The 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar is rapidly approaching as national teams begin their preparations for the global showpiece.
This year’s carnival will look a little different as it is set to be hosted smack-bang in the middle of the club season, at the height of the European winter.
While that may mean the heady, sunshine days in pub beer gardens will not be possible, we still have a feast of football to look forward to.
Already the news is starting to be dominated by headlines regarding the World Cup and, with a few months to go, some of the kits have started to make an appearance.
Portugal’s split-in-two kit has left a lot to be desired while a leak of Mexico’s supposed strip shows they are going to be looking incredible at the World Cup.
But what are the best World Cup kits ever worn? Well, to answer that question, we thought we would go to the experts in the field, with fashion magazine Esquire picking the 11 greatest shirts back in 2018.
11. Denmark Goalkeeper, 1998
The Danes might not have had the tournament they were hoping for in France, but Peter Schmeichel looked an absolute treat in a banger of a goalkeeper kit.
10. England, 1982
The tricolour nature of England’s ’82 strip makes it one of the Three Lions’ most uniques kits. Sadly, it could not inspire England to great heights, as they crashed out in the second round in Spain.
9. Germany, 1990
A true classic, Germany’s 1990 strip was always going to be included. The sweeping flag across the chest, the exaggerated logo and the understated collar all make for a superb piece of design.
Germany 1988-90 home by Adidas— Classic Football Shirts (@classicshirts) April 29, 2020
This design was worn at Euro 88 and when the side lifted the World Cup in 1990
Can you imagine a team wearing the same design for 2 major tournaments now? pic.twitter.com/TadbMOHO29
8. Argentina, 1994
It’s hard to go wrong with the famous blue and white stripes of Argentina and, in truth, any number of their kits could have made the cut. Esquire went with their 1994 number and it’s hard to argue.
7. Croatia, 1998
Another nation that has regularly given us some truly superb kits. The 1998 vintage, with its 3D print, looked particularly special as the Croatians finished third in France.
6. Cameroon, 2002
This was always going to be a controversial pick but, sometimes, controversy sells. Eyebrows were raised when Cameroon saw fit to bin their sleeves completely, but it made for one of the most iconic kits in history.
5. Mexico, 1994
This list simply wouldn’t be complete without a Mexican contribution. The 1994 design, complete with lovely collar and subtle red strips, really was a work of art.
4. France, 1998
On the backs of the likes of Zinedine Zidane and Thierry Henry, the French shirt of 1998 quickly became truly iconic as the hosts romped to global glory in Paris.
3. Nigeria 1994
NIgeria’s epic 2018 kit must have been in contention but it is again hard to argue with the call to go for their ’94 strip instead.
Everything from the collar to the splash of black and white designs around it is simply brilliant.
2. Soviet Union, 1990
⚡ New In Classics ⚡— Classic Football Shirts (@classicshirts) June 3, 2021
Soviet Union 1989-91 Home by Adidas
Extremely rare home shirt released for the 1990 World Cup but didn't get used in favour of another Adidas design.
Dropping tomorrow! pic.twitter.com/UNl051rrwE
Just look at it! A true work of genius was given to us when the Soviet Union turned up in 1990. The brick red colour shirt brushed with white is just absolutely gorgeous and well-deserving of it’s lofty status in this list.
Unfortunately, and almost criminally, it was never used at the tournament.
1. Brazil, 2002
The Brazilian’s made light work of the World Cup in 2002 and looked good doing it.
Who could ever forget the site of Ronaldo Nazario tearing it up in this iconic yellow belter?