Friday, 11 June 2010

World Cup Kit Parade 2010: Adidas

In the first of a four-part series, Some People Are On The Pitch assesses the wide range of football kits you’ll be seeing during the 2010 World Cup, looking at the output of each manufacturer in sequence. 


With twelve World Cup countries in its portfolio, Adidas is once again assured of maximum visibility when the competition gets underway tomorrow.

As is not uncommon, the German company has ensured a modest degree of individuality to creep into the designs for its top teams while others have had to settle for an off-the-shelf template outfit. France’s blue home shirt, for example, features red and white flashes in a nod to some of its former designs including those for Euro ’84 and World Cup ’98.

Germany’s white shirt for home games has an understated yet smart trio of pinstripes in the colours of the national flag running from top to bottom, dissecting the club crest as it does so. A nice touch and a world away from the bold, some would say ‘garish’ shirt of World Cup ’94.

Japan’s home and away shirts both feature a short red block appearing from the underside of the collar – something you won’t find on any other country’s shirt, but given its slightly mystifying nature, perhaps that won’t be regarded as any kind of tragedy.

Denmark, on the other hand, have a curious white band going across the chest of their shirt, made up of eleven rows of dotted lines forming an illusion of visual perspective. The lines are supposed to be a tribute to the efforts of the eleven men making up the Danish team – a distinctive design and one which does Adidas great credit.

Sadly not every team wearing Adidas at this year’s World Cup are quite so lucky. The home shirts for many teams such as Greece, Slovakia, Spain and Nigeria (as well as the away versions for others including Denmark, Argentina and Paraguay) look like the kind of thing your ambitious Sunday League team would be happy to wear given half a chance. Sitting somewhere in the middle of the Adidas World Cup range, however, are the hybrids – those shirts which look like they were taken one step on from the base-level design but no further than that.

For examples of this, see the home shirts for South Africa and Mexico, replete as they are with two strange under-arm blobs. We’re sure they would’ve been something more distinct, but perhaps the designer took an early lunch and never came back. Oh well, you can’t win ‘em all...

Taken as a whole then, Adidas have produced a smart range of shirts and kits which are understated in their style, but style there most definitely is. You won’t find anything wacky or beyond the realms of good taste – moreover, you’ll get style in abundance even if, at times, there occasionally seems to be a lack of imagination.

Coming soon: Part 2 - Nike go for the sublime and the ridiculous...

Our great thanks go to John Devlin from True Colours Football Kits ( for the use of his excellent football kit graphics. To see all of John's World Cup kit designs in greater detail, click here.)

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