A World Cup year provides an assortment of new kits. Some are instant classics and will rank amongst the best kits in tournament history. Others will flop and be forgotten about before the tournament has even finished.
Those teams which exceed expectations, perhaps causing an upset in sports betting odds, are likely to have a place in history regardless of the merits of the design.
The build-up to the World Cup is dominated by squad speculation, sweepstakes and injury concern. New kits being released is part of the World Cup cycle too, with orders placed and opinions shared as fans identify their favourite World Cup kits.
We have picked out our 10 favourite kits for this winter’s World Cup, choosing a mix of brash and classical.
Brazil – Away
Once again the betting odds favourites to lift the trophy, Brazil have brought two bold kits for the 2022 World Cup.
The theme is Jaguar print, an approach which is bound to split opinion. For the away kit, Nike have blended the trademark blue with a fading green Jaguar pattern on the sleeves.
A risk was taken here, and it’s certainly paid off. It’s easy to play it safe with Brazil World Cup shirts, as has often been the case, but Nike have rolled the dice on this one.
It’s always good to see kit manufacturers take a risk.
Japan – Home
The origami-inspired Japan home shirt was given five stars by FourFourTwo, and rightly so.
It isn’t as ostentatious as Brazil’s away kit or many other iconic World Cup shirts, but the mix of the blue and white makes for a captivating shirt.
A red trim gives a bit of pop. Make sure to soak up this kit during Japan’s three group matches. It’s worth checking out the away jersey too, which is less eye-catching, but a good-looking kit nonetheless.
South Korea – Away
South Korea have a tendency to don some pretty brave away shirts, and that trend continues in Qatar.
Heung-min Son and co’s away kit is a black base, which doesn’t sound spectacular. The shirt then has the look of a wall attacked by toddlers with a fresh box of Crayola.
Like all kits that try something new, there will be detractors, and perhaps all the colour will put some off. For many, though, this is a welcome change from the bland nature of many other kits.
This is going to be popular at retro football shirt stores for years to come.
Germany – Home
Where the others were colourful and out there, the Germany home kit is an altogether more reserved affair.
To be fair, Germany’s colour scheme doesn’t give much room for brightness. Instead, Adidas have produced a classy, clean home shirt with a wide black stripe down the middle, which is home to a gorgeous gold logo.
The away kit could have easily taken this spot. Germany are no more than a dark horse at this tournament, but they’re going to look good whatever the performances are like.
Ecuador – Away
Fans worldwide rushed to pick up the Colombia kits in 2018. A similar scenario could play out with Ecuador, who have a cracker of an away kit with a highly detailed pattern across the body.
Perhaps the collar could have been given a bit more to bring it to life, and the cuffs aren’t for everyone.
Still, the colours of the flag are a nice addition at the ends of the sleeves, and Ecuador’s badge is one of the best on show in Qatar.
𝐍𝐞𝐰 𝐀𝐫𝐫𝐢𝐯𝐚𝐥: Ecuador home & away kits 🇪🇨— World Soccer Shop (@WrldSoccerShop) September 14, 2022
The Ecuador national team has qualified for the 2022 FIFA World Cup™, which marks the nation's 4th appearance at the tournament.
🛒 https://t.co/JrxQgfxefl pic.twitter.com/xzoDyMpXY2
Argentina – Away
Okay, using any sort of fire pattern can be unpopular. Argentina going for a purple away strip with flames reaching up towards the chest will not go down well with everyone.
There are marks to be earned for doing something different, though. La Albiceleste have too often edged towards boring with their away shirts, while the striped nature of their home kit gives little room to experiment.
We applaud giving this a go, even if the purple and flames could age like milk.
8. Argentina (Away)— British GQ (@BritishGQ) October 14, 2022
Yeah, OK, it does look a bit like the fever dream of a child whose brain has been ravaged by FIFA Ultimate Team and Fortnite… but purple flames? Maybe those kids have a point.https://t.co/PGtSPraeXl pic.twitter.com/71QgThYznx
Portugal – Away
Portugal’s away kit is good in a similar way to Germany’s home. This isn’t the wildest design, nor is it especially eyebrow-raising.
What Nike have done, however, is shaken up the usual Portugal away kit look with an off-white base, then split the red and green across a wide band on the chest.
The navy trim adds another dimension, enhancing the base colour of the shirt and providing something of a border to what could be on the boring side.
Netherlands – Home
Pencil a Netherlands home shirt in for every ‘best kits’ list ever.
Nike make some outlandish claims about representing the mane of a Lion and some marketing chatter about Total Football. That doesn’t matter to us.
It is a slightly different orange from normal, but it works, and this kit feels appropriate for the sweltering Qatari sun as we wrap up for winter in the UK.
9. Netherlands (Home)— British GQ (@BritishGQ) October 14, 2022
The new Nike Netherlands kit has a vibrant, slightly psychedelic and patinated finish, in a good way. Crunch match against Ecuador at 4PM, Grateful Dead concert at 10PM.https://t.co/PGtSPraeXl pic.twitter.com/uHio5KKDPR
Mexico – Home
We can’t guarantee this kit will be remembered like their belters of the 1990s, but the Mexico home kit for the upcoming World Cup is a beauty.
It’s no secret the Mexico badge is one of the best in sport, plus Adidas have embraced an Eagle-style pattern across the home shirt. Using two shades of green is enough to be visible without inducing headaches.
The away kit has more of a throwback feel – it remains to be seen how well that works on a TV screen.
Belgium – Away
Belgium have had some stunning kits over the last few years. The magic is in the detail for this subtle yet eye-catching away attire.
Away from the garish, Word Art-esque flames of the home sleeves, the away kit is a finer, more appealing design. A white base is complemented by multi-coloured patterning on the cuffs, collar and logos.
Appropriately, Adidas have passed with flying colours on this one.
*Credit for all of the photos in this article belongs to AP Photo*
FIRST PUBLISHED: 18th October 2022