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The 10 best World Cup kits of all time: Brazil, England, Argentina and more

16:45 BST 28/10/2022
Best world cup kits
Has your favourite made the shortlist?

The 2022 World Cup is almost upon us and debate over each country’s kits has been roaring for weeks now. Whether it’s discussion over the difference in quality between England’s home and away shirts, the controversy surrounding the USA’s designs or the standard set by Nigeria, who didn’t even qualify, everyone has an opinion on the 2022 kits.

But how do they compare with kits from the World Cups of the past? We’ve pulled together the 10 all time best from the last 92 years of football’s biggest tournament.

  • USA Away kit 1994

    #1 USA Away - 1994

    With the World Cup in North America for the first time ever, the USA decided to make a statement. Playing up to the all-American image, they opted for a home shirt covered in stars and designed to look like it was made from denim. Midfielder Tab Ramos described the team as “the cowboys of the world,” and the shirt helped to reinforce that idea. Originally, it was unveiled as the USA’s away shirt, but they wore 

  • Argentina home kit 1986

    #2 Argentina Home - 1986

    Another great kit that will be forever linked to a great player. Mexico ‘86 belonged to Diego Maradona, who won player of the tournament and scored five as Argentina won their second title. Two of those goals have become arguably the most famous goals of all time, for very different reasons. One was later named the Goal of the Century, while the other became the Hand of God. Neither one needs an introduction. Anyway, Maradona and the rest of the Argentina squad wore a refined version of their classic blue and white stripes – designed by Le Coq Sportif – perfecting the formula that the country has worn throughout its international history.

  • Brazil Home kit 1970

    #3 Brazil Home - 1970

    The yellow and green of Brazil is one of the finest sights in world football, and almost any of their World Cup kits could have made this list. But it’s the 1970 kit that just about pips the rest to the crown. It’s one of the most simple from the nation’s illustrious history, but the design shows that almost nothing needs to be done to the colour combination. It’s literally just a yellow shirt with a thick green stripe around each sleeve and an absolutely perfect collar. It’ll also forever be associated with a Brazil team widely regarded as the best World Cup side of all time, as Pelé helped them to victory in his last-ever World Cup.

  • england 1990 home kit

    #4 England Home - 1990

    In the past, England have saved their best kits for the Euros – 1992, for example – or years they didn’t qualify (the 1994 away shirt is an all-time classic). At Italia 90, though, England were very much present and wearing one of their better designs. The Umbro-produced kit was fairly simple, allowing the white and navy blue colour combination to shine through. It did include some extra details, including a neckline that somehow combined a collar and a V-neck and a little Umbro pattern around each sleeve. The big red number in the middle helped as well.

  • Croatia 1998 home kit

    #5 Croatia Home - 1998

    Another team to bring an all-time classic to France 1998 was Croatia. In many ways, the nation’s checkerboard kits give it an unfair advantage at every tournament, but it was in this tournament that they perfected the formula. The red checks were used in a wave pattern across the chest and one shoulder just about enveloping the country’s crest. Other details included a red, white and blue trim around the collar and the Lotto logo, rarely seen at the World Cup finals.

  • Denmark 1986 away kit

    #6 Denmark Away - 1986

    Making their first-ever World Cup appearance, Denmark made sure that they’d at least win in terms of kits. Both the home and away shirt were bangers, and followed a similar asymmetrical template. The away shirt just about takes the crown though, with its red pinstripes contrasted against a white background – and a corresponding white half with faint grey stripes. The pattern continued onto corresponding sleeves, while a slight navy trim and Hummel’s red chevrons finished off the shirt.

  • France 1998 home kit

    #7 France Home - 1998

    A lot of countries saved their best efforts for the 1998 World Cup, and host nation France was no different. Even though Les Bleus have had consistently great kits throughout their history, this is one of the best. The shirt’s tricolor striped collar and cuffs contrasted against the royal blue of  the shirt, while the four stripes across the front – one in red and three in white – added a whole other level. The kit became a symbol of French unity, as a team featuring young prospects Vieira, Henry and Pires ensured World Cup victory.

  • Cameroon home kit 2002

    #8 Cameroon Home - 2002

    Admittedly, it may not be one of the best World Cup kits in terms of aesthetics, but Cameroon’s 2002 effort deserves a place on the list for what could have been. Originally, PUMA produced a sleeveless effort – which was worn at that year’s African Cup of Nations – but FIFA intervened. Cameroon were forced to compromise and black sleeves were added, sadly diminishing the entire design of the shirt. The country put two fingers up to FIFA again two years later, when the national team appeared in one-piece kits.

  • West Germany 1990 away kit

    #9 West Germany Away - 1990

    West Germany’s 1990 kits are both regarded as two of the best ever. The home shirt followed 1988’s lead with its black, red and yellow sort-of stripe – laying the template for generations of future kits – but the away shirt took things to a different level. Following the tradition of a green away shirt, the West German away shirt incorporated a graphic diagonal pattern which adidas had used in the past. The legend of both shirts was only cemented by West Germany’s triumph in the tournament.

  • Nigeria 2018 home kit

    #10 Nigeria Home - 2018

    Forever known as the kit that broke the internet, and a ton of records. Nigeria’s 2018 home shirt was the rightful winner of the 2018 World Cup, even as the team were knocked out in the group stage. The design mixed green and white chevrons on the body, with black added to the sleeves. After its release, Nike were forced to almost constantly restock the shirt, unable to keep up with design, while the prestigious Beazley Design of the Year award shortlisted the shirt in 2019.