How Euro 2016 would play out if results were based on the beauty of jerseys 4 years ago

How Euro 2016 would play out if results were based on the beauty of jerseys

Who has the nicest jersey at Euro 2016?

That's the real question this summer.

We decided that the fairest way to decide on the most beautiful jerseys in France would be to play out the tournament and let the best shirt win.

Here's how we did it.

During the group stages, we awarded every team a mark out of five for their home top and a mark out of five for their away. Their combined mark out of 10 will determine whether or not they make it out of the group. The top two teams and four of the best-marked third placed teams all qualified for the knockout stages.

When second and third placed teams were on the same number of points, the superior home jersey was the deciding factor and, when the home jerseys were on the same number of points, we relied on unhelpful ol' alphabetical order.

We then played out the round of 16,  quarter-finals, semi-finals and final in more detail, explaining why we believe one jersey is superior to another as each team was eliminated, leaving only one.

Here's how we got on.

Group stage

Group A

Switzerland - 8

3

France - 7

1

Albania - 4

al

Romania - 4

2

Group B

Slovakia - 7

slovakia

Wales - 6

wales

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Russia - 5

russia

England - 4

england

Group C

Poland - 6

poland

Germany - 5

germany

Northern Ireland - 5

northern ireland

Ukraine - 4

ukrainee

Group D

Croatia - 9

croatia

Czech Republic - 5

czech

Turkey - 4

turkey

Spain - 3

spain

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Group E

Ireland - 6

ireland

Belgium - 5

belgium

Italy - 5

italy

Sweden - 4

sweden

Group F

Austria - 8

austria

Iceland - 5

iceland

Portugal - 5

portugal

Hungary - 4

hungary

Now that the group stage has finished and you're suitably frustrated in disagreement with what we think makes a good jersey, here's what the round of 16 looks like.

Round of 16

France v Germany
francegerm
Theese two sides are frontrunners for the real tournament but when it comes to the jersey knockout stages, we have to plump for the hosts.

Germany's away top is simply not for us whereas France's effort is absolutely stunning. Both home shirts are pretty traditional and it would be difficult to fault either but the puke green sleeves and horrific stripe pattern on the World Cup holders' away jersey has decided this one.

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France continue to the quarter-finals.

Croatia v Russia
crorus

No contest.

For some reason, the Russia away jersey intrigued us but intrigue simply doesn't cut the mustard against the glorious Croatian double whammy.

Croatia took a little bit of a risk when they modernised their usual checkered pattern but, wow, did it pay off.

They could very well go all the way here.

Slovakia v Northern Ireland
sloni

Two sides of the jersey design game on show from Northern Ireland.

Their away top is a barn-burner but the home garment is very much a damp squib that resembles more of a training top than anything.

There's nothing too spectacular to take away from the Slovakia jerseys but they just pip Northern Ireland to the post in this one.
Austria v Belgium
ausbel

Emblazoning the national flag on the midriff of a jersey is a bold move and, to be honest, we're not sure it worked with Belgium's away top.

Austria's home shirt is decent but the away one is a genuine masterpiece. The simplistic colour scheme, coupled with the tight fit and plain front is right up our alley.

Austria are through to the quarters.

Poland v Portugal
polpor

Nothing glaringly offensive with either but we feel the Tranformer-style design on the Portuguese chest area is trying just a little bit too hard for our liking.

Poland always sport a lovely kit and this is no exception. The home one in particular is a doozy.

It's not comprehensive but Poland progress.

Ireland v Czech Republic
irecze

Ireland are getting to the quarter-final. Ireland are getting to the quarter-final. Ireland are getting to the quarter-final.

It's like Italia '90 all over again as we genuinely think that Ireland's jerseys are nicer than those of the Czech Republic.

The shade of green selected is a lot more vibrant than what we've seen in previous versions. The Czech top looks too much like an undergarment for our tastes and there's just too many reds all over the place in the home shirt.

Ireland are through but let's not start getting carried away with ourselves.
Switzerland v Italy
swiita

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This was a tricky tie for Switzerland as, on paper, their away jersey is one of the nicest tops out of any in this tournament but we do have a soft spot for the retro Italy away shirt.

We can't just go handing out victories based on nostalgia, though, and the second Swiss jersey is as close to perfection as you're going to get.

Switzerland are through safely.
Wales v Iceland
walice

The battle of the underdogs here as there's surely no way in Hell that either are going all the way to the final, is there?

It's amazing to think that the subtle, simple, understated home Wales jersey was designed by the same madman who created the away monstrosity.

This isn't a free pass to Iceland whose shirts are pretty disgusting themselves.

This one has very much been decided on penalties after a horrible 0-0 draw but the beautiful home effort has just about seen Chris Coleman's side through to the quarters.

Quarter-finals

France v Croatia
fracro

France squeaked by Germany in the last round but a bad draw has caught them out here.

It's 2016 and while we've all the time in the world for a traditional kit, innovation and bravery pays off nowadays.

Croatia dominate this match-up.

Slovakia v Austria
slovaus

An all-Puma tie here and there's not a whole lot to choose from between the home shirts.

Just take a look at that Austria away number though.

We think you'll agree that Austria belong in the semi-finals.

Poland v Ireland
polire

It's the end of the road, dear Ireland.

There's no dream semi-final on the cards as there is just nothing in the Ireland shirts to lead you to believe that they can hang with the big boys.

Poland's decision to go plain, with just a wonderfully subtle sweeping design on the stomach making it stand out, has paid dividends.

Poland are in the last four.

Switzerland v Wales
swiwal

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As referenced in the last round, Wales' away jersey is a cause for sore eyes and it's for that reason that we can't see them making the final four.

What we absolutely adore about the Swiss tops is the fact that the designer logo is in a different position on the home and away ones.

They're like two completely different jerseys but both are beautiful. We're definitely not neutral to either and they're the last side in the semis.

Semi-final

Croatia v Austria

CROATIAAUS

This should have been the Goddamn final! But we abided by the draw that will take place in the real tournament and that dictates that the winner of the first quarter-final will meet the winner of the second.

And that means that our two favourite jerseys are going head-to-head in Croatia's home top and Austria's away.

We'll keep harping on about it but the funkiness of Croatia's doesn't only make it one of the best on show this summer. It could well go down as one of the greatest ever international tops.

This semi-final came down to the slightly weaker links of both teams, i.e. Croatia's away shirt and Austria's home. To our eyes, the former trumps the latter which means congratulations must go to Croatia. They're in the bloody final.

Poland v Switzerland

polswi

We could go the same route as we did in the first semi-final and say that Switzerland's home shirt is not quite as nice as either of Poland's ones, which is true.

Poland's are remarkably solid but there is nothing incredible that would warrant a place in the final.

The spectacular comes from the Swiss away top which has absolutely everything. It's original, it's representative of the country and it would look bloody great at five-a-side.

The Swiss have made it to the final two.

FINAL

Croatia v Switzerland 

UEFA Euro 2016 Final Draw Ceremony

It's all come down to this. This is what it's all about.

Nike v Puma, Croatia v Switzerland for all the marbles.

We genuinely deliberated on this for some time but at the end of the day, it came down to our thinking this...

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What two jerseys would we be more excited to see under the Christmas tree and it took us a mere split second to arrive at a decision.

Croatia's pair of Euro 2016 jerseys will go down in history with some of the most memorable international kits.

All credit to Switzerland for making it this far but our heart was with Croatia from the get-go.

Croatia v Iceland - FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifier: Play-off Second Leg

Congratulations, lads.