As Europe’s best teams continue to run around Poland and Ukraine, we here at Sportable have decided to break down the tournament’s most stylish “kits.” High profile tournaments such as the World Cup and EURO have served as a runway for Nike, adidas, and Puma to pump out new looks. With supporters clinging to their wallets and ready to pull the trigger, it’s time to run down the best-dressed national teams.
10. Italy Home – Puma
Forget about Valentino, Prada, and Gucci. This summer, it’s all about Puma and their best jersey at EURO 2012. The Azzurri (as well as the Netherlands and Japan) are famously known for having a home jersey without a single color from their own flag in the traditional design. Why blue you ask? The Italians adopted the blue to honor the Royal Italian crown whose badge of arms and flag displayed the color. This jersey is a step up from South Africa 2010, as it features a 3D design on the front and a unique number font.
9. Spain Away – Adidas
The Spanish move the ball faster than a pinball machine. During the last couple of tournaments the Spaniard’s red jerseys have symbolized their fast pace. But in their finest moment of the 2010 World Cup Final, Spain wore blue. Therefore, we might see the color accompany Spain for years to come. A futuristic sash and cool breeze color gives La Furia Roja a viable second look.
8. France Home – Nike
France has had some notoriously hideous home shirts over the years. Despite their ignorance of fashion, the French have learned from their mistakes and signed a sponsorship deal with Nike. Immediately, Nike has stepped in to provide this team with a classic look that has fans forgetting all about Adidas. Inspired from a design taken out of the French military academies, this new kit surfaces among Nike’s best at this year’s tournament.
7. Germany Away – Adidas
The Germans and adidas always pump out great looks, and this tournament is no exception. The Germans have decided to go back in time to 1972 when they lifted the European crown while wearing green. I’m a big believer in sticking with what works, and this is a perfect example of reliving past glory. Which jersey will the Germans wear if they reach their second consecutive EURO Final?
6. Germany Home – Adidas
For the purposes of this article I didn’t want to include a team twice on the list. However, Germany put together a beautiful home design this year that rivals past home kits. Sticking with their standard white, this year’s version features small but distinct black, red, and yellow diagonal stripes to represent their flag. The stripes don’t dominate the jersey like in years past, but it’s still a clean, classy look.
5. Croatia Home – Nike
No matter how they present it, Nike and Croatia always seem to nail it with their home jersey. What would Croatia be without the classic red and white checkers? They could easily go with a standard white look that includes red, but ditching the checkers altogether would be a crime. This year, more than ever, the jersey features the checkers prominently.
4. England Away – Umbro
English kits over the years have been boring. So boring that you always wonder when they’re going to break out something new that will turn heads. While their home look is pretty plain, it is always a treat to see their away jerseys. The 2012 away shirt represents the timeless blue look of the English Football Association. Blue is the color given to display each player’s international caps, and was also England’s look during the 1930’s. It’s a terrific look for the Three Lions.
3. Poland Home – Nike
Poland has parted ways with Puma in order to create some fireworks with newly acquired sponsor Nike. They did just that with their home jersey. Alongside the Polish Football Federation logo, the War Eagle patch depicts the nation’s soccer pride and passion. Constructed from Nike’s new environmentally sound jerseys, this kit really shows off Poland’s fight and determination that will be on display this month. All in all, this jersey is perfectly balanced.
2. Holland Away – Nike
Simplicity is my favorite word when it comes to describing a jersey that works. The Dutch and Nike continue that trend with the new away kit. Keeping it simple, this Dutch jersey shows not only the intimidation factor of their vicious defensive midfield, but the classic orange roots honoring William of Orange. The stark contrast and alternative design have made this jersey even more popular than the all orange home kit.
1. Portugal Away – Nike
Have you seen the Portugal home jerseys? Don’t feel bad if you haven’t; they’re so plain, they make England look fancy. The Portugal road jerseys, on the other hand, have climbed to number one on my list for the best EURO 2012 jersey. I’m honestly at a loss for words here and wish that I had some sort of Portuguese ancestry so I buy this kit and represent the Iberian Peninsula. The Portugal away jersey is white with a large cross on the front to represent the national symbol that is was a staple of Portuguese sailing ships. The half red, half green cross is divided at the center to symbolize the Armillary Sphere, which is also a national symbol of the country. This jersey is a perfect depiction of a nation’s history. Absolutely gorgeous.