Yeah that’s right. Jerseys. The World Cup is always a thrilling prospect for the football fan, not least because of the opportunity to gaze at the new jerseys every nation routinely rolls-out for the tournament. While there’s nothing to compare with Denmark’s from 1986 (The Benchmark), Brazil from 1990 France’s from 98 or Holland’s from 2006 there’s still plenty to get the polyester enthusiast excited. Croatia were unlucky to miss out (as they always are) and France’s home shirt is a stone-cold classic but the World Cup has the highest standards, as the following jerseys (alright, shirts) proves.
FRANCE (AWAY) France had the best away shirt at the last world cup, the best at the last Euros and can claim a hat-trick with their robo-Gualtier-inspired effort for 2014. The Nike designers are clearly avid Francophiles, producing some stunning shirts over the past decade and their 2014 effort is amongst the very best. Reflecting the style and culture of its nation more accurately than an amphibian puffing on a Gitanes, all its missing is a string of onions and optional beret.
GERMANY (AWAY) Having moved away from the functional teutonic stereotype of yore and emerged as one of the youngest, most dynamic teams on the planet, the Germans have ditched the traditional dark green in favour of this post-mullet Dennis the Menace number. Designed and produced by the owners of Germany Adidas, das trikot has a winning ecological angle, being made entirely from recycled Schadenfreude.
CAMEROON (HOME) As well as having one of the best nicknames in the sport, The Indomitable Lions and Puma have consistently challenged the accepted idea of a football shirt. From vests, to onesies to this Acid House / Aztec /Batik crossover, the ‘Roonians have always had an eye on the extremes of football shirt design. This 2014 version is loosely-based on the ceremonial robes the Scare Dem Crew wore on their West African tour of 2005.
HONDURAS (HOME) Bang on the US Varsity trend, Los Catrachos will take to the beaches in a sublimely simple shirt that wouldn’t look out of place in a Victor comic. No messing about with historic crests or coat of arms for your Hondurans. The large bold letter H on the chest tells the world proudly and exactly who they are. The enclosed stars are a nod to the status of the late Evel Kneivel as a Honduran national hero. If England had taken a similar approach, sacked the three lions in 1990 and had a big E things could have turned out very differently.
IRAN (HOME) Carlos Queroz’s Persian Princes will take-on the Brazilian sands of time in this UHLSport jersey inspired by Prince Dastan’s epic victory over the evil Zolm, leader of the Hassansin forces in the 2010 Disney movie.The shirt features a shadow-print of the critically endangered Asian Cheetah to raise awareness of the creature’s plight and because big cats look cool.