WORLD CUP JERSEYS
World Cup jerseys are on display every second of every game. What’s not always on display is the story behind the jerseys. So for this year’s World Cup, we did the digging and got pictures, stories, and all the little details that make World Cup jerseys so special. We’ll go group by group and detail the story behind the jersey and why it’s special for each country so you can be the smartest person at your World Cup party.
Be sure to check out our guide to the differences between authentic and replica jerseys before you buy as well.
The Story – The 2018 Russian home jersey pays homage to Russia’s greatest soccer success in 1988 when they won the gold medal at the Olympics defeating Brazil in the final. The away jersey has a sublimated graphic on it and is meant to reflect the confidence of a flourishing, ambitious nation.
Why its special – That 1988 gold medal was a big deal for the then Soviet Union and adidas have replicated that jersey with a modern spin. The players and fans will definitely be aware of this when wearing it.
The Story – The Saudi Arabian home jersey pays homage to the 1994 World Cup team while the away jersey is the same green used in the country’s flag. The team is primarily comprised of players from the domestic league so there is a huge amount of pride and local representation through out the squad.
Why its special – That 1994 team that inspired this year’s home jersey made the last 16 of the World Cup in the USA. They were knocked out by Holland, but it was an extraordinary run for a nation not expected to accomplish much at that tournament.
The Story – The Egypt home and away jerseys have been met with disappointment from fans who were hoping for more creativity. Both World Cup jerseys are standard adidas templates and don’t seem to have much in the way of a story or national identity with the exception of the federation crest.
Why its special – While the jerseys may not be special, Egypt are the most successful team in Africa having won the African Cup of Nations a record 7 times. This will be their 3rd World Cup and Mo Salah gives them hope as a top class player.
The Story – The 2018 Uruguay home jersey features a “watermark” of the Sol de Atlántida monument in Uruguay along with the classic Silverlakes blue color. The away jersey is a standard Puma template with the federation crest on it.
Why its special – The home jersey in particular has a huge taste of Uruguay with the most notable being the hashtag #ELEQUIPOQUENOSUNE being placed in the underside of the bottom of the shirt. It translates to “the team who unites us” and will no doubt inspire pride for each player that puts it on.
The Story – The home jersey is a celebration of Portugal’s 2016 European Championship with gold accents throughout as a nod to their success. The away jersey is all about the future and celebrates Portugal’s exploratory spirit and maritime history with small green compass roses adorning the shirt.
Why its special – The 2016 European Championship is the only major trophy in the country’s history and confidence is brimming with Cristiano Ronaldo at the height of his powers. The home jersey’s celebration of that title is incredibly meaningful to the nation.
The Story – The home jersey is an updated version inspired by the one worn in the 1994 World Cup when Spain lost in the quarter-finals to Italy. The away jersey has a subtle blue design worked into it and it is that same famous blue that the most recent Spanish championship teams wore at the Euros and 2010 World Cup.
Why its special – Everything about these two World Cup jerseys is remembering the successes of the past as Spain are desperate to get back to the period of dominance they enjoyed from 2008 to 2012. The 1994 jersey inspiration was big because Italy represented a constant foe that Spain couldn’t beat until they did in Euro 2008. The blue in the away jersey is a big reference to the jerseys worn by many Spanish teams in the past and specifically the Championship winning 2012 team.
The Story – The Morocco home and away World Cup jerseys have been delayed in an agreement between adidas and the Moroccan FA for as long as possible because forgeries are a huge problem in the country. Definitely a unique situation.
The Story – Still unreleased with a few months until the World Cup. It is expected that adidas will make their World Cup jerseys once again.
The Story – The France home and away jersey were made to be an absolute representation of the country’s identity while using its history of elegant style in the design. France’s national pride is shown in the flag and that is evident in both jerseys as the Blue, White, and Red are worked in with style.
Why its special – The subtle touches on these jerseys are what really make them. On the home jersey, the button on the collar has the National Motto Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité inscribed on it which means liberty, equality, fraternity. Both jerseys have “Nos differences nous unissent” on the inside collar which means our differences unite us. These touches really embody French culture and style and come to life in each jersey.
The Story – This year’s home jersey is inspired by a rally cry given by the 205 Socceroo’s captain for every fan to create a sea of gold. This was just before a critical match that saw the team qualify for a major competition for the first time in 32 years. The away jersey sees Australia’s traditional green on show so both national colors are represented at the World Cup.
Why its special – Australia’s uniforms always have gold and green, but the home uniform is usually not ALL gold. Paying homage to that special day in 2005, the shorts, socks, and shirt are all gold as they hope to muster some of that fighting spirit and take the sea of gold on the field.
The Story – Peru haven’t been to the World Cup in 36 years so there is a ton of excitement around their return. The World Cup jerseys have the traditional stripe across the chest along with gold detailing on the home shirt for added elegance.
Why its special – The jersey is inspired by traditional satin flags of the past and the stripe that goes across the chest actually continues across the back of the jersey as well which is pretty unique. With the excitement of a first World Cup in 36 years, Peru might shock a few people this year.
The World Cup jerseys have yet to be released from Hummel in the run up to the World Cup.
Why its special – Losing in the previous World Cup final is still fresh in the minds of Argentinians and Messi is only missing a major international success from his sparkling career. The team is stocked full of talent from front to back and they will like their chances regardless of the opponent.
The Story – The home and away jerseys are all about flying the flag high for Iceland. Icelandic blue dominates the home jersey and also features in the away shirt. The words Fyrir Ísland are emblazoned on the inside of the neck which means for Iceland. That says it all.
Why its special – This is Iceland’s first ever World Cup tournament and the thunder clap will be ever present in Russia after their huge success in Euro 2016 where they knocked out England on the way to the quarter-finals. With the pride of the nation behind them, another deep run would not be a shock.
The Story – The 2018 home and away jerseys are all about being bold and in your face much like the nation’s soccer. The home jersey is always checkered like the Croatian flag, but this year’s jersey has the checks 2-3 times bigger than in the past.
Why its special – This is the first time they’ve used a black and midnight blue color scheme on the away jersey and represents a bold change.
The Story – Nigeria’s contemporary culture is audacious, fast, and stylish. Nike sought to design their jerseys and capture that same young spirit while paying homage to the traditions of the past as well. The away jersey honors the past in traditional green like every Nigerian team before them has worn. The home jersey is inspired by the 1994 jersey that was worn for Nigeria’s first ever World Cup.
Why its special – If you lined up every jersey made for this year’s World Cup, the Nigerian home jersey would stand out as unique among them. It is fashionable, vibrant, and bold and represents the Nigerian spirit. If Nigeria have a good tournament, this jersey could become legendary.
The Story – Brazil’s home and away jerseys both pay homage to the past in their own subtle ways. The home jersey is the exact same color yellow as their 1970 jerseys when World Cup games were first broadcast on TV in color (they also won it that year). The away jersey has a tessellating star pattern in it that pays homage to 1958 which was the first time Brazil wore blue and also their very first World Cup trophy.
Why its special – This year’s Brazil team is stacked and Nike went all the way to Brazil’s football museum in São Paulo just to make sure they got the home jersey’s color right. Brazil are early favorites to win it all and these jerseys could be shown in highlight reels for many years to come.
The Story – The home jersey is inspired by the topography of the mountainous country and features a unique design to compliment the traditional red and white. The away jersey is pretty plain with the exception of the word SUISSE on the nape of the neck.
Why its special – The home jersey has a truly unique design with the topographical inspiration and also has a special version of the national flag on the inside of the neck. It’s a unique design on a traditionally plain shirt.
The Story – Costa Rica will go to the World Cup in classic style boasting their traditional colors. The launch slogan for these shirts was “Declare your DNA” and subtle DNA line patterns have been worked into the front of each shirt.
Why its special – Costa Rica qualified for the World Cup for the first time in 1990 and this will be only their 5th World Cup as a nation. While the jerseys themselves may not stand out, the country will be buzzing and hoping to match or improve on their 2014 quarter-finals appearance.
The Story – Serbia recently signed with Puma after being with Umbro previously and there wasn’t a huge amount of time to put all those little details in that make a jersey special. The home jersey is based off of a standard Puma template and the away jersey is as well with the exception of the stripes of the flag running down the front center of the jersey. There is also a small Serbian flag on the back of the neck.
Why its special – Serbia failed to qualify in 2014 and haven’t been out of the group stage since 1998. Group E is wide open for them this year with only Brazil standing out as a clear favorite. If they get to the knockout rounds, it anyone’s game and they could be poised to upset a few teams along the way.
The Story – This year’s Germany jerseys are all about the 1990 World Cup winning side. Both the home and away jersey take inspiration from the 1990 jerseys that were worn for Germany’s 3rd World Cup title.
Why its special – There hasn’t been a repeat champion since Pele did it with Brazil in 1962. In fact, there’s only ever been 2 nations to win the World Cup back-to-back. Germany has a legit chance this year with talent through out the side. It’s clear adidas wanted to recall past triumphs in hopes that these jerseys become associated with winning World Cups.
The Story – Both the home and away jersey are all about the strength and pride of the nation. The words “”Soy México” run across the back of the neck on both jerseys and the national colors of red, white, and green are the center pieces of each jersey.
Why its special – North America only has one country in the World Cup this year and it is Mexico. There will be a special amount of attention given to them across all the major networks as they become the “adopted” team of American media
The Story – The home jersey combines the jacquard print pattern of the 1988 home jersey with the collar of the 1992 home jersey for a modern take on some retro classics. The away jersey is a standard adidas template in Swedish colors but looks fantastic.
Why its special – The early 90s was a successful time for Swedish football with them hosting the European Championships in 92 and finishing 3rd in that tournament and the 94 World Cup. They will be dreaming of past successes having eliminated Italy in a playoff game to qualify for this year’s World Cup.
The Story – The home and away jerseys are definitely in contrast to each other. The home jersey is a simple red with the black federation crest contrasting nicely to give a classic clean look. The away shirt has a speed blur red and blue print on the front that has a resemblance to both the Taegeuk symbol and a tiger’s claw mark.
Why its special – The home jersey might be one that gets lost in the memory but the away jersey is a unique design that catches the eye. Korea are close to home with the World Cup in Russia. If they can recapture their from from 2002 when they hosted the tournament, there could be some big surprises in store for Korea fans.
The Story – Belgium are entering a golden age where they genuinely have World Class talent throughout their squad. The away top in particular points to this with its all gold color which is unique in the country’s history. The home shirt is a classic remake of the 1984 shirt and looks retro and stylish.
Why its special – Belgium are no longer a dark horse with some of the best players in the world in their squad. adidas recognize this and have given them a golden away shirt that is begging to be worn in some highlight reels. There is no better highlight than lifting the World Cup at the end of the tournament.
The Story – The Panama home and away kits are from a new template by manufacturer New Balance. The home jersey in particular imbues the passion of Panama into every thread. The traditional red and white has a subtle checkered pattern that takes its inspiration from the national bird’s spread wings. On the inside collar are the words from the National Anthem ‘Alcanzamos por fin la victoria’ which mean we finally reached victory.
Why its special – This is the first time Panama have ever reached the World Cup tournament and these jerseys will go down in history regardless of results. National pride will run high and the jerseys have been designed with this in mind.
The Story – Tunisia’s home and away kits are built off a standard Uhlsport template with the colors swapped for home and away. White with red trim for home and red with white trim for the away jersey. There is not much in the way of innovation or unique details unfortunately.
Why its special – The jerseys themselves are not special at all, but Tunisia is a country finding itself again in soccer after failing to qualify for the 2014 World Cup. That broke a streak of 3 consecutive qualifications. The country has never been out of the group stage, but they are looking for a resurgence and the 2018 World Cup is the perfect place to start.
The Story – This year’s home and away tops are all about quintessential England. The traditional colors are in place but there are small details like the English rose and St. George’s Cross that call out the national identity. The type face on the player’s names is inspired by fonts used in the underground and overground transport systems. These shirts are England through and through.
Why its special – The jerseys themselves are in line with past looks but the team itself is brimming with young exciting talent that could make England one to watch this tournament. The sting of elimination from Euro 16 at the hands of Iceland will still be fresh in player’s minds and manager Gareth Southgate’s men will be well aware of the successes this past summer from the U20, U19, and U21 England national teams.
The Story – Poland is a team that is very much on the rise and this year’s home and away jerseys reflect that. The diagonal dash on the front of the jerseys that divides the two tones is meant to signify the eagle cutting through the competition. After Euro 2016’s quarter-finals run, confidence is high in the group heading into the World Cup.
Why its special – The 2018 World Cup is the first time in 12 years that Poland have appeared in the tournament and there is genuine expectation amongst the squad. Their group is very competitive and a good performance there could see them in the last 16 where it’s anyone’s game.
The Story – The Senegal away jersey is the only one released thus far and features a subtle lion graphic on the front of the jersey. Senegal have the nickname the Lions of Teranga so this is a nice detail on an otherwise standard top.
Why its special – Senegal haven’t qualified for the World Cup since 2002. They have a lot of talent in their squad and are led by Sadio Mané so they will not be an easy game for any team. There will be a lot of excitement in the nation for this team and they have a competitive group that could see anyone get out of it.
The Story – The Colombia teams of the 1990s were enthralling with their attacking ways and adidas drew on that as inspiration for the home shirt. The away shirt references the history of the country and the traditional dress from early on in its history. The words “Unidos por un Pais” are at the back of the collar which means United by a Country.
Why its special – Following their quarter-finals run in 2014, there is genuine excitement from the fans and players. They have some game changers in the squad with James Rodriguez and Radamel Falcao able to spark a game to life with one swing of their leg.
The Story – The home jersey is a beautiful modern jersey with plenty of historical details. Known for its craftsmanship, the print on the front mimics Sashiko stitching technique and the the inside back neck has a logo that blends elements of the 5 different kits Japan wore at their 5 straight World Cup appearances. The away kit is a sharply designed change up to the home kit and while it doesn’t boast the subtle references to Japanese history, it still has design features such as the EQT collar and the pattern on the upper left chest.
Why its special – Japan had never qualified for a World Cup finals tournament before 1998. Since that qualification, they have qualified every year making this the 6th straight tournament. They have never got further than the round of 16, but it is an amazing accomplishment nonetheless. This team will be desperate to go further than ever before and they have players in their squad playing for some of the top teams in Europe so there is no shortage of talent.