The 100-day countdown to the 2018 FIFA World Cup has begun. Despite issues of stadium readiness, logistical problems and potentially low ticket sales, Russia has finalised their preparations and are ready to welcome the world. 2018 marks the 21st running of what is arguably the world’s most exciting sporting event. This year, there will be 32 teams competing for glory; with every game being broadcast or streamed live to millions of patriots and sports fans around the world.
31 of the 32 teams qualified for the tournament through various qualification events. As the host country, Russia gained automatic qualification. Of the 32 teams, only 20 will be making back-to-back appearances from the 2014 FIFA World Cup, including Germany who are the current defending Champions. Two new teams will take to the field this year, with both Iceland and Panama never having played in a World Cup before.
The Hopes of a Nation
The 2018 Soccer World Cup will kick off on the 14th of June and run to the 15th of July. Over the course of a month, 64 matches will be played across 12 venues in 11 cities in European Russia. Each team at the World Cup represents their country and carries the hopes and dreams of the nation on their shoulders; so, it is not surprising that what the teams are wearing is of great concern to those of us supporting our heroes.
With millions of viewers all focused on the players and the jerseys, sponsors have been clamouring to get a piece of the action. Big names like Adidas, Nike, Puma and Umbro will be well represented on some of the biggest teams, but there won’t be any other sponsorship branding from online casino companies punting their slot machines, or any other commercial ventures.
So, what can we expect to see from the top rated teams this year?
As reigning world champs, Germany have perhaps the biggest spotlight on their kit for 2018. Fans will be happy to know that their jersey for the completion pays homage to their 1990 World Cup victory when they won in Italy. The classic black and white look is back, with dropped shoulder cut lines highlighting a gold World Cup winner badge inside the collar.
Lionel Messi and his team may have just scrapped through qualification, but they still have a nation to represent. The two-time winners will be wanting to go all the way this year, after falling to Germany in Brazil in 2014. In celebration of AFA’s 125-year anniversary the team will wear the iconic blue and white striped shirt, dotted with subtle laurel leaves, an important symbol from the country’s coat of arms.
Brazil has also had a complete makeover, while still having a throwback to the 1980’s. The newly revealed kit has its classic yellow design with green trimmings. Designed by Nike, the shirt has a distinctive retro style with the iconic badge flush against the left breast and five stars above.
Designed by Puma, Italy has a more modern kit design, with the iconic blue front, white shading, ribbing and sloping sleeves down to the middle of the biceps. At the end of the left-hand sleeve is a black stripe with the Italian flag facing out. The Italian badge will sit flush against the left breast with the four stars sitting proudly above the badge. The famous prancing Puma will be in full view on the right-hand breast, completing the ultra-modern look.
Uruguay is yet another team bearing the Puma logo. With similar modern stylings to the Italian shirt, Uruguay has gone with a classic sky-blue colouring with a black lined V-neck and mid-length arms. The rib area also features striping and on the front is a pale white image of a sun representing the famous ‘Un sol para Atlántida’ monument designed by celebrated Uruguayan artist Carlos Páez. The badge is in its custom place on the left breast capped with a line of four stars.
Now we know what the top teams are wearing, we’ll have to wait and see who is dressed for success!