Based in Galway, Ireland – Dubliner Paul Behan is Owner & Founder of http://www.footballkitbox.com, a subscription service for football kits from around the world.
With the World Cup already under way in Russia, Paul has chosen his top 11 World Cup jerseys of the modern era.
1. Mexico Home 1970
This hipsters choice was the first and only foray into the football kit world for Levi’s, the iconic jeans brand. A simple but stylish number worn with a swagger here by Leonardo Cuellar who wouldn’t look out of place strolling down the Long Walk in Galway or Temple Bar in Dublin nowadays. A timeless classic!
2. Argentina Home 1986
Diego Maradona, Argentina
What would a World Cup be without the famous blue and white stripes of Argentina? I could pick any number of their shirts for inclusion but the 1986 Le Coq Sportif version with its broad stripes and round neck collar is a work of art. It has ensured is place in sporting history being worn by arguably the greatest player ever – Diego Armando Maradona
3. West Germany 1990
West Germany 1990
The top of most peoples list! Groundbreaking when released and timeless today. This was Germany’s first move away from the traditional all white shirt with the country’s flag splashed across the front geometrically. A design masterclass from Adidas!
4. Colombia Away 1990
They have revived this design for Russia 2018 to pay homage to this 1990 version but have only done it for the home shirt! The new blue away isn’t a patch on this spectacular reverse edition. Here is the style icon Valderrama with the second best haircut on the list!
5. USA Away 1994
USA Away 1994
A controversial entry – the ‘denim’ stars away shirt (the home shirt was the stripes). The organisers of USA94 made some epic blunders trying to convince the American Public of ‘Soccerball’ (Diana Ross taking a penalty like an England player comes to mind!) but this one they got bang on the money. Awesome!
6. Republic of Ireland Away 1994
Ireland Away 1994
The second most famous Irish moment of USA94 after Houghton scoring against the Azzurri was the infamous Aldo v Yellow Hat Man on the sideline of the Mexico game (the incident even has it own song
. A snarling Aldridge looks resplendent in this beautiful white number that had 3 fading bands on the front and a subtle crest feature throughout. The best ever Ireland World Cup shirt (so good in fact my own one was stolen in Spain in 1997 – at least he had taste wha?)
7. Jamaica Home 1998
Jamaica Home 1998
The Reggae Boyz only World Cup appearance was in France ’98 donning this canary yellow mosaic number by Kappa. The away shirt was equally impressive and the Boyz rocked the style stakes that year. Sadly, that didn’t do them any favours on the pitch and they went home at the group stages never to be seen at this level since.
8. Japan GK Home 1998
Its not often Rene Higuita or Jorge Campos would be outdone on the wild jersey front, but this dragon- flame cracker from Asics looks like it belongs in Tattoo Parlour or a Biker’s dive bar. It didn’t have the intended effect though. Japan went home with 0 points!
9. France Home 2014
France Home 2014
Typically French, chic and tailored the 2014 offering from Nike was recently voted top of GQ’s World Cup Shirt List. It’s easy to see why, a darker shade of blue and a daring stylish cut make this one of the all time greats.
10. Brazil Home 2014
Brazil Home 2014
The iconic yellow shirt, blue shorts and white socks of the Seleção are synonymous with the World Cup but did you know they wore many different colour shirts up until the 50’s? After losing the World Cup in the Maracana in 1950 to Uruguay, a national competition was held to decide the new kit featuring the colours of the national flag and they have worn the winning entry since! With so many brilliant Brazil kits it’s hard to choose the best but we’ve stumped for the perfect mix of minimal and modern displayed in the 2014 edition – the year football was supposed to be coming home until Germany not only spoiled the party but trashed the whole house!
11. Nigeria Home 2018
If the World Cup was based on style Nigeria would have won it already.The training gear, the tracksuits even the ‘suits’ the Nigerians rocked up to Russia in are outstanding and outrageous at the same time. The ‘feathered’ design pays homage to ‘The Super Eagles ‘ of 1994. Already sold out worldwide, this kit will go down in World Cup history.