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World Cup: Rating the Best (and Worst) Jerseys at Qatar 2022
With all World Cup kits now on the table, we rank the jerseys of the African teams and add in some international favorites too.
Host nation Qatar awaits the gathering of thirty-two teams to kick off the 2022 World Cup on November 20th. FIFA’s flagship event is known for its spectacular parade of football stars, both old and promising, competing for the prized World Cup trophy.
As is the case every World Cup season, kit reveals for qualifying teams often generate huge buzz for the tournament, and the major brands designing them get some promotion along the way, regardless of how their products are received. There’s already been much discontent from fans—backlash directed towards sportswear giants like Nike and Adidas for sticking to the same design concepts.
German manufacturers Puma are dressing three of the five African teams at the 2022 World Cup. Not that it needs pointing out, but Nigeria isn't in the competition this year. It would have been nice to reference its 2018 jersey, an explosive hit from Nike.
For Qatar 2022, we have seen official kits embracing classic color schemes and designs from their countries, as well as a slew of let-downs. With all representing kits now on the table, we rank the jerseys of the African teams and some international favorites too.
Having missed out in 2018, Ghana booked their place at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar after forcing arch rivals Nigeria to a 1-1 draw to qualify on the away goals rule. Turning to Puma as their long-running technical supplier, the kit giant was inspired by Ghana’s footballing past and created a retro look for their home kit.
The shirt features a white background and a v-neck, with Ghana’s flag colors appearing on the sleeve cuffs. Positioned on the chest is a black star. It doesn’t score excitement with fans, nor does the away kit. While there are attempts to be minimalist, the end product looks too spare and unmemorable.
Senegal may just be Africa’s best hope at the World Cup, with talisman Sadio Mané included just in time for the final team selection despite suffering an injury. The home kit from Puma arrives with a prominent chevron design across the chest, depicting the vibrant colors of red, yellow, and green from Senegal’s national flag.
Against a white base, the same colors appear on the v-neck and sleeve cuffs. Like Ghana’s away kit, Senegal’s away shirt has the Puma’s trademark box design in front. It’s repetitive and lacks creative imagination, making Puma’s involvement with kit making for these countries questionable.
Cameroon became the first African team to make the quarterfinals of the World Cup in 1990. At Qatar this year, the Indomitable Lions are seen as the underdogs of Group G (they face Brazil, Serbia and Switzerland).
The unveiling of their kits has been enmeshed in a legal dispute between the Cameroon Football Federation and Le Coq Sportif, after unilaterally terminating their contract with the French kit company. They now patronize English motosports apparel maker One All Sports.
Using the classic color of green as a background, a darker green graphic appears from the top of the shirt and towards the chest, where there’s a stuffing of logos: that of the Cameroon Football Federation (Fecafoot), a lion crest to represent the Indomitable Lions, and One All Sports. The shirt features a red collar and green, red, and yellow trims—colors from the Cameroonian flag.
We have seen Cameroon push boundaries before, the notoriety their sleeveless kit gave them at their 2002 AFCON outing, which was kicked against by FIFA ahead of the World Cup that year. But in 2022, their kit offerings feel quite disappointing.
Its sixth time qualifying for the World Cup and sending notable names like Chelsea’s Hakim Ziyech and Paris Saint German’s Achraf Hakimi, Morocco might fancy their chances of making it to the round of 16 for the first time after 1996.
Debuting at Morocco’s international friendly against the United States back in June, the home kit released by Puma sells back nostalgia, honoring the 1998 Atlas Lions team at the World Cup in France. Using an all-red base from the flag of the North African country, forest-green contrasts nicely on the kit’s v-neck and extended sleeve cuffs. The Puma logo appears at the center of the shirt, while “Morocco” is printed in Arabic on the kit’s nape.
Always burned in the group stages, Tunisia don’t come with great odds this time around for the World Cup. But there’s something about their new kit that inspires hope. Designed by Kappa, the home shirt arrives in familiar red, featuring a tonal graphic on the front depicting the Ksour Essef Cuirass, an ancient piece of armor that was discovered in Tunisia in 1909.
Unlike its 2018 kit offering at the World Cup, raglan sleeves are an interesting update for the country’s exploits in Qatar. It’s finished off with white trims along the hems and sleeve cuffs, with Kappa logos appearing in white on the sleeves and chest.
The Three Lions had booked their place at the World Cup after thrashing San Marino 10-0 around this time last year. Although England has churned iconic jerseys in the past—Umbro’s reversible shirt for the 2002 World Cup is timeless—the official kit from Nike for the Qatar World Cup did leave a trail of mixed reactions from fans.
Sticking with England’s classic white color combined with a cool gradient of navy blue and sky blue. The colors are repeated on the cuffs. Fans love the away version though, with red as the main background, navy blue trims, and a polo collar.
After failing to qualify in 2018, the U.S. will return to the World Cup tournament in Qatar with something to prove. But the kits made by Nike for their outing have generated divisive comments amongst fans and pundits, considering there have been better designs in U.S. football history.
The home shirt is an all-white base, sleeve accents, and the USA crest front and center. The away counterpart is in bold blue, with a tie-dye stonewash design that has left many confused or indifferent. All things considered, the kits fall quite short of expectations.
With Cristiano Ronaldo helping Portugal defeat North Macedonia via the play-offs to qualify for the World Cup — and his current woes with Manchester United — all eyes will be on the star player and if he can lift the Portuguese team out of the doldrums to clinch their first World Cup. In Qatar, they will be wearing a Nike-made home shirt with a diagonal two-tone design of red and green, with golden yellow logos across the chest.
It feels like the latest incarnation of the 2002 World Cup home kit, with its red and yellow stripes on the red base. According to official reports, the bold diagonal contrast of red and green is meant to mimic the national flag being wrapped around the body. It’s a fair contender in this ranking.
With a crop of young attacking talent, tournament favorite Brazil would be looking for their sixth World Cup triumph in Qatar. The Selecao will look stunning in their Nike-manufactured kits, the first batch modeled by stars like Philippe Coutinho and Alisson Becker and was sold out in an hour.
The design of the home shirt embraces the classic touches seen on the 2002 Nike kit for the World Cup in Japan and South Korea: the famous yellow, green stripes, crew neck. But on closer look, the kit is rejuvenated by a jaguar motif on the fabric. Jaguars are the largest cat species in the Americans which, according to Nike, represents the unstoppable grit of more than 200 million in the South American nation.
The jaguar pattern looks more vibrant on the blue away shirt, depicted in a popping shade of green on the sleeves. Regardless of your allegiance, Brazil’s kit for the World Cup is covetable.
Argentina should scale through the group stage as one of the tournament’s big boys, facing Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Poland in Group C. Their home jersey for the 2022 World Cup, designed by Adidas, gives retro vibes with the famous stripes in white and baby blue. It features the new Adidas logo, subtly tweaked, on the chest along with the three black stripes across the shoulders. The cuffs are trimmed in black. Should Argentina win the World Cup, this kit would be cemented in national archival glory.
Reigning champions France will hope to win the competition for the third time in Qatar, after their incredible 2018 campaign in Russia. Their home jersey from Nike uses a midnight blue color way combined with gold logos across the chest. The mock collar is a standout detail, along with a subtle button at the front and raglan sleeves. All things considered, it’s a sleek design worthy of the defending champions.
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