The 2018 World Cup was one of the most thrilling in the past decade, and one of the things we love about the event are the football kits worn by fans and players alike, which is why we've decided to look into the history and significance of some of the most recognisable sets.

More than just a symbol of patriotism and which team you're supporting, the research and design behind football kits include historical, political and global references. As well as national pride, they represent symbolic moments in sports history.

So, here are 7 football kits and the history of its evolution through sports history:


France - Les Bleus 


Photo: Courtesy of FIFA

The tricolore—blue, white and red—has always been present in France’s national team kits and fan gear, and they've flaunted these colours with pride since 1904. Although usually sporting a vibrant blue shirt with white and red details, France has also sported all white ensembles with red and blue accents.The kits have been relatively consistent over the years—blue shirts, white shorts with red socks—with lines and coloured collars being the only major differences since 1958. "Allez les bleus," as they say. 

The manufacturers of France’s national kits have fluctuated over the years, starting with Le Coq Sportif until 1972, Adidas until 2011 and, currently, Nike. The current contract with Nike was valued at €320 million over 7 years, making France’s blue shirt the most expensive kit in the history of football.


Croatia - Vatreni


Photo: Courtesy of FIFA

Croatia’s red and white chequered patterned shirt is definitely one of the most unique and recognisable kits in football history. Design changes are limited, as they have only been eligible for the World Cup since 1998. 

Their away kits have always been full blue ensembles, similar to the emblematic kit worn by the  French. So the finale of this year’s World Cup was not only a record-breaking match, but also one that featured some of the most classic and unforgettable kits on the field. 


England -  The Three Lions 


England - The Three Lions

With a deep love for all things football, it is no surprise that England's kits are about as iconic as the Union Jack. The national football team’s home colours are white shirts with red accents, navy shorts and white or black socks. Occassionally, an all-white kit will make an appearance.

England's kits have had their fair share of changes; their away kits have been all blue, all grey, and this year, all red. Up until 2013, their national kit suppliers has always been English, from Umbro to Bukta and Admiral. Now, their kit supplier is Nike, an American company with whom they have a 12 year contract which is estimated to be worth £400m.


Belgium - De Rode Duivels


Photo: Courtesy of FIFA

Belgium has had a various national kits throughout the years. There has been an all-white uniform; red and black; red, yellow and black; and the current all-red kit. Their away kit has predominantly been all white, but since the 2000s, their away kits have been either all black, all blue or yellow as seen at this year's World Cup. 

Compared to other national teams listed in this article, Belgium definitely has the most variety when it comes to their kit sponsors, ranging from UK brands like Umbro to American labels such as Nike. Adidas is their current kit supplier. It typically takes 12 months to officialize a kit with any sponsor, this wasn't the case with the Belgium national team. Due to time restraints,  when they signed with Adidas in 2015,  they simply put their logo onto practice kits that were still in development.

Germany - Die Mannschaft


Photo: Courtesy of FIFA

Germany’s national football team has been one of the successful teams in FIFA World Cup History. They are the only team that has been in third place or higher in every decade there was a tournament held since the 1930s, although they weren't as lucky this year.

The team has always been faithful to German manufacturing companies, with Adidas and a subsidiary company Erima—both German brands—being the only manufacturers of their kits since 1954.

Germany’s home kit has always been a white shirt with black shorts and white socks, and is a reference to the 19th century flag of the North German State of Prussia. The new German flag has been incorporated into the old design which now features canary yellow and bright red.


Brazil - Canarinha 


Photo: Courtesy of FIFA

Brazil’s iconic yellow, green and blue kit is not just symbolic of the country’s team, but of national pride. However, this wasn’t always their uniform.

The team kits fluctuated between blue, yellow, green, white, red, you name it—until a competition in 1953 was published in a local newspaper to create a new team kit; the result was yellow to represent the country’s raw wealth, green to represent the country’s fields and forests, and blue to represent the night sky. 

Their second kit also has a great story. In 1958 when playing against  Sweden, whose team also wears yellow, Brazil’s team (who didn’t travel with a second kit) had to last-minute purchase a set of blue shirts and sew on their badges from their home kit. Since then, the iconic blue has been their official away kit.

Argentina - La Albiceleste


Photo: Courtesy of FIFA

Since 1908, the official Argentinian kit has consistently been a white and blue striped shirt paired with black shorts and white or black socks. Yet, this year at the 2018 World Cup, they sported all black for the first time in history.

However, their consistency in aesthetics doesn't translate to their choice of suppliers. Argentina has changed its kit supplier six times since the 1930s, three times reverting back to Adidas, their current kit supplier. In between, they have had their kits manufactured by Gath & Chaves, Le Coq Sportif and Reebok.



See Also: 10 Stylish Footballers Worth Stalking This World Cup

Tags: Sport, History, Soccer, Football