World Cup jerseys get mixed reviews for Qatar

Puma, you’re all stuck. Nike, what have you done to the US and Canada? Adidas, you’re making some style waves.

With millions at stake in retail, this year’s World Cup in Qatar leaves football fans judging the shirt – and what to buy. So far, no runaway winner could earn icon status like Nigeria’s bright green and chevron jersey sold out in minutes at the final tournament in 2018.

Which kits certainly won’t dazzle in the eyes of some hardcore fans – and a few outspoken players? Nike’s effort for the US team, which failed to qualify four years ago. An enlarged, simple country crest sits in the center on white home shirts that are considered dull as opposed to classic. Nike has moved the swoosh logo to both sleeves.

A blue graphic at the neck has led to mocking comparisons to the Stay Puft marshmallow man of ‘Ghostbusters’ fame. And the US away kit has ice-dyed black Rorschach stains against royal blue.

“It’s ugly,” 33-year-old fan Ryan Bender said of the first. “The away shirts look like training jerseys.” Bender is a lifelong soccer player, youth coach and jersey collector based in Los Angeles. He generally had little liking for many of the kits of the big three outfitters: Nike (13 countries), Adidas (7) and Puma (6). That’s especially true for the range of front boxes, shields and other containers where numbers courtesy of Puma will appear on away kits for Senegal, Morocco, Uruguay and more.

There is especially anger for Puma over the QR code-esque symbol of Switzerland. The idea, according to Puma, was to emphasize player numbers. It has also been compared to the cranky to iPhone calendar icon.

“There is a lot of lack of creativity there. And to be fair, a lot of them look like sweaters you’d find in a roadside shop,” Bender said of Puma’s kits.

While Bender has some favorites, and he’s not alone when it comes to ridicule for the American shirts, not everyone is a hater in the quadrennial World Cup shirt sweepstakes. The top three companies are joined by six other brands with one country each. Nike, Puma and Adidas have made the use of recycled materials a priority.

“The Nike and Puma kits are stunning,” said Aron Solomon, 55, in Montreal. “Nike did a great job bringing clean lines and just the right color nuances. A good example of this is the Qatar home shirt.” He referred to the host’s maroon kit with a jagged line of white triangles along the sleeves in a design reminiscent of the country’s flag. Think shark teeth.

Denmark took a bite out of Qatar when it unveiled a black jersey to match two other kits. The black shirts, with maker Hummel’s faded logo, honor migrant workers who died during construction work for the tournament.

As for his home country, Canada, Solomon doesn’t care that the rejuvenated Les Rouges will take the field for their first World Cup appearance in 36 years wearing the same template-based kits they’ve had since June 2021. The shirts are traditionally red and white with a maple leaf crest.

Like a few American players speaking publicly about their kits, Canadian defender Sam Adekugbe is disappointed.

“I just feel like every team should get a new kit for the World Cup because it’s a symbolic event. I don’t hate it, but I would have liked a new kit just because it’s something to cherish,” he told The Athletic.

Nike cites a different design cycle for Canada as the reason the country is going without.

Solomon has no love for Adidas-designed shirts, especially the home jerseys of powerhouse Germany, where he lived for four years. It features a bright wide black vertical stripe down the center against a white background as a tribute to the country’s 1908 home shirt.

“Looks like they’re wearing a bib,” he said.

The Adidas shirts for four-time World Cup champions Germany, along with Argentina, Mexico and the other countries it has outfitted, feature the company’s signature three-line trim on the shoulders in a variety of colors. A bit like sporty epaulettes.

Perhaps the league’s most polarizing outfit is the Mexico lookout, which some consider too flashy and others think it will last as much as Nigeria’s shirts. The creamy white kit features an all-over red design of Mixtec art contours celebrating Mexico’s fighting spirit. There is a nod inside the back collar to the pre-Columbian deity Quetzalcoatl (so named by the Aztecs), also known as the Feathered Serpent.

“They are my favorite of the entire tournament,” said mega soccer fan Khloe Lewis, 27, in Somerville, Massachusetts. “I love the pattern and contrast, but also that it’s inspired by historic, traditional Mexican design.” The debate over World Cup kits is a hot topic among fans longing for a jersey identity of their own.

“Kits address the emotions. They are something that is very close to people’s hearts and it makes them very vocal about them,” said Mateo Kossman, senior product manager at Adidas’ football apparel team, who worked on Mexico’s shirts.

On November 20, when the World Cup kicks off, football will dominate at Das Beer Garden sports bar in Jupiter, Florida. Raised in Caracas, 44-year-old co-owner Alex Marquez began playing the Beautiful Game in first grade. He comes from the US, Venezuela and Spain, the last country of his parents.

Marquez is delighted with the classic Spanish home shirt in red from Adidas, worn with navy blue shorts and socks. The away kit – the distances are generally more adventurous – is a different story. It features pale blue swirls with faint digital lines on a white background and the country’s bright red and yellow flag colors for the shoulder stripes in a grand show of disharmony.

“It’s like the thing that goes around a baby’s crib,” Marquez said of the vortices.

The blog Four On Four called the look exquisite, calling the wavy design a “geometric jellyfish pattern.” Argentina switched it, color wise, for its away shirts. Adidas rolled out a classic white and blue striped home kit, but changed to a vibrant purple for the away shirt for the first time in the country’s history. It shows the May sun and its long rays of the country’s flag, although the rays and a background design resemble flames. The purple is meant to represent gender equality and general diversity and inclusion. And the Adidas triple lines on the shoulders match! How has purple played among World Cup fans? “As with everything we make, it’s important that the story is understood and told,” said Andrew Dolan, senior product manager for Adidas who worked on the Argentina shirts. “I think everyone appreciates what we’re trying to do.” At the age of 10, Zain Ennaoui is a small fan with big opinions about football shirts.Of the new purple for Argentina, which scares some football fanatics, the Brooklyn fifth-grader politely said: “It’s good in its own way. Zain supports Morocco, where his father is from, but he also likes Mexico’s excesses. He understands that most shirts of the 32 countries that go to Qatar have cultural significance. That said, South Korea’s multi-coloured away kit (black with yellow, blue and red brushstrokes) is a tough sell for him, despite his nod to Taegeukgi, the symbol on the country’s flag.

“It’s like someone thought it was a good idea to grab a paint gun and spray it all over. It didn’t work,” Zain said.

It’s a matter of tossing whose gaze to the US is roundly despised by critics. Football-obsessed site Footy Headlines rated Canada’s tragedy the lowest among Nike’s efforts. The American shirts were second to last.

“It looks like you’d wear it to a Grateful Dead concert,” said Kent Gethmann, 38, in Spencer, Iowa, of the blue and black away shirt.

That, the idea of ​​bringing street life to World Cup clothing, might be the point.

“I’d rock it,” Brandon Williams said of the same American outfit.

He is a menswear stylist in Los Angeles for celebrities and star athletes, but not yet football players.

“I’d wear it oversized with a pair of hoochie daddy shorts (they’re very short), a pair of clean white Nike Air Force Ones, and a rear snapback,” Williams said. “I’d throw a sweater over my shoulders like Carlton from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and I’m ready for Sunday brunch.” AP BS BS

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

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