unique and perfectly balanced.
French brand Airness have given this shirt a soul, from the shimmering gold of the crest to the green, white and red eagle across the chest to the unrivalled collar.
The five worst
Allez les Blues..wait, that’s not France. If you hadn’t ever seen a Nike kit before then Slovakia’s two-toned away affair would be strikingly nice and smart. But no, this is yet another in the production line of monotonous it-worked-last-time-so-why-make-any-interesting-changes international kits that have brought more scorn than praise over the last two years. But at least the Slovakians’ excellent teamwork and passing style made up for it at Wembley – even if they lost 2-1.
Republic of Ireland Home
It’s like Liverpool’s rather awkward-looking home kit from last season with a cheeky white line across the shoulder to show there is an actual break between chest and shoulder, which is crucial (not really). New Balance have replaced Umbro as Ireland’s manufacturer this year. Ireland’s Euro 2016 performance was, for a time, heroic, but their traditional green and orange kit looked more like a rugby shirt stuffed and reshuffled into a halfway point between the two sports. Being the great rugby nation it is, Ireland can be forgiven. But toning down the collar has resulted in the vicar’s ‘dog collar’ look.
Kelme has made an interesting away kit for Kosovo which makes an admirable effort at incorporating the stars from the country’s flag in a subtle way across the top half of the shirt. But the result appears more like a tired jockey’s outfit which has seen better days. The story of Kosovo becoming an official Uefa-recognised footballing nation is one of pride, but this is not the best way to convey it.
Ok, it is another yellow kit, but that’s not why it’s here. It’s the overall mess of this, even when the intentions to show off Ukraine’s individuality, which should be given more exposure given the country’s current stand-off with its encroaching neighbour, Russia.
Algeria’s Puma kits managed to encapsulate the Fennec Foxes’s flair and made Riyad Mahrez and co look like the dribble kings they can be. But they have been replaced by a bog standard template which could be any country in the world. A large green panel is the only break from a large white canvas.