Tag Archives: Nigeria

World Cup 2010: Group B jerseys

In part 2 of a series, I’ll look at Group B’s jerseys.

Argentina home jersey for the 2010 World Cup

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.

Greece home jersey for the 2010 World Cup

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.

Nigeria home jersey for the 2010 World Cup

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.

South Korea home jersey for the 2010 World Cup

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.

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Argentina v. Nigeria or, Messi is dominant… again

Since nobody wrote about this here at SoccerNation, I thought I’d take a few minutes and, once again, extol the greatness of Lionel Messi.

Messi dominated every aspect of the gold medal match last night. He was, of course, especially active in the attacking third of the pitch. He had several good runs and his vision menaced the rock-solid Nigerian back four all night. To their credit, the Nigerian defenders did what they could. They tried everything, from cutting off angles of attack to being physical. Unfortunately for them, Messi is not just quick on his feet, but solid on them, as well. Finally, he unleashed the beautiful pass that sprung Angel di Maria for the only goal of the game.

But that play was made by Messi’s effort throughout the match. Though he was dominant in the attacking third, he was unafraid to come back and help out his own midfielders and defenders. Granted, he didn’t go back all that often (he mostly hung around at midfield, serving as a safety valve for clearances) but he did what was necessary.

Although Riquelme was the captain, I think Messi was the most influential player for Argentina. He was consistantly great and that bodes well for Argentina in the World Cup Qualifiers as well as Barcelona in Spain and Europe. Three months ago, Cristiano Ronaldo was the unquestioned best player in the world. Now, Lionel Messi is challenging him. I’m hoping for a showdown – again – of epic proportions in the Champion’s League sometime this season.

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Filed under Lionel Messi, Olympics