Ranked: Adidas' away kits for World Cup
Seeing new football jerseys is often as exciting as football itself. Some people mark the days waiting for them to hit the market. It's fair to say Adidas matched expectation with their recent batch of away kits for Russia 2018. Evoking a retro spirit, these nine away strips are beauties to behold. Ranking them may just be the hardest task this writer has undertaken in a long while. Harder than choosing between a flat white or cappuccino, between IPA or the delicate twists of San Miguel, between a night out with the lads or a night in with FIFA. You get the picture.
So without further ado...
9. Sweden [see above]
A decent enough attempt. Slick blue and eye-catching yellow. Paired alongside some light-wash jeans, or if you're feeling adventurous, some beige chinos. Chuck in some Adidas Gazelles and you're sorted, mate.
It feels so very wrong putting this delightful number in penultimate position. Black and yellow were just meant to be paired together in a football kit. And that dash of red, beautiful.
This one is for you hipsters in round glasses and floppy hair. You'll probably complement it with a bracelet you picked up during your Gap Year and that means so much to you. Who would blame you? Looks good.
It feels jarring to praise something Russian related. Oh well, this is football, right? Politics doesn't play, does it? I think the allure of this one is that I shouldn't like it. The circles in the background are somewhat annoying, but also devilishly hypnotic. You will not expel our spies, erm sorry, diplomats.
Clean and elegant. It's a v-neck but who cares when it's this handsome? Enjoy with a cold IPA and some olives. Maybe even throw in some exotic nuts if you're feeling promiscuous.
Off-white, slightly tarnished, it feels old-school. You could spill some beer on this and no one would notice. Red trim complemented by a mosaic-like background makes the shirt. You can wear it five-aside on Friday, wash - or not, depending on your hygiene - and wear to a casual social event on Saturday.
A striking blue. A deep ocean kind of blue. The kind of blue that has you dreaming of sun and carelessness. Very nicely done, Adidas.
Wow. Some critics have lamentably labelled it a training shirt. Maybe they're right. Who cares when it's this nice? Retro oozes out of this. Even if Argentina inevitably stutter, leaving Lionel Messi without a prized World Cup, at least they'll look good crashing out. That is if they play 'away'.
A controversial choice for runner-up given the result was reversed in the Confederations Cup last summer and because social media buzz suggests this is the nicest design. And boy it is a nice look. Teal is a lovely colour; the zig zag background is distinctly old-school; the thick white trimmings are bold. Should Germany be allowed to retain the World Cup simply because of this kit? I would not object.
Yes. Yes. Just yes. Three dazzling thick stripes across the midriff. It's all this kit needed. Minimalism done right. Why haven't you already bought it?