As the remaining spots for the 2018 FIFA World Cup are being decided, Adidas have launched their range of shirts which will feature in Russia next year. A total of eight nations will boast retro designs capturing both iconic and memorable moments from down the years.
In addition to previous winners Germany, Spain and Argentina who make the shortlist, the sportswear brand has also decided to manufacture hosts Russia’s national jersey. The other half comprise the first European team to qualify in Belgium, along with Colombia, Mexico and Japan.
Now let’s dive into the details…
Germany - 9/10
The home jersey for Die Mannschaft is fitting for a team defending their title from 2014. It commemorates their final incarnation as West Germany at World Cup 1990, where they won the trophy for a third time.
I like the old printed graphic running horizontally across the chest, which tastefully gives off a shading effect. The gold World Cup winner's badge is also a fine addition, and does not over-complicate the colour schemes. Lastly, thick black stripes adorn the shoulders, complementing the shirt really well.
Spain - 8/10
Spain’s shirt for the tournament is incredibly vibrant. The diamond-shaped printed pattern down the right-hand side screams 90’s at you, a time when Pep Guardiola and Luis Enrique were carrying the mantle for their country.
The jersey is made with Climachill technology. For those of you who haven’t heard, it’s the next generation of active cooling sportswear - definitely a must for a summer World Cup. Yes, it does get hot in Russia still!
Argentina - 8/10
An anniversary shirt comes with added pressure for any kit manufacturer, however Adidas have delivered on all fronts here. The inspiration for this design originates from Argentina’s run to the 1990 World Cup final, where they lost out to West Germany in extra time.
To celebrate the Argentine Football Association's 125th birthday, Adidas have added laurels around the Argentinian coat of arms, while the pale blue stripes are faded in areas to enhance the vintage feel.
Russia - 6/10
The idea behind the Russian shirt derives from the Soviet Union gold medal winning team of the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games. As such, there is little need to explain why the host nation decided to revise this theme.
Nevertheless, I can’t help but feel that the red jersey is somewhat too conservative a choice. Original features such as the thick white v-neck collar and solid white lines flanking the shoulders and underarms are present, but will it appeal to more than just the football purists?
Belgium - 3/10
Now I don’t want to discredit Adidas too much for their attempt at reviving the nation’s Euro 1984 jersey. However the woven pattern which incorporates Belgium’s red, yellow and black colours looks more like something world tennis number eight David Goffin will be wearing against France in the Davis Cup final later on this month.
The v-neck collar is a classic feature, but I'm not expecting this attempt from Adidas to go flying off the shelves.
Colombia - 5/10
Colombia have mirrored South American counterparts Argentina in bringing back their World Cup 1990 shirt. The primary yellow colours are coupled with dashes of red and blue on the chest, but there is little else in terms of redeeming features.
The back of the neck is contains the printed slogan “Unidos por un pais”, which is the English for "United as one nation".
Mexico - 8/10
One glance at this and memories come flooding back from Mexico’s flamboyant World Cup 1994 jersey. The teal base and emerald green pattern on the front is smart and sleek, providing a brilliant contrast to the white stripes on the shoulder.
Made with Climacool technology, the German kit manufacturer has shown yet again that simplicity usually works best.
Japan - 8/10
Japan have enjoyed a long-standing relationship with Adidas since 1986, so it is no surprise that they went with something a little different this time around. The traditional navy blue colours are adorned with a white stitching pattern known as Sashiko, apparently a uniquely Japanese style of handcrafting clothing.
A lot of you have already expressed your love for this particular shirt, and I personally think that it will be a hit as well.
That’s your lot! For our selection of international shirts please visit here.