Coolest Kits: Part Two
By Matt Glazebrook, 2 June 2014
Here it is: the second and final part of our ultimate World Cup cool ranking. Check out part one of our style guide here, or read on to find out the official, absolutely in no way subjective and unscientific, top six best looking World Cup kits ever.
To be fair, most kits look a notch better when you have suave maestro of 80s football Michel Platini swanning around in them. Nevertheless, France's 1986 Adidas top stands out for its elegant simplicity, tri-colour piping and a certain je ne sais quoi, which helped propel les Bleus to the semi-finals.
The Netherlands have had a few horror-show shirts – understandably, when you're stuck with bright orange as a national colour – but Adidas nailed it with their minimalist 1974 attempt. Ten talented men wearing the classic three stripes with pride, and one stroppy football genius with two stripes instead (captain Johan Cruyff, who was sponsored by Puma, refused to sport the rival brand's symbol).
There were more than a few unsavoury elements to the 1978 World Cup, played under the shadow of military dictatorship, but hosts and eventual winners Argentina's kit was emphatically not one of them. It's hard to go wrong with baby blue-and-white-striped tops and black shorts, but this super-slick version, complete with faint disco sheen befitting the era, was next-level stylish.
In many ways, England '86 was the ultimate late-80s kit: skinny fit, shiny material, a surprisingly classic navy V-neck and the double diamond logo of Brit brand Umbro. Inevitable knockout-stage disappointment has never looked so good.
The Peruvians fought their 1978 campaign dressed as cans of Red Stripe. There's so much right about this kit: crisp, clean white in the sock and shorts department, three stripes on the sleeves, wide 70s collar, a great big flag badge and that amazing diagonal red stripe. As fresh and tasty as a can of mid-priced lager.
These African debutantes may not have shone on the pitch in Germany in 1974, but if there were medals for sartorial achievements, the Zaireans would have won a bucketload. Skinny-fit gold shirts, green short shorts, and a super-cool, super-indie, oversized logo. Long live the Leopards, the only set of World Cup players who would have looked equally at home rocking out on stage in a Brooklyn dive bar as running Scotland fairly close in a first-round group match.