Huw Davies turns FFT fashion critic to rate and slate the threads coming to a screen near you soon. And oh, isn't he wrong...
Kits! Wonderful World Cup kits. Well, some of them are. We’ve gone through all 64 home and away strips that’ll be worn at Russia 2018 and ranked them according to the Dulux colour chart. No, wait – that was the rejected suggestion. In fact, we’ve ranked them according to how good they look, worst first.
FFT feels duty-bound to warn you: this year’s collection features some fairly uninspiring efforts (fun fact: 40% of the kits are plain white). So, save your lust for the drop-dead gorgeous exceptions, because we have a Sports Direct van-load of £5 gym tops to tick off before we get there.
There’s a decidedly old-school theme to some of the World Cup 2018 kits, which puts several of them high up our rankings. Not all of them, however...
Where possible, we've even made it easy for you to buy them. Just click on the team name or picture...
64. Belgium, home
Not then, not now, not ever. Retro can be brilliant – but not when the original kit was crap. The Red Devils will at least be more red, following their overly black number at Euro 2016; however, they’ll still be wearing a design that looks as if it was knitted by Thibaut Courtois’ nan.
63. Japan, away
Grey shirt + white shorts + white socks = apparent laundry disaster. “Aw, mum!”
62. Serbia, home
This exceedingly dull Powerleague-ish top leads us to an associated Puma controversy...
61 & 60. Switzerland, away & Uruguay, away
So, this World Cup will have a lot of white kits. And while Adidas, Nike, Umbro, New Balance, Hummel and Uhlsport are all guilty to different extents of putting out an uninspiring plain white T, the worst culprits are the otherwise-sound types at Puma. Not only did they release extremely similar white shirts for 10 different nations, they announced all 10 together, as if trying to emphasise the homogeneity.
Only four of these 10 will be at Russia 2018, and two feature a design that makes things a bit more interesting. Switzerland and Uruguay weren’t so lucky.
59. Japan, home
Adidas, why do you hate Japan so? This is meant to look like samurai armour. It doesn’t.
58. Spain, away
This is, apparently, ‘halo blue’ (i.e. off-white) and red (i.e. orange). Colour us unconvinced.
57. Morocco, away
The Moroccan FA delayed their kits’ reveal in order to stymie touts with their replicas, so it’s unfortunate that the official versions wound up resembling replicas anyway.
56. Costa Rica, away
STOP. MAKING. WHITE. AWAY KITS.
55. Saudi Arabia, away
Well, it’s not white, although that’s only because Saudi Arabia’s home kit is white. No, this is just green. Too green. With matching shirts, shorts and socks, and nothing to offset the principal colour, the Saudi players could blend into the pitch – or have Marvel’s next CGI epic filmed on their torsos.
54. Australia, home
Though it’s good to see the Socceroos dropping their green shorts (as it were) and wearing all gold instead, their fans will be thankful that Russia’s cooler climate means they can wear jackets to cover the shirt sleeves. In a classic case of something sounding better in a pitch meeting than it ends up looking, the wave motif was inspired by Australia’s triumphant 2006 team “requesting the support of every fan to create a sea of gold”. You tried, Nike, that’s the important thing.
53. Iran, away
“Carl? Carl! People are saying our Iran away kit is boring. Is there anything we can add to jazz it up a bit? What’s that you’re wearing?”
“This? Oh, my nephew gave it to me. He went to the zoo yesterday and got this sticker of a jaguar for putting a quid in the fundraising box.”
52. Egypt, away
If you can’t play like Germany, dress like Germany.