With football's ever-growing popularity and profitable reach, football kits have increasingly become seen as style pieces as well as symbols of the teams that wear them. It's not just clubs, though; global teams will regularly release one or two new kits every year, particularly when there is a contest on the horizon, and with Euro Cup 2024 fast approaching, expect to see a bundle of shirts released in the coming months.
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2012 Poland Euro Cup team shirt
Kicking off the list is a presence that may shock some: Poland's home shirt from their Euro Cup on home soil in 2012. While the competition was excellent, with Poland and Ukraine being fantastic hosts, the men in white and red didn't do much on the ground. They took two points from their first two meets courtesy of two 1-1 draws. However, the draw against Russia was almost seen as a success given that the guests scored first and the violent rivalry between the two teams.
Unfortunately, a loss to the Czech Republic in their third game meant they ended rock bottom of their group, but they looked good doing it. Poland Euro Cup side tends to make great shirts most years, but this simple design with the rectangle across the chest, an eagle in the middle and a badge off to the side all come together to make an outstanding, modern kit that wouldn't look out of place today, 11 years on.
Germany Euro Cup 1988 kit
Okay, we're going a little more back in time for this one. Germany has a past of making quality designs for global contests. Something about that white and black base just looks intense regardless of what else they do to it. That said, for our money, their 1988-1990 effort is their finest to date. The Euro 1988 was staged in West Germany, and the team made it out of their group beating Spain and Denmark in the process.
They were beaten in the Euro Cup Semi-Finals at the hands of ultimate winners, the Netherlands. The top itself is undeniably iconic. The plain white base with the German flag printed across the front in Adidas' best template is instantly familiar, and Germany even modelled their 2018 kit on the design.
England Euro Cup team kit in 2021
The first England entry on the list, and like every other shirt here, it's a corker. If we are being frank, England shirts can regularly be quite dull. You can't do much with an almost white top, but for Euro 2020, Nike found a way to make it far more exciting. The thick navy collar joint with the jagged stripes up the side gives some much-needed difficulty to the shirt, and we just love the badge's vital placement, why can't all badges be central?
The tournament itself was an outstanding one for the Three Lions as the cross-continent nature of the competition meant that they played most of their games at home, including a notable round-of-16 win over Germany. Alas, it was still England, and so it certainly ended in penalty shootout pain as Italy clinched the title in a tightly contested Euro Cup Final at Wembley Stadium.
Sweden Euro Cup team kit in 1992
Much like in the local game, in global football, some teams are rapidly familiar with the colour of their shirts alone, and Sweden is a great example of that. The rich yellow and royal blue colour combo is Swedish, and it just so happens to be one of the most beautifully pleasing mixtures as well. With so many iconic kits to select from for the Swedes, we have opted for their 1992 home shirt.
It has everything you'd want from a Sweden top: a rich yellow base, royal blue stripes that pop from a mile away, and a chunky retro collar with a seamlessly placed Adidas logo at its base. The Euro Cup itself took place in Sweden and was a relative success for the Swedes, as they made it out of their group and to the Euro Cup Semi-Finals, where they would be crushed by Germany. Euro fans can buy Euro Cup Final Tickets at exclusively discounted prices.
Italy Euro Cup kit of 2021
Few global football teams look as stylish as Italy, and their effort for the Euro 2020 is no different. When picking the best Italian shirts, you are failed for choice, but we reckon this is their best effort to date. The two-tone blue base looks intense on the pitch, and the Renaissance-inspired print just gives it that edge over some of their plainer plans, as do the collar and gold detailing. It was also a competition to remember for Gli Azzurri as they went in as dark horses and ended up winning it all after breaking English hearts in the Euro Cup Final at Wembley Stadium.
Denmark Euro Cup team jersey in 1992
Scandinavia's second representative on the directory, Denmark, has produced some stunning kits over the years, but we reckon their home shirt for the 1992 European Championship takes the cake. The 1986 top might get more care, but the design and history committed to this one give it the edge. The plain red base paired with the striped red and white sleeves makes this top stand out amongst other red and white shirts and we just love a retro collar.
1992 is probably the greatest year in Danish football because they somewhat amazingly won the Euro Cup that year. It was amazing for a couple of reasons one, for as good as they were, they were underdogs linked to teams like Germany and the Netherlands and two, they didn't even qualify for the contest. The Danes only arrived at Euro after Yugoslavia were disqualified following the breakup of the nation and the ensuing violence.
Croatia Euro Cup jersey for 1996
Now, this one might be a bit marmite in that some will love it like us and some will maybe hate it, but you just cannot make a list like this and not include Croatia's iconic shirt, exactly the 1996 edition. The checkerboard design is certainly garish; there's no getting away from that, but it's unique, eye-catching and instantly familiar. The tricolour detailing around the collar and sleeves takes it up another level.
It securely makes it one of the three best kits ever worn at a Euro Cup. The team themselves had a sensibly impressive tournament that year, with group-stage wins over Turkey and Denmark who were then the reigning title holders. However, they were ultimately knocked out in the Euro Cup Quarter-Finals by eventual champions Germany.
Portugal Euro Cup kit 2000
The runners-up in this list might be a bit of a wonder for some of you; after all, there are mountains of iconic shirts that have been worn at the European Championship over the years, but for our money, Portugal's 2000 home shirt is nearly perfect. Therefore, it deserves its ad on the list. It's quite a humble shirt, really, but that is what makes it so great.
The dark maroon combined with the gold detailing and green shorts made for such a visually pleasing kit, and one that made them stand out among the hoard of bright red shirts we see in football. We just wish they would return to this shade of maroon again in Euro 2024, but we aren't holding our breath.
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