Football has been blessed with some truly iconic style through the years. Players and fans alike place a lot of their identity into their kits, and there’s a rumble of activity every year when the newest season’s efforts get released (and leaked) to the wider world.
Many will cry foul at some of the modern interpretations, harking back to the ‘good old days’. However, when you actually think about it, a lot of old-school football kits were truly, truly awful.
However, there are some shining lights – those kits that will forever be remembered as some of the most sleek, most stylish, and most sophisticated to have ever graced the beautiful game.
With a little help from adidas – who most definitely created my favourite kit of all time – let us guide you through some of the best retro kits to have ever graced the World Cup Finals, the European Championship – and Carrow Road.
West Germany – 1990 (World Cup)
This is a fairly iconic retro football kit, and for damn good reason. West Germany and adidas’ effort in the 1990s naturally set them on their way to a World Cup – of course the kit has most of everything to do with that – but it also simply and classically combined block white with the country’s colours without looking overbearing. Hard to do, nowadays.
Modern international kits tend to shy away from showing off the full gamut of colours of the flag, but the Bundesflagge is in full show here – and it works really well.
… not that Germany’s modern kits aren’t working well, though. Frankly, it’s annoying that they always looks so good (even when getting spat at…)
Sampdoria – 1994-95 (Serie A)
Sven-Goran Eriksson; drawstrings; an Asics kit. Sampdoria 94-95 had it all.
it’s hard to say whether or not drawstrings would work in a modern football kit – well, it isn’t actually, they’d be silly and you’d be laughed off the pitch – but there’s something endearing about this incredibly 90’s effort today.
Also, please ignore the fact that Ruud Gullit keeps appearing, it’s purely a coincidence that he’s also fabulously stylish.
Juventus – 1985-86 (Serie A)
What do you mean a football kit can look sleek, stylish and like it was actually fitted to suit a footballer that was in shape? Whaaaatttt?
If we’re talking about football and style, there was always going to be a huge influx of Italian teams here – don’t pretend you weren’t expecting it.
Created by Kappa – all the retro sporting brands surfacing here – this kit was sharp, simple and remarkably stylish. The black and white mix will always hold up well, but even the collar on this bad boy looks amazing.
Simple can work if you do it well.
Netherlands – 1988 (European Championship)
… why go with simple and stylish when you can have bright orange geometric triangles?
Another adidas effort that has truly echoed – loudly – through time, this kit came to embody everything about the Dutch on their way to European glory in 1988.
what else can you say about this design apart from the fact it’s symmetrical, mildly hypnotic, and beautifully orange and white?
In all honesty, it takes a lot of skill and impressive design chops to be able to pull off garish colours and geometric patterns in a football kit – which is probably why this retro football kit still stands out today.
…and yes, that’s the 3rd Ruud Gullit picture – coincidence, or conspiracy?
Norwich City – 1992-93 (Premier League)
The inaugural Premier League season will be remembered throughout history for changing football as we know it.
… because of this utterly beautiful monstrosity of a kit.
I’d be letting the side down if I didn’t pull something iconic and unforgettably, unmistakably British out of the bag – and this Ribero (?!) kit has gone down in history as one of the best/worst kits of all time.
Just look at those subtle colour combinations. The playful interlacing of a delicate green and a really understated yellow to make for something truly sleek and stylish.
If you’re hunting for the best modern kits and some old-school classics, then an adidas voucher might help you out along the way – make a saving while you’re getting your football-style on.