A polymath from humble beginnings, spiralling. Bit of a wretch.
Netherlands, Euro 1988 (Adidas)
Featuring iconic players like Ruud Gullit, Marco Van Basten, and Frank Rijkaard, the Netherlands squad looked resplendent in this beautifully designed, ubiquitous orange jersey. Ending the tournament as the eventual winners, the squad ensured that this kit would not be forgotten for many years. It is still a favorite amongst collectors today.
The combination of the futuristic geometric pattern, combined with the orange and white colours of the Netherlands team, made this a fan favorite from the moment they laid their eyes on it. The white V-collar and the national team crest further accentuate this jersey's in-your-face style. Many believe this kit to be one of the greatest national team kits of all time.
Despite only being worn for the duration of the 1988 Euros by the Netherlands squad, this design remains seared into the minds of fans even today.
Belgium, Euro 1984 (Adidas)
Millions of fans drooled over the 2018 WC jersey sported by Belgium. However, that design originated from this funky 1984 design. Featuring overlapping rhombuses in the three colors of the Belgian flag, this design was a sight for sore eyes as it broke away from the monotonous solid colored kits of the past. The classic Adidas logo in ochre yellow looks even more beautiful set against the red background.
1984 was only the third time that Belgium had qualified for the Euros, but even this stylish kit couldn't help them do better than a sixth-place finish amongst eight countries.
Portugal, Euro 2000 (Nike)
This minimalistic jersey in a gorgeous, dark burgundy tone became synonymous with Portugal in the early 2000s. It's very different from the brighter red shade that they wear now. The combination of burgundy and yellow trim, combined with the shamrock green shorts, was bold and different, making it a jersey that was loved by many. Most fans associate this jersey with Luis Figo, as he was at his absolute prime during these years.
This particular jersey is a collector's item as the burgundy color slowly disappeared from future kits. It was replaced by brighter shades of red.
Germany, Euro 1988 (Adidas)
1988 was clearly a great time for fashionable looks, as demonstrated by the Netherlands kit shown above. It beautifully incorporates of the German flag into the national team jersey. Featuring the iconic three-striped Adidas trim on the shoulder, this jersey added a welcome pop of color to the German national team jersey. They had previously only used a monotonous black and white color combination. This jersey also served as a design inspiration for the 2018 World Cup jersey.
The two best-dressed teams (the Netherlands and West Germany) met in the semi-finals of the tournament. Playing at home, West Germany was keen to replicate the results of the 1974 World Cup final, but they were unable to match the intensity of Van Basten, Koeman, and company.
Spain, Euro 2016 (Nike)
The only away jersey on this list, this Spanish jersey gets full marks for imagination and daring. Away jerseys are usually considered an afterthought, which is usually visible in their boring designs. That's exactly why this particular design stands out. The Spaniards just decided to have a lot more fun with it. Despite feeling slightly too casual for a national jersey, this is a worthy addition to this list purely on the basis of its refreshing qualities.
The jersey failed to bring the team any luck as the 2016 Euros further plunged the national team into deeper depths. The team crashed out in the Round of 16, and iconic goalkeeper Iker Casillas hung up his boots after the tournament.
Italy, Euro 2012 (PUMA)
This rich blue kit by PUMA set fans' hearts aflutter with the combination of the white collar and the blue creating a classy yet striking look. In addition to that, the collar also incorporated the colors of the national flag, adding a nice touch to the overall design. The slanting visual elements added some much-needed heft to the otherwise plain feel, creating an overall feeling of elegance and neatness.
It's only fitting that such an elegant kit was worn by the national team when one of the game's silkiest players, Andrea Pirlo, led his team to the finals of the tournament, where they eventually lost to the Spaniards.
© 2021 Nelson Wilbury