In Colour: The Best Kits From Every World Cup

With the 2018 World Cup in Russia less than a year away, take a look back at the finest kits from every tournament since the first broadcasted in colour, Mexico 1970.

1970

Best Kit: Brazil Home

To many, this team is still considered the finest international side to play the game; the ambassadors of Brazilian football’s long association with artistic flair.

Their kit was simplistic in style, with no unnecessary gimmicks. Seleçãos yellow shirts and blue shorts have become synonymous with the World Cup and 1970 was the first time the world saw this iconic combination.

Honourable Mention: Italy Away

1974

Best Kit: Holland Home

Holland were exponents of an wholly unprecedented brand of football in 1974, taking ‘fluid formations’ to new heights as ‘Total Football’ came to prominence.

Sporting a deep orange jersey complimented by Adidas’ trademark three stripes; black shorts provided the perfect contrast for the vibrancy elsewhere.

Perhaps this one was bettered by the Netherlands’ iconic Euro ’88 strip, but it’s their best World Cup entry, nevertheless.

Honourable Mention: Zaire Home and Away

1978

Best Kit: Peru Home

Peru’s sash-styled jersey could well have been the pick for 1970 or 1982. However, ’78’s version is the pick of the bunch and Teófilo Cubillas’ audacious free-kick (shown below) made it all the better.

Peru eventually crashed out under suspicious circumstances, losing 6-0 to Argentina with accusations of corruption to follow.

Honourable Mention: Brazil Home

1982

Best Kit: England Away

The Three Lions’ 1982 opener versus France is often remembered for two things; Bryan Robson’s dramatic first-minute goal and England’s stylish Admiral attire.

A shame then that companies like Admiral would eventually be forced out of the market as Nike and Adidas have increasingly dominated kit-making from the 90s onwards.

Honourable Mention: France Home

1986

Best Kit: Argentina Home

Whilst Argentina’s notorious quarter-final clash with England was fought in their away jersey, it was the Albicelestes home kit that stood-out.

Le Coq Sportif, who like Admiral, have gone virtually missing since, produced a classy number, sported by El Diego below:

Honourable Mention: Denmark Home

1990

Best Kit: Colombia Away

Colombia’s performance in 1990 is mainly remembered for Rene Higuita’s comedy antics in goal. However, their away kit was a masterpiece.

The South Americans wore their second strip in all three group games including a 1-1 draw with eventual champions West Germany.

Displaying an explosive mixture of red, yellow and blue, this one looked particularly special with Carlos Valderrama’s hair placed on top. Meanwhile, Higuita’s kit was pretty impressive, too.

Honourable Mention: West Germany Home

1994

Best Kit: Nigeria Away

The Super Eagles made their World Cup bow in 1994, and they arrived in eccentric style.

Whilst African nations have provided an array of World Cup kits that can only be described as ‘hit-and-miss’, this one was certainly a hit.

Nigeria’s performances included a 3-0 victory over the tournaments surprise package Bulgaria, in which they wore the unconventional jersey – without its matching shorts, though.

Honourable Mention: Bulgaria Away

1998

Best Kit: France Home

The 1998 World Cup will always belong to Les Bleus.

Although the French shirt may appear as a replica of their Euro ’84-winning jersey, this one is just that bit better.

Benefitting from a slicker, modern look, bright red socks accompanied the classy design above to make for a now iconic World Cup appearance.

Honourable Mention: Croatia Away

2002

Best Kit: Brazil Away

Both Adidas and Nike nailed their kit templates in 2002 with several sides sporting attractive attire. However, it was Brazil’s away strip, worn in their dramatic victory over England in the quarter-finals that narrowly edges out the opposition.

Honourable Mention: England Away

2006

Best Kit: Italy Home

In 2006, it was the turn of Puma to step-up and they didn’t disappoint with several strong entries, particularly from Africa.

However, Puma’s masterpiece came in the form of Italy’s kit. The Azzurri’s strip was blue from top-to-bottom, with a subtle pattern and tinges of Gold; a kit made for champions.

 Honourable Mention: France Away

2010

Best Kit: Germany Away

Like Puma in 2006, Adidas utilised gold as the colour to elevate an otherwise ordinary jersey. Germany’s 2010 away shirt wasn’t a universal hit, but it made for an undeniably menacing look.

Mesut Özil and Thomas Müller announced themselves on the international stage in South Africa as Germany were narrowly defeated by Spain in the semi-final.

Honourable Mentions: Portugal Away

2014

Best Kit: Colombia Home

James Rodríguez and Colombia lit-up the 2014 World Cup, playing some of the tournaments most attractive football.

Their yellow and blue jerseys were almost as aesthetically-pleasing as their play, and with such a huge following, Colombia literally brought sea of yellow to every game they played in Brazil.

Honourable Mention: Argentina Home