The 2018 World Cup is upon us, and you already know what that means. It means that for 32 teams, we know exactly how they’re going to look when they step out on the field for each of the matches. Some teams like to sport a traditional look during the World Cup, while others like to take some risks with their look. In the end, everyone has their personal favorites, whether it be their favorite team or another team in the field of 32.
So, who will have the best jerseys at the World Cup when it kicks off on June 14th? Let’s break down each team from the least appealing to the must-have:
We need to establish something. The major kit providers—Nike, Adidas, and Puma—will always be prominent at the World Cup. For the other kit providers, it’s a chance to put themselves on the map, not to sport something that’s ultimately boring. Tunisia may turn some heads with their play, but Uhlsport missed a grand chance to provide the team with a jersey that will be memorable.
New Balance has created some nice jerseys in the past for several club teams and even some national teams. However, they missed the mark with this set for Panama.
Russia is the host nation, and their home jersey looks like a training top. They had a grand opportunity to really show something off to the world. While their away jersey is a bit better, it’s still a chaotic look. The home jersey is extremely disappointing, however.
29. Costa Rica
Costa Rica has had some better options in the past from New Balance than this year’s set. They could have improved on that, but instead Costa Rica will be forgotten in the fashion department.
Uruguay’s home jersey is okay with the silhouette sun look from their flag, but the plain white away jersey leaves a lot to be desired.
Denmark usually has a cleaner look than this, but I think Hummel’s trademark chevrons don’t really work on the shoulder with its size.
Iran is back in the World Cup, but Adidas treated them like they weren’t going to make it. It’s not an exciting jersey set for Team Melli.
There are some underlying design elements with the home, and Switzerland had traditionally had a clean look. They have had a couple better looks than this though.
The away jersey is better than the home jersey for Serbia. But all in all, Puma didn’t create a real inspiring look.
While I like the home jersey (based in part on their 1990 jersey), the road jersey is nowhere near Colombia’s best. They could have done a lot better than that.
The home jersey is their traditional look, one I love and have no issues with. The road jersey is a different look than they’ve had in the past, but I don’t think this year’s Adidas template lends well to their look unlike some of the other teams under the Adidas portfolio.
A classic home look for Portugal, and while some like the away jersey, I’ve seen a lot better from them and within the field.
Mohamed Salah will hopefully be fit to lead his team into the World Cup, and they have a pretty nice look. The plain white away jersey will knock you down the list every time, though.
The home jersey is okay. I think the away jersey looks better. This jersey template for the home jersey just isn’t doing teams any favors this year.
Poland always has a classic, clean look, and this is no exception. While it may seem boring, I do appreciate the subtle detail with the diagonal sash and shading.
The Three Lions employ a classic look as well, going back to basics with their home jersey. Their away jersey is really nice, but it just misses the cut.
Round of 16
16. Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia wears white at home and this is a sleek, clean look, but I think the green makes it sharp and stands out from the rest of the minimalist pack.
This jersey set strikes me because of the red-green color combination, which leads to some nicer jerseys. They also avoided the Adidas template which is throwing a wrench into the looks of other teams.
Senegal has had some better looking jerseys, like last year’s incredible Cup of Nations jersey. Still, a subtle design really will look great on the field and in your closet.
France is really doing well with this set. The home jersey lends to a modern look for Les Bleus, while the away has some blue and red dashes throughout that give the jersey an extra pop from the plain white jerseys out there.
Spain went back to 1994 to bring out these beautiful home jerseys, with a great design that screams España. The away jersey is white instead of navy blue, and that’s the only reason they’re outside the top 10.
Hands down some of the best jerseys in the world, Croatia never disappoints with their checkerboard style. The fuzzy big checkerboards are dope, while the away is one that differs from their normal look while still keeping the pattern intact.
Now, we’re in the top 10. Japan kills it with their Blue Samurai look, while their away jersey has some gray tones on the shoulder that give it a crisp look without being too busy.
Sweden’s color combinations of yellow and blue mean they really don’t have to do much to make a great jersey. Their home jersey is more traditional, but their away jersey really turns heads.
Now, we’re getting to the cream of the crop...
Belgium will be a favorite at this year’s World Cup, and they’re going to look real sweet on the field. Their home jersey takes them back to 1984, while their away yellow is a welcome change to the many teams who will be sporting white. Yellow gives them an extra pop, and a simple pinstripe hoop design makes their look official.
When the entire nation of Iceland descends on Russia, they are going to do so with one of their best ever looks. The home blue jersey is awesome with the white shoulder blades and red pattern on the sleeves. The mirror image away jersey in red will give them a change look that you can’t turn away from.
One of the best jerseys in the world, Peru has not been to the World Cup since 1982. Because of that, they employ a traditional design for their home and away that still kills. The gold trim really adds a punch to an already awesome jersey set.
Brazil always kills it, but this year they may have outdone themselves. The home jersey is the brightest yellow we’ve seen in ages from the 5-time World Cup champions, while the blue away jersey with the sublimated star design is just complete fire.
The final four...here we go!
Australia took a risk with their jerseys, and it paid off big time. Their home jersey has a striped sleeve design to add to their yellow jersey, but their away jersey puts them in green for the first time in quite a while. It works perfectly, and the Socceroos will look fantastic on the field.
Germany’s take on their 1990 jerseys is flawless. The home jersey is a traditional look with a modern style, while their away jersey has them back in green with a design that looks almost camouflage but really is a sensational look.
Just missing out on hoisting the jersey trophy:
2. South Korea
South Korea has had some jerseys that I’d consider disappointing, but this set is not one of them. Their home jersey is a bright red that just pops with their crest, but their away jersey is easily the best one at the World Cup. Paying homage to their flag, the South Koreans have a jersey set that is among the best they’ve ever had.
World Cup Jersey Champion
And finally, our World Cup jersey champion should be no surprise:
Let’s make this clear: Nigeria’s home jersey, which is based off their 1994 World Cup jersey, is one of the greatest soccer jerseys of all time. In any competition. The white jersey with kelly green chevrons on the torso and the black chevrons on the sleeve is mesmerizing, to say the least. Over 3 million home jerseys have already been pre-ordered worldwide, making it one of the most purchased jerseys ever as well. And for good reason. The away jersey is a sleek forest green look that will also stand the test of time.
So, there you have it. While the saying goes “look good, feel good, play good,” we will see how the teams actually play on the field starting June 14th. The cream will rise to the top, and hopefully they will be employing a look that people will look back on with pride.
What’s your favorite World Cup jersey set? Your least favorite? Hit the comments and have your say...I have a feeling that some of these will be hotly contested.