Despite churning-out uninspired three Lions-branded tat since taking the FA contract, Nike always create something jaw-droppingly gorgeous for our Gallic neighbours (Their away jersey for the last world cup was absolutely sublime yet that was not even as good as the Gualtier-inspired Breton beauty that preceded it). Once again it’s France’s away shirt that takes the gateaux. The lads at Nike clearly prefer Absinthe to Gin as whilst Harry Kane is blocked-sinusing his way through a 0-0 with Wales in washed out white and sky blue, Anthony Martial will be jet-heeling his way past Albanians looking like Pharrell in an episode of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow directed by Kahlil Joseph.
In all my years of geekily drooling over football shirts I can’t recall a shirt with odd-coloured sleeves (there’s a comments section at the bottom for you to point out if I’m wrong).
After a few years of efforts in dark blue more resembling their rugby team, France’s home shirt reverts to the more traditional shade of royal blue, although Nike insist it’s actually Hyper-cobalt. The body of the shirt reveals a engineered dynamic hexagonal graphic, (which invites me to take the piss out of Nike) representing the diverse, multi-cultural composition of modern France, framed by the message ‘nos differences nous unissent’ (our differences unite us), (which makes me feel bad about wanting to take the piss out of Nike).
Like England’s kit France’s blue shirt and shorts are ‘complimented’ with some of the bright red socks Nike clearly over-produced giving it that classic ‘sorry coach I brought the wrong socks’ vibe.