The World Cup is now excitingly close to kicking off with… er, Russia vs Saudi Arabia, and the excitement levels in our office simply cannot be topped. (Honestly, one of us came in with his hair looking like Carlos Valderrama the other day, it was mad).
And to celebrate the closeness of the tournament, we’ve been looking at ALL of the 64 kits you’ll see on the 32 nations at the finals and ranking them in order of how nice they are.
Why? Because this is the World Cup and and the World Cup makes you do things like that.
64. Australia, away
Oh dear. It’s just… it’s not good is it?
The colour seems to have been borrowed from their cricketers’ baggy green caps, although unlike them a bit of sandpaper would probably do it some good.
63. Spain, away
Adidas kits are almost universally winners at this tournament, but we’re just not having this one.
The combination of grey and orange puts you in mind of that awful Chelsea away kit in the mid-90s and, like that, this just looks odd.
62. Russia, home
The hosts could have gone for something daring, special and memorable for their time in the spotlight in the summer.
Instead they’ve gone for this.
61. Japan, away
Having gone in on the Spain away one then we’re going to have to do the same for Japan’s change strip, even though it doesn’t have those weird orange bits.
Still, though. Not good.
60. Egypt, away
The German world for copying is "kopieren", by the way.
59. Switzerland, home
Switzerland have absolutely, definitely, 100 per cent worn this in a tournament before, right?
Come on lads.
58. Switzerland, away
Yeah, this too.
57. Sweden, home
And Sweden have been having a word with Switzerland, by the looks of it.
56. Tunisia, home
You don’t see Uhlsport on the international stage very often.
There’s probably a reason for that.
55. Serbia, home
It’s not that different to a few kits you’ll see further down, but it’s the lack of pattern on the front which has done for this one.
It’s just a bit bland.
54. Saudi Arabia, away
It’s very green.
It’s a bit too green, in truth.
53. Iran, home
All a bit paint by numbers really.
52. Russia, away
It’s better than the home kit at least, but the pattern on the front could have been given a little bit more care for our liking.
But if anyone in Russia is reading this, we love it.
51. Panama, home
It looks a bit like a British Lions kit, doesn’t it?
And rugby references have absolutely no place here, old chap.
50. Costa Rica, home
It’s basically the same as Panama’s but with added blue shorts and white socks which will ensure confusion for Alexis Sanchez’s dogs when they’re watching on and thinking that Daddy’s Chile team did actually make it to Russia after all.
49. Iran, away
Flipped from the home, reversed, and a bit dull.
48. Uruguay, home
Close your eyes. Picture a Uruguay home kit. Now open them.
It’s this one isn’t it?
47. Uruguay, away
Now do the same for an away one.
46. Nigeria, away
All dark green kits are just a bit… y’know?
Not for us.
45. Senegal, away
This one is saved somewhat by the lion pattern on the front though.
Why? Because it’s a lion.
44. Argentina, away
An Argentina away kit should be dark blue, surely? And this all looks a little too training top-like to us.
A missed opportunity.
43. Tunisia, away
Better than the home one, at least.
42. Poland, home
Poland are often saved by their badge which, let’s face it, is pretty cool and imposing.
There’s not much else here that’s memorable though.
41. Denmark, home
They love a Hummel kit don’t they, the Danes? Like Carlsberg and back bacon, you can always rely on that shared bond.
And you can always rely on the kit to look exactly like this as well.
The sleeves are key.
40. Australia, home
And speaking of sleeves…
39. Iceland, home
Iceland will arrive for their first ever World Cup not looking all that different from their Euro 2016 adventure, but different enough.
The white, almost frosty quality on the shoulders is a nice touch, and will add something extra to those thunder claps that are going to echo all around Russia.
38. Costa Rica, away
Yeah, it’s pretty plain isn’t it?
The detailing on the front is at least something though.
37. Serbia, away
We’ve seen similar Puma designs scattered throughout the list, but this one gets extra points because of the vertical line/Serbia flag that runs down the middle.
36. Iceland, away
Cooler than the home one.
Cooler. Iceland. Get it?
35. Saudi Arabia, home
Yeah it’s Puma again, but the green being this light is what saves it from the others.
34. Portugal, home
That’s a Portugal kit alright.
33. Croatia, away
The home one is so distinctive, but the away one less so.
They’ve gone with this darker number this time around, and while it is fairly sleek it isn’t going to stick around in the memory for too long.
32. England, away
Yes it’s basically the same kit that England wore at Wembley against West Germany all those years ago, but do the rest of the world really care about that these days?
31. Denmark, away
It’s the home kit in reverse, we know, but we just think the colour scheme makes it work.
But to be honest it’s all becoming a bit of a blur now.
When does the World Cup start?
30. Brazil, away
It’s a traditional blue away number for Brazil, although perhaps a little lighter one than usual.
In truth, Brazil change kits always look a little odd because you just want to see them play in yellow at all times really.
Nice though, innit?
29. South Korea, home
It’s a bit basic, but it’s the colour that saves it.
When South Korea co-hosted the World Cup in 2002 their effort was fairly bright – almost a little too bright, in truth – but this is a more pleasing shade of red.
And that’s what we look for here.
28. Morocco, away
There was a delayed kit release in Morocco because authorities were worried about forgery.
Would you really want to rip off that white away kit though?
27. Morocco, home
This is better, but we’re not sure why.
Might be the shorts.
26. Senegal, home
There’s that lion again, and that makes it the best of the Puma efforts.
Which isn’t saying a lot.
25. Mexico, away
The added bonus of this kit is that if you turn it upside down and run it up a pole then you’ve got a Hungary flag. So that’s nice.
It’s good though, and the kit works. Who doesn’t love a tricolour wrap around after all?
24. England, home
Not all that dissimilar to previous England kits but with a nice neckline, this is an okay effort from Nike.
Coming soon to a beer garden near you.
23. Poland, away
It’s a deep red in a tournament of lighter shades.
And that’s a good thing.
22. Argentina, home
Designing an Argentina kit for a World Cup might be the easiest job in the world.
Certainly easier than ranking them anyway.
21. Brazil, home
Yep, it’s a Brazil kit.
In fact, it’s SO much of a Brazil kit that Nike’s designers apparently went to the Football Museum in Sao Paulo and created a yellow which exactly matches the yellow worn at the 1970 World Cup in Mexico, when they were really rather good and won the thing.
No pressure there then, Neymar.
20. Peru, home
Peru’s return to the World Cup brought joy to sash fans everywhere, and the little touch of gold on the kit is nice too.
19. Peru, away
We prefer the away one, in truth.
18. Egypt, home
This is a nicer shade of red than many on offer at this tournament, and the mix with the black works.
17. South Korea, away
There are a LOT of white kits at this World Cup, but the pattern on the front of this South Korea change strip makes it one of the better ones.
16. Croatia, home
You know what you want from Croatia, and they’ve delivered here with bigger, bolder checks than we’ve seen before.
15. France, home
It’s a little darker than France have gone for in the past, and we might have liked to see a little flash of white on there a la the 1998 World Cup winning effort, but we’ll take it.
14. Panama, away
The flecks of blue make this a respectable effort for Panama on their World Cup debut, and the fact that there seem to be arrows pointing downwards towards the pitch serve as a reminder of where the action is going to be.
Which is helpful.
13. Mexico, home
Mexico’s flash of green is always welcome at every World Cup they grace, and the lighter green touches on the side give this effort some extra points.
12. Sweden, away
Barely any effort seemed to go into Sweden’s home number, but we’re fans of the away.
The deep blue works well with the yellow, and the subtle stripes do the business.
11. France, away
It’s the subtlety that makes this.
Look closely at those little flecks in Samuel Umtiti’s shirt. They look pretty French don’t they?
Ooh la la.
10. Japan, home
Japan will arrive in Russia in style in this sleek number that is sure to please fans in the Hipster Group H which also features Poland, Senegal and Colombia.
It looks a bit like Scotland on acid, and that can only be a good thing.
9. Portugal, away
Clean, crisp, bright. Has white ever been this white before?
Woe betide any Portugal player who gets this muddy on the pitch because it is absolutely glorious.
8. Belgium, away
Belgium’s flag does have a huge yellow bit in the middle after all, and they’ve made use of that here with a bright, bold design that works with the three adidas stripes on the sleeves.
7. Spain, home
After the debacle that was the 2014 World Cup, Spain need to go big this time if they are going to regain their reputation.
The away kit might be rubbish, but this is a good start.
6. Germany, home
As with the rest of this batch of adidas kits, there is something of a pleasingly retro look to the number Germany will be wearing in Russia.
And it suits them, doesn’t it?
Get used to it because you’ll probably be seeing it deep into the tournament.
5. Colombia, away
Strong. Strong, strong, strong.
We’d be wanting to see more of this over the summer if only the home kit wasn’t so good…
4. Belgium, home
Yes, it’s a cross between something terrible and woolly you’d get for Christmas and a football shirt, but by heavens does it work.
England will be up against these kits, and they are right to be both as intimidated and afraid as they’re bound to be.
3. Germany, away
Gazza’s tears, Waddle’s penalty and Klinsmann’s dive in the final all come flooding back with Germany’s epic 1990-inspired away design, which comes in as the best of all the change strips in Russia.
2. Colombia, home
The best of the adidas kits – and almost the best of all the bloomin’ kits – is this effort from Colombia.
Go out there and buy it the first chance you get.
1. Nigeria, home
Is there an eighth wonder of the world yet? If there isn’t can it be this?
Look at it. Drink it in. Ignore the haters for they know not what they do.
Congratulations Nigeria, the most deserving of No. 1s.
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