Football Features

Tops of the Tournament: The best and worst gear you’ll see at Copa America 2021

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 18:41, 9 June 2021

There is going to be plenty of new gear on display this summer at the 2021 Copa America.

So, we took a look at what’s available, to come up with a list of the sharpest and the saddest, the coolest and the cruellest, the best and worst Copa America 2021 gear available this summer. This is the best South America has to offer and there’s some choice designs to choose from.

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The Best:

5. Brazil (home)

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They may have invented it in the 50s to get over World Cup humiliation, but Brazil’s yellow shirts have become iconic. Nike have kept it simple for the shirt design, referencing the 60s with that rounded collar. However, the spice in this kit comes from the collar and trim, where a subtle diamond pattern turns what could have been panels of plain green into a verdant symphony.

4. Uruguay (away)

Puma’s other attempts to make a kit with this template have fallen flat, but this Uruguay away shirt is crisper than Sunday morning in June on the banks of the Rio Uruguai. The lack of a crest and trust that their name alone carries enough weight is a design statement that conveys pure garra. This is a sublime effort.

3. Uruguay (home)

Sometimes you look at old paintings of footballers and wish that it were possible to colourise them just to see colours pop off the screen. Well, wonder no more because Uruguay’s home shirt has all of the 50s minimalist brilliance on the face and then down the sides? A lovely bit of detailing with stacked white lines, adding a modern touch to an iconic classic.

2. Chile (away)

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For years Chile played the most exciting football on the international scene (not the best, but who cares about best?) The Marcelo Bielsa-inspired hurricane never had shirts to match their style, however. Until now, anyway.

Chile’s away kit is absolutely brilliant. A tribute to the Andean Condor (their national bird) it has an indigenous-inspired design atop the chest and shoulders, making use of Chile’s primary colours red and blue to create a wing effect across their players chests. Appropriately so, given the wings are fire red, this kit is pure flames.

1. Peru (home)

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Sometimes a kit is so good, you sit there in awe staring at it. Peru’s home kit is one such beast. Peru’s away kit is too but it would be cruel to have the top two spots occupied by one team so we stuck with just the home (but look at the away one too! It’s so nice!)

The design is the same on both, which is great because the design is gorgeous. Peru’s sash has become an iconic bit of aesthetics and this year’s edition adds the extra touch of stopping at the seam of the sleeves, which seems like a practical decision but has an incredible aesthetic effect that makes the shirt dazzle with clean lines and angles no matter how you look at it. White on red for the away kit is so sharp but red on white for the home is clean, crisp and beautiful.

This kit is so good that Peru’s twitter account made a meme about it. And that meme is entirely accurate.

The Worst:

5. Chile (home)

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Chile’s home shirt is a sterling example of how one small design choice can turn a normal shirt into a really strange-looking thing. Chile’s home shirt is perfectly fine until you get to the sleeves. Which are three quarters white. Not all white, not half-white, not red with white trim… three quarters-white.

4. Venezuela (training)

Venezuela’s home kits are always going to look off given that burgundy colour they all have to be, so you kind of give them a pass but there is scope to experiment with the training gear. Yet, in 2021, Venezuela will train in shirts that just… look like their home shirts.

Why???

3. Argentina (home)

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Argentina’s home shirt has gone through some pretty rough evolutions over the years and their latest one isn’t much better. The iconic blue stripes have been plagued with a camouflage print for some reason, and Adidas’ shoulder stripes which should give a sense of shape to the shirt are barely visible, so the whole thing has no weight.

2. Ecuador (home)

Ecuador’s home shirt shouldn’t be complicated… it’s yellow! However, in an effort to stand out from the crowd, Marathon have decided to turn Ecuador into… bees? We here at Squawka appreciate the plight of the honeybee, but changing a whole kit to look like them is a bit much. A beet much? Hmmm.

1. Brazil (away)

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Brazil’s blue away kit is as iconic as their yellow home kit, and the thing is it’s always such a tasteful shade of blue as well. This year, however, Nike only give us half a shirt of that nice, blue before assaulting us with a baffling diamond pattern including a gradient of gradually darkening blues until the top of the shirt is navy. This, on principle, is not a terrible idea except the diamonds are bigger than Duplo blocks and the pattern just appears mysteriously halfway up the shirt. Let’s hope Brazil never have to wear this in the summer!

鉁曪笌

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