2022 World Cup kits: A definitive ranking of the best 7 kits in Qatar
The best 7 kits on show in Qatar this winter
It's all very weird, isn't it? A World Cup... now, in winter, at a time when kids in the local primary school are getting ready for their nativity performance and we're scraping ice off the car windscreen before work. How did we get here?
Lots of brown envel
Now that it's here, we might as well get to the heart of one of the least important aspects of it: arguing over which kits look nice.
We've compiled a list of the seven loveliest kits to be seen in Qatar over the course of this, the worst World Cup in living memory.
You may disagree and that's fine. You're wrong. Enjoy.
Okay, so let's be clear. This is merely a largely pointless ranking of football shirts that, once you've clicked off it, you'll never think of again. If this list is judged purely on aesthetics, Denmark's bland shirts wouldn't be on it at all. But here, we're making an exception. Manufacturers Hummel have intentionally produced toned-down kits for the tournament in protest at Qatar's alleged human rights abuses. It's a massive fuck you to the organisers and, importantly, a visible reminder that, while the exact death toll is disputed, people have died so that we can watch a bit of football this winter. Fair play. Bit of a heavy start, but it had to be in it somewhere.
Sometimes, less is more. That's the case with the new France home shirt which is truly fit for world champions. Nike have played it safe, keeping with the darker tone of bleu that they turned out in Russia four years ago and adding gold numbers, logos and badges. It looks great. But then, doesn't any shirt look good on Olivier Giroud?
5. South Korea (away)
At the other end of the spectrum to France's home offering comes the new South Korea away shirt, which is one of the boldest designs in Qatar this year. Predominantly black, the pattern is a little bit like the seat coverings on the 419 bus from Leigh to Warrington circa 2001, only this isn't riddled with cigarette holes and matted with years-old chewing gum and actually looks really, really good. Also, any shirt with a tiger badge on it looks cool as fuck. This shirt has a tiger badge on it.
4. Ecuador (away)
We're suckers for a nice geometric pattern on a football shirt (more on that later) and this navy number from Ecuador, ticks a box for us. It should get an airing when they play their group game against the Dutch and also comes with a couple of nice details: the Ecuadorian flag on the sleeve, and a silhouette of Ecuador on the back, just in case those wearing it forget who they're playing for.
3. England (away)
It's only natural that, when a new England shirt comes out, everyone tries to pick fault with it and say horrible things. But the truth is, this is undeniably... nice, and deserves so much better than an underwhelming last-16 exit at the hands of Senegal. There's a nice subtle pattern to it, the collar is tidy and has a nice detail, and it brings back vivid memories of Des Walker and Jay Cartwright.
Well, no surprises here. Death. Taxes. Japan having really, really nice World Cup shirts. This was very nearly number one in our list. Made by adidas, the striking design on this one represents a load of origami cranes, the bird which features on Japan's badge (looks more like a crow, tbh lads). Just look at the thing, though.
1. Mexico (away)
Swoon. Mexico have got form for having easy-on-the eye World Cup shirts. The new home one is pretty decent, too. The away offering, though, is the best of the lot. Made by adidas, this predominantly off-white shirt's main feature is the bold print, inspired by Aztec creator deity thingy, Quetzalcoatl, which was a feathered serpent. Just shut up and take our money. Actually, don't. I need to put the heating on for an hour.
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