Kylian Mbappé in Les Bleus blue. Ruud Gullit in graduated orange. Spain’s golden generation in regal red … football is always the star of a football tournament, but you might say that the kits get an assist. That’s true, once again, for Euro 2020 – perhaps even more so because we have had to wait an extra year to see what the 24 teams will be wearing across a month of matches. With more than 50 kits to study (home, away and the occasional third strip), there’s more variety on display than a season’s worth of fashion shows. From the insistence that a polo shirt-style top is a good idea (it’s not) to patterns that recall 1987 (definitely a good thing), here are 10 kits that will provide extra talking points for pundits – actual and armchair – this tournament.
Some have compared this pattern to tyre tracks but art fans might interpret them as a nod to abstract expressionism. Extra points for a crest that has some retro cool about it. A bold and unusual choice that has the potential to become a future classic.
Verdict Could be a contender in the latter stages of the style tournament.
Croatia’s red-and-white checkerboard home kit is a longstanding classic, and the team wore a striking away kit in the same pattern for the World Cup finals in 2018. For 2020, the red and white remains classy but the away kit isn’t great. With the black and grey squares reduced in size, Luka Modric and co could be mistaken for seats on a train carriage.
Verdict Out in the groups.
The Tartan Army might have just qualified for their first international tournament in 22 years, but their ambitions are writ large with their home kit. The usual blue has been given a smart tie dye stripe. The result strikingly resembles the kit that France won the World Cup in three years ago.
Verdict Judging by kit alone, future champions surely?
Portugal might have won the last Euros but their toothpaste green away kit earned little admiration from fashion circles. That has changed this tournament. The chunky green, red and black stripes on a teal-tint jersey is up there with other elite stripe-centred teams including Germany, France and Scotland.
Verdict A strong contender.
Germany’s kit peaked way back in 1988, with a zig zag design so popular it was referenced for the shirts worn by 2018’s ill-fated World Cup side. This year’s is a little more subdued – but the white shirt with black stripes, and flag-like sleeve details are chic enough to distract from any Joachim Löw nose-picking.
Verdict A classy choice, likely to make the latter stages.
Switzerland’s red home kit and white away kit are now a familiar sight at international tournaments. But they’re boldly switching it up this year – with the addition of some fancy pastel lattice patterns on the away. With pastels on trend this summer, Granit Xhaka and co will gain fashion points.
Verdict Worthy of a runners-up medal.
Finland have an eclectic kit history – Arsenal fans will be interested to see their 1988 shirts, which look very similar to the pattern on the Gunners’ cult bruised banana kit. But the decision to make the cross of the crest the main event on their home shirt this year is a fail, closer to an error at the printers than a style statement.
Verdict Packing their bags early.
The addition of a collar and buttons on any kit is a questionable trend – one that afflicts Finland (away), The Netherlands (away) and Portugal (home) this tournament. England’s away kit is particularly unpleasant thanks to the combination of collar and buttons with a repeated pattern of terrifying warped lions. We’ll be sticking to the usual three, thanks.
Verdict It’s not coming home.
Group A is dominated by red home kits – Switzerland, Turkey and Wales. Gareth Bale and team will wear an Adidas shirt that could be mistaken for the one worn by Spain. That’s if you don’t notice the choice stripes on the sleeves, of course. This is a design that’s all about the detail.
Verdict Through to the knockout stages.
They are predicted to head home early but Slovakia can take heart in their fashion-approved away kit. The blotchy camo pattern could just as easily find itself on a duvet and pillow set from the 80s. And, for the Depop generation, that means it wins every time.
Verdict Style champions.