Power Ranking All 32 FIFA 2014 World Cup Away Kits
During the World Cup, performance on the pitch is the most important aspect of a player's tournament. It is not, however, the only one. Sure, everybody would love to score a hat-trick in the final, but we want to look good doing so as well.
For this reason, the shirts each team will be wearing during the competition take on added prominence. The announcement of a World Cup kit is almost front-page news in the countries involved.
Here, the 32 away shirts on display in Brazil are evaluated and ranked. There is only one defining factor in this ranking: Personal taste, that of the author's.
De gustibus non est disputandum: Let us know below what you think of the choices made and what you think is the most beautiful kit of the World Cup.
If the floodlights go out at any point in Brazil, Japan will be more than prepared. The dark could do the Blue Samurai a favour, masking this hideous fluorescent creation that just does not work.
Colombia have been away from the World Cup for quite some time, but their away kit for 2014 is already a missed open goal. A red shirt for the Cafeteros? It just does not look right.
30. Bosnia and Herzegovina
There is classic style, and there is just not trying very hard. Bosnia's away shirt (and home kit, for that matter) fall into the latter with an uninspired design completely devoid of personality.
Oh dear. Russia plunge back into 1990 and the fall of the Berlin Wall with this dog's dinner of an away kit. Overtones of West Germany in Italy, but done even worse.
The designer of Australia's two World Cup strips seems to have taken inspiration from the nation's winning Rugby Union sides of the early 1990s. The home combines gold and green to just about get away with it; the away effort, however, falls short.
The Furia Roja chose, for some unknown reason, to ape Chelsea's famous "railway tunnel worker" black effort. The fluorescent lines might help under floodlights, but they will not be winning any fashion prizes.
26. Costa Rica
Lotto makes Costa Rica's kit, but this looks like one of the designs that has been floating around the manufacturer's offices since about 1982. A miss from the legendary Italian tailors.
A retro-inspired shirt from the French, which looks just a bit over-contrived. The collarless kit has more than a few rugby vibes.
24. South Korea
South Korea do not try anything outrageous for their change. An almost completely plain white t-shirt, "jazzed up" with a blue and red stripe. That is it.
After performing marvels with their home shirt, Portugal's kit designer seems to have given up by the time it came to the away version. It looks more like a secondary school uniform than an international football kit.
An efficient yet cold away shirt from the Swiss, putting everything they need to into the design without giving it a single distinguishing feature.
The Super Eagles like to keep it simple with their change colours, which unless they play Mexico or Cameroon probably will not be seen in Brazil. An elegant white and green combo does the job for the African challengers.
Italy is known as a nation for its sartorial proficiency. For the World Cup, however, the Azzurri may be trying just a little too hard. The pinstripes on an otherwise perfectly fine away kit are too much, diluting the overall effect.
If the fashion World Cup could be handed out to an entire continent, Africa would win with such ease it would be almost embarrassing. Algeria pitch in with a tastefully faded green number, which could also serve as camouflage in a pinch.
Nothing subtle about the USA's effort in their change colours. The North Americans combine red, white and blue in such outrageously patriotic quantities that the only surprise is that they left off the bald eagle.
Who is this team? Ah, Honduras, right. The Central Americans are taking no chances with mistaken identity, emblazoning a giant H onto their chests in a design which surprisingly does not come off all too badly.
Like Colombia, the Mexican national team plumped for a fiery red in their change kit. The Tricolor pull it off a little better than their Latin American counterparts, with a menacing black zigzag apparently stolen from a hospital heart monitor bringing it all together.
A classic look as always from the Balkan nation; if it ain't broke, don't fix it. The Croats like to keep it simple for their visiting strip, a plain blue shirt trimmed with the country's distinctive checked pattern down the sleeves.
Sleek, smooth lines and a classy white number that is perfect for the Brazilian sun. Chile's second shirt is a hit, and we should expect big things this year.
The Tricolor show Colombia how it is done with a sparkling little shirt in an almost-powder blue. A little dazzling to the eyes, but overall a decent effort.
Painfully dull, or classic, timeless fashion? The Uruguay away kit could divide opinion, but this writer at least believes that it belongs firmly in the second category.
11. Ivory Coast
The Ivory Coast's away shirt cannot quite match up to the nation's first choice, a beautifully understated orange that brings to mind a melancholy sunset. But its understudy is still more than worthy, keeping things simple and elegant again in blueish-green.
Belgium's kits are predicted to cause a stir at the World Cup. This away shirt, slick in all-black and dripping with attitude, could have the same effect in the tournament's sartorial competition.
In homage to their hosts, Germany decided to copy the Flamengo home shirt for their 2014 away wardrobe. Lucky for them, these red and black hoops are a classic.
If you think Brazil, idyllic pictures of Copacabana and pristine beaches immediately come to mind. The Selecao appear to tap into that mentality, preparing an off-blue away shirt which looks a little like the ocean.
Nobody is expecting much of Iran during the World Cup, but the Middle East's sole representative have at least caused a splash with a slick red away kit apparently modelled on Portugal's home top. The feline, by the way, is the critically endangered Iranian cheetah, with less than 100 still surviving in the wild.
A glorious red shirt incorporates the traditional Kente tribal cloth design for Ghana, making their away kit a hit in every sense of the word.
The Netherlands delve into the realms of psychedelia for their latest interpretation on the classic blue away kit. To be honest it is hard to mess this one up; orange and blue just works together, it just does.
An overwhelmingly smart, mod-inspired shirt from Greece sets one of the standards in the World Cup fashion contest. Simplicity personified.
Quite simply a masterpiece from Nike. It still jolts the eyes seeing the tick in place of the traditional Umbro diamond, but this deep red concoction is a delight.
Oh my, what beauty do I see before my eyes? Argentina pull out all the stops with a masterpiece in different shades of blue, cascading across the shirt like the Albiceleste attacking in full flight.
Cameroon are famous for pulling out all the stops when it comes to World Cup apparel. And the Indomitable Lions will not be disappointing this year. The gold; the roaring lion badge; the tribal watermark: yes, yes and yes.
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