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World Cup A-Z: Kits

27 May 2014

Whether it's about a new signing, a recent back-room change or your predictions for the new season, football often divides opinion. But the beautiful game is perhaps most fiercely debated when it comes to an off-the-field subject: kits.

A lot has changed in the design of footballing attire - from the hassle-free plain shirts and short shorts of yesteryear, through to the Italian shirts for this summer's World Cup which can deliver massages to players during the game.

There is plenty to discuss; what do you think to the new colour? Do you want stripes or hoops? Maybe just a plain shirt? Should we have a round neck or a V-neck? Possibly a collar?

You may not be planning on buying the shirt, but if you do you want to be able to wear it when watching your team and you certainly don't want your team to look a little bit silly when on the pitch.

It's fair to say there are plenty of times when the execution in the design of a kit perhaps didn't match the idea, or they were intentionally outrageous. Think Hull City's tiger print effort in 1992, Sheffield Wednesday's mauve satin shorts of 1986/87 or Carlisle United's outfit from 1993 to 95 and you're getting close. 

Ahead of the 2014 World Cup, we've had a look over some genuinely gruesome creations adorned by the world's best footballers on the global stage.

Mexico (1994)

Jorge Campos must still have nightmares about wearing this goalkeeper jersey at USA 1994. It's incredibly difficult to tell where his shirt ends and his shorts begin. We think this could even be the only World Cup onesie.

Mexico (1998)

Either in the face of ridicule or to balance things up, Mexico four years later produced an equally outrageous effort for the outfield players. Luckily, the 'keeper was spared any humiliation this time round.

Scotland (1986)

Held in Mexico, Scotland produced this horizontal stripe look across their shorts. It's never been seen again. We also wanted to make sure we paid homage to the short shorts in a nod to footballing past.

Japan (1998)

Just take a moment to appreciate the sleeves.

USA (1994)

Alexi Lalas, who appeared in our World Cup A-Z: Dodgy barnets article, appears again, but this time the focus is on his clothing. As the host nation, you'd have thought the United States team would have been a bit wiser with their shirt selection.

Germany (1994)

The Germans are probably less celebrating their goal in the quarter-final, more cheering the announcement they can wear a different kit in their next match.

Nigeria (1994)

For whatever reason, the kit designers for the 1994 World Cup weren't up to scratch. This green and white effort from Nigeria was another howler at the United States tournament.

South Africa (1998)

I think the less said about this the better.

England (1996)

Ok, so we know this outfit wasn't worn by David Seaman at a World Cup Finals, instead being sported here during a World Cup Qualifier against Georgia, but we've made special dispensation for what is a truly wonderful kaleidoscope of colours.

Cameroon (2014)

We end with a shirt you can see in full flow at this year's tournament in Brazil. Cameroon certainly win the 'worst kit' award for this summer.

Click here to see the other letters in our World Cup A-Z

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