With domestic football over for another season, all eyes are geared on the World Cup in Russia this summer. You've already put the wall chart up, haven't you?
In the spirit of things we have ranked every home and away jersey you'll be seeing at the tournament, but there's something about the list that rankles with me. So many of the jerseys looking boring and samey, with Nike being the biggest culprit. They haven't stuck their neck out at all this year, and it's such a shame to see one of the best sportswear companies out there phoning it in while charging upwards of €85 for a top. In fact, many of their training tops are far superior to the actual jerseys.
Not that Adidas are much better. They've gone for a retro feel across the board with many of their efforts, which works very well in some cases (Argentina) and not so well in others (Belgium). It also comes across a tad lazy, as if all of the good ideas have already been done so here's a rehash of what went before. While researching for this piece, I came across numerous concept kits that looked absolutely stunning. It's amazing that while these companies pay a ton for the right to make so many of the competing nations' jerseys, they don't bring some level of ingenuity to the table.
That got me thinking of some of the class kits that won't be on show in places like Moscow and St. Petersburg in June. If World Cup qualification was based on design alone, these countries would be preparing for a month in Russia right now.
So after my rant there the first jersey in here is from... Nike. But the Netherlands pretty much always have amazing tops and the Oregon based company have always done right by the Dutch.
Puma feature heavily in this list, so you have to feel sorry for them because some terrific work won't be on show on the grandest stage. This one isn't terribly imaginative, but I like the two shades of red they use and the mountains running across the front are a nice touch, even if they could look a bit better.
Has there ever been a bad Italy jersey? That was a rhetorical question, don't answer it. It's a shame this piece of Italian beauty won't be on show at the World Cup.
The colour scheme may look a bit off, but you can't fault the design here. The collar is also very tidy, while the black star tops it off as per usual.
Basically just the Greek flag in a different form, but it's nice to see Nike push the boat a smidge. A very clean design that works exceptionally well thanks to the colour scheme.
Now this is the kind of stuff we want to see from you, Adidas. A design like this can sometimes be in danger of having too much going on, but the little details are just subtle enough. Top effort.
3. Czech Republic
"Shoes off for the lads at Puma, shoes off..." You get the idea. While this looks fairly similar to another entry on this list, I can't help but give them kudos on this one.
Seriously, Slovenia have some of the best jerseys in all of football and I feel like it goes totally under the radar. maybe I've been too harsh on Nike...
Quality tekkers from Puma once again. Cameroon arguably always have the best jerseys on the African continent, but this one is a world beater.
Which other countries that aren't going to the World Cup have quality jerseys that we missed?