The Best Euros Shirts of All Time - with The Kitsman
Ahead of Euro 2020, we've been turning our thoughts to the most important thing - the kits, of course. England, France and The Netherlands have been earning the style plaudits this time around, but who has knocked it out the park in the past? We were lucky enough to have Twitter sensation, The Kitsman, cast his esteemed eye over the shirts that have stood the test of time. Over to you, mate.
Italy Home, EURO 2000
There are some shirts that have found their way to the inner stitching of my mind. Permanently etched in fact, never to be forgotten. One of these is the revolutionary Italy Kappa kit. It introduced to us the new KOMBAT fit technology. A lighter, tighter fitting shirt, with an elasticated feel. It was plain in design, and featured much less fuss than previous iterations. The shirt had tactical advantages too that not many knew about. It was not only designed to look good, but also to allow players that tactical edge. Let's say a defender is up close and has a grip of your shirt, well that elastic comes in handy here as it gave the player enough stretch to pop off a shot. It also helped referees when spotting a foul.
Germany Home, EURO 2008
My reasons for this shirt may surprise you. Met my wife in this one. T'was a summer's day in 2008, Wimbledon was playing alongside the Euro's and I fancied a game of tennis. Little did I know that day that I was being observed. I was then found by my now wife on Facebook, due to my profile picture showing this very shirt. The design itself was pretty bold. Loved the German flag style band across the chest and how it incorporated the badge and player number. The design just all just seemed to fit together so well. Even how the Adidas logo and three stars sit on top. It all looks like it's meant to be there.
England Home, EURO '80
You often get kits that are described as 'iconic' don't you? Well I think Admiral and iconic go hand in hand. The shirt is instantly recognisable. You'll often see it in montages, documentaries and pride in place at museums. The Scoredraw copies are often preferred by fans over the more recent Nike numbers. The design formation of the blue and red on the shoulders rings true. That Admiral logo too, oh that Admiral logo. I personally prefer the earlier golden one, but this one certainly fits in with the aesthetics.
Croatia Home, EURO 96
It must be pretty infuriating being the Croatia shirt designer. I mean how many variations of a checkerboard effect can you? Bigger squares, smaller squares, a few bigger squares with more smaller squares. I'm only joking, but you know what I mean? I think it peaked in 1996 with this pure delight. First of all I'm a SUKER for a collar (that pun came to me literally just then in a vision) so that was always going to get my attention. The thin lined detail of the collar and cuffs are expertly applied. Another expert application is how the checks make way for the front number. It's just clever design, and that should be celebrated. Like a deft chip over a keeper in a major international tournament.
France home, EURO 1984
When a shirt influences many a tribute design, then you know something was done right. This is much the case of this gem from Adidas. It's everything a football shirt should be. I don't want to use all of the predictable superlatives. You deserve so much more than recycled praise. The use of French colours applied with swagger and finesse, a bit of "Ooo la la, look at me". The way that open neck doubles up as a viewing gallery for the bling that donned that player's necks. The FFF Cockerel badge majestically chiselled out of gold. The red centre band splashed proud upon the chest. I'm going for a lie down.
If football shirts old and new are your thing too (why wouldn't they be?), and you like what you've read from the man himself, find him at http://www.thekitsman.com and @the_kitsman on Twitter for more.