In part 2 of a series, I’ll look at Group B’s jerseys.
The Argentine squad will wear a classic in South Africa. The sky blue and white striped shirt is synonymous with Argentine soccer. It’s so well-known that not even Adidas had the gall to add silly extraneous piping or weird swooshes. The stripe pattern disappears a bit on the shoulders, but on the whole it remains the traditional shirt. And I like that.
While the country’s economy collapses around it, the Greek national soccer team heads to South Africa in a barebones white kit. Don’t get me wrong – I like the shirt for its simplicity. I wish the collar was a full collar but, once again, Adidas must do something stupid. I think the half-collar is more ridiculous than the abstract strip that wends its way around the player’s body. I’m not sure what it’s supposed to represent, but somehow it doesn’t look completely stupid. The Greek FA’s crest is well-done, as well.
The Nigeria jersey appears to be a remnant of old Adidas templates. The bad side striping and the silly sleeve striping make a mess out of an otherwise classic-looking shirt. The other major problem is that the shirt borders on the boring. I don’t know much about Nigerian soccer or its history but I would think that the FA could come up with something to link the past and the present. Perhaps I’m being too hard on the shirt. It’s classic and simple – and I like that – but it’s missing a certain pizazz found in other classic shirts.
This is not, I must say, an improvement over the 2006 World Cup jersey. The red is an excellent color and goes well with the blue but the shockingly idiotic ribs – for lack of a better term, because they look like human ribs – on the shirt ruin everything. I’m not sure what Nike was thinking, to be honest. Perhaps it will look better on the field when the players are in motion (something I’ll look for) but somehow I doubt it. This is not a good shirt, which is too bad since South Korea figures to be entertaining.