The 2014 FIFA World Cup was one of the most exciting spectacles of sport the world has ever seen. Whether it was watching the Costa Rican National Team take down Europe’s elite or seeing the Germans dismantle the Brazilians on their home turf, you were always in for a surprise when you tuned in for a match.
Throughout the month-long competition we saw the world’s best barrage us with the unthinkable:
But while most fans were dealing with mixed feelings experienced during this wild ride (myself included) I couldn’t help but notice the fluctuation of quality in the uniforms seen on the field. This is why I decided that for my final submission I would critique and redesign the worst uniform of the 2014 World Cup.
But which one is the worst? I had a hard time deciding which one would carry this unfortunate distinction. So, I figured the only way to figure this out would be to start from the top and work my way down, which is why I will be ranking the 2014 World Cup jerseys from best to worst and giving brief reactions to each one. So, without further ado, let’s get this show on the road!
They nailed it. Never before has the orange of Holland stood out so well. The simplicity of the uniform really makes that color pop while using dark blue to complement the orange on the second uniform was an excellent choice. The color-changing pattern is also nice.
Argentina always go with the vertical blue and white stripes and it still works here. The new addition is the dark-blue, darker-blue stripe pattern on the second jerseys. It works extremely well and is one of the best jerseys in the competition.
The French are known to be classy and it’s never been more true than in the case of their most recent soccer jerseys. The off-blue with the white collar is as simple and professional as it gets while the grey stripes are a nice addition to an all-white uniform. These could easily make a case for number one.
The hosts had to look good and did not disappoint. The green and yellow uniform is safe but always looks good. They had a bit more freedom with the second jersey, however, and came up with a three-shaded blue stripe pattern that I would LOVE to see more of in the future.
Uruguay went with the skin-tight Puma jerseys (a look that I really enjoy) and the results were great. The powder blue is a distinct look which is why a simple design works best with it. Unfortunately, the deep-V neck on the white jersey is not needed. A better collar could have put them into the top 4.
Croatia, like so many other nations, have the same design every year, and theirs is one of the best.The checkered pattern makes them stand out more than any other team and the use of this pattern on the shoulders and sleeves of the blue uniform is the perfect design to make sure that jersey is not too simple.
Unlike other nations, Germany wheeled out a completely different jersey from that of their 2010 World Cup campaign. The red mark across the chest may seem forced, but in a way it represents the directness and strength of the Germans. Alternatively, the red and black stripes were something that we have yet to see from the country and it was a very good stylistic choice. Overall, they looked good as they hoisted the trophy.
I don’t think Portugal has gotten enough credit for their first-choice jersey. This one is exceptional; one of the best in the tournament. The increasing thickness of lines from the chest makes for an interesting visual effect and the off-red color is very sharp. Perhaps they have taken heat for their second jersey which looks as though it was thrown together 15 minutes before game time. That’s why they’re down in my list, at least.
9. Ivory Coast
The Ivory Coast rarely stray from tradition. Orange first jersey, green second jersey. Many people complain that it’s too simple. But the colors and the skin-tight design is such a classic look that I can’t help but love it.
Similar to the Ivory Coast jersey is the Algeria jersey. It’s simple, but it brings an interesting color scheme the the world’s biggest stage has yet to see. Im not even sure what to call this color. For some reason I want to call it “Kiwi Green.” There’s probably a name for it, but I don’t know what it is. All I know is that I’m a fan. Algeria rounds out the top 10.
Greece put us back into Europe with a a simple, elegant jersey set. Not much risk taken, but the classic blue with the collars give these jerseys a classy look. Not much to complain about here.
England showed up with probably the most basic jerseys in the entire competition. Like Greece, these are very safe, and because England prides itself on its soccer history, they get credit for having jerseys that stay true to tradition.
I’m most torn by the Italian’s jerseys. The blue jersey is exquisite with its classic color and collar and sleeve accents while the white jersey is horrid as the vertical stripes do not work at all. With one jersey flying high and the other floundering at the bottom, Italy falls somewhere in the middle.
Australia, like other countries that went with Nike jerseys, have a simple design. The first jersey, however, is exactly like the Brazilian’s first jersey just with a collar, while the second jersey looks like nothing more than a discarded rugby jersey idea. Nevertheless, it is a sleek look and keeps them in the upper half of the jersey countdown.
As I said in my earlier review, the USA jerseys were not horrible, just disappointing. The first just looks like a simple white polo golf shirt while the second looks like the design of a flag of any of the myriad of countries whose colors are red, white, and blue. They’re different enough to be interesting, but not good enough to keep us satisfied.
Like so many jerseys we have already seen, Switzerland have a simple design; skin tight jerseys with an opposing color line going down the sides. The faint cross on the red jersey adds a little, but not much. Overall, these jerseys are about as neutral as, well, Switzerland.
The defending world champions had a disappointing 2014 World Cup campaign and jerseys to match it. You would think the Spaniards would want to stand out on the field considering their status as an elite team. Their dull vertical stripe pattern on the first jersey would suggest otherwise. As for the second jersey, they lazily went with the neon-green and black combination which so many teams have tried before. It’s simply out of style.
Ghana represent the first of two African jersey sets with this interesting design. I’m not a fan of it as a full jersey design, but the use of it on the collar with a solid white jersey offers a good balance of professionalism and national flair. Again, I am conflicted between a good and bad jersey, but the bad outweighs the good here.
The problem with this jersey is simple: no…that’s it…it’s too simple. There’s nothing glaringly wrong with it. It just gets lost in the forest of red, white, and blue jerseys that were at this World Cup and, as a result, gave Chile no real on-field identity. Shame for a team that made a good run in the tournament.
When I think of Russia, the first words the come to mind are plain, dark, and cold. Coincidentally, those are the three words I would use to describe these jerseys. The maroon is too dark and is not offset well by the gold stripes while the awkward blue pattern on the white uniform looks cold and boring. Not much to like here.
21. South Korea
Some would say this is a bit harsh on the South Koreans. I, however, have one big problem with these jerseys. I don’t think that thick shoulder stripes are a good design. If that’s your thing, then you’ll love these. If not, then you’ll see my issue with them. With just that design, they’re too simple and boring. Also, the differing shoulder stripe colors on the white jersey is an interesting idea, but it just doesn’t look good. Better luck next time, guys.
The Colombians took the world by storm with their performance at the World Cup finishing as the 5th overall seed. Much less impressive were the jerseys they decided to wear. Yellow is a very tricky color to get right, so much so that I’ve only seen it pulled off when paired with black. Any other color (*cough* blue *cough*) just doesn’t accent it well. Similarly, the color on the second jersey is all wrong as well. The dark-red with dark blue designs on the sleeves are just too dull. A blue jersey would be better for the Colombians.
Like I said in my previous review for Mexican National Team, the zig-zag design makes the first jersey look cartoonish, while the second jersey looks like Charlie Brown’s shirt. Simply put, this design looks bad, and the orange jersey doesn’t do them any favors considering there are better orange jerseys in the competition.
The 2014 World Cup was Belgium’s chance to reintroduce itself to the world of soccer with a new crop of young, talented players. They did so with their gameplay, but their jerseys looked like they were stuck in the 1990’s (the last time they were at the World Cup). The chest lines on the first jersey are random, the crown is hideous, and the black jersey looks like it’s been through the wash one too many times. If I had more reviews to do I’d probably do this one next, but it’s not the worst of the tournament.
25. Costa Rica
Like Chile, Costa Rica failed to differentiate itself from the other red, white, and blue countries. Unlike Chile, they didn’t go with a simple design, and it ended up hurting them. The diagonal wave across the chest is an awkward, unwelcomed design, and with that, we’re officially into the worst of the worst.
Not much is happening in the first Japanese jersey, the main design are the rays of sunshine coming from the crest which doesn’t make sense considering the flag is above to crest. It would have been a better jersey without that design. As for the second jersey, the lime-green color is, yet again, forced (as it was in the Spain jersey) but this time it is accented by blue shoulder stripes which looks horrendous. Believe it or not, however, it gets worse.
Bosnia made their first World Cup appearance this year and hopefully, this is the last we see of these jerseys. They’re not that dissimilar to those of the Greeks (who are rated highly) but subtle differences like loose-fitting material, outdated collar and sleeve designs, and the incomplete shoulder stripes make this jersey look like they belong to a high school team with a thin budget. Next.
All of the African countries jumped aboard the Puma train with the exception of Nigeria and they didn’t do themselves any favors by staying off of it. Like Bosnia, these jerseys have a loose-fit. Additionally, the lime-green does not work well the dark green nor the white. Overall, there is nothing to like about these jerseys. They’re a worthy start to the bottom 5.
Marathon’s only submission into the tournament was a complete dud. A boring, awkward design with thick sleeve and shoulder shapes does not help the fact that their faint, downward arrow design was outdone by the Danes. A complete failure, and a true candidate for the worst jersey of the tournament.
Cameroon certainly came in with the most absurd designs and as I said with the Ghana jerseys, it’s not a design that I am particularly fond of. These designs should easily make them the worst jerseys of the bunch, but the good use of colors and the skin-tight design work in their favor. Cameroon is saved.
Second-to-last are the Iranians. Let me just quickly rifle off the problems with these jerseys: the split in the red-chest stripe, the use of the stripe on just one sleeve, the faint tiger design, the different sleeve-end colors, the dull red color, the angled green stripes, the dull green color. The list just doesn’t seem to end. It’s hard to be below this. So what could be worse? I’m glad you asked. The worst jersey of the 2014 World Cup and recipient of the Bryon Blaisdell Remodel is…
Joma has done Honduras’ jerseys for years and rarely have they looked different than this. They’re loose-fitting, they lack any design whatsoever, they have generic colors that are used by better teams, and their crest is just a big “H.” These truly are, without question, the worst jerseys of the 2014 World Cup and are in major need of a revamping. Here is what I came up with:
The first thing that I wanted to do was use a color scheme outside of the generic royal blue and white that so many teams use. The Honduras soccer crest has light blue in it and I thought that would be good to use to complement a dark blue jersey. I implemented it as an outline to the jersey so as to focus on the new color. A simple, yet fresh design that I came up with were the enclosed lines that are on each shoulder. This is just enough to give the jersey an innovative feeling. Additionally, the numbers and Puma logo are white with blue trim because that is how the crest appears. Going off that, the actual crest of the Honduras Football Federation was used because it gives the jersey a more professional look. Puma was chosen as the company to manufacture the jerseys because I pictured these jerseys as being skin-tight, unlike the loose-fitting jerseys they had previously. Another feature that is consistent between both jerseys is the new collar design which provides another fresh aspect.
For the second jersey, I wanted to use a color other than white. I decided that a light grey would provide a simple alternative to the bold blue jersey while still providing a new look. As for the design on this jersey, I went with a continuation of the collar using two light blue lines as an outline of the chest area which is a new but professional design. The lines down the side of the jersey balance it out while the logos and numbers remain consistent with the first jersey. The other feature is the slightly darker grey arrow that goes over the number. This gives the jersey another design feature while not making the jersey appear too cluttered. Overall, these would be sharp, professional, and intriguing jersey designs that I’m sure fans would appreciate.
All in all, this has been a very interesting, revealing, and fun project to do over the course of the semester. Normally, I would finish with a joke, but a reflection seems more appropriate. I will reflect further in my project summary, but I felt as though this would be an important place to conclude the assignment as a whole. I hope you learned a thing or two about jersey design (and hopefully about me, as well) and had some laughs along the way. Feel free to go forth and share my ideas with others, and you may just inspire others to share their ideas as well!