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Get Your Kit On

After a crushing penalty shootout defeat stopped my beloved Wales from participating in this summer’s Euros, I briefly considered boycotting the tournament.

But when Sean and Richard, the Baddiel and Skinner of sports business publishing, asked me to write another article about kits, I suddenly found myself with an acute case of Euro-fever.

If you’ve ever read one of my kit reviews before, you’ll realise there is no science, business insight, or commercial acumen involved. Just the banal musings of a man who loves football kits.

10.) Ukraine Away - United We Stand

It’s a straightforward number, but seeing the outline of the country in these colours reminds us of the windows we've seen over the last two years. It gives a timely reminder that this is just football. I was at the Donbass Arena during Euro 2012, and little did we know what would unfold over the next decade.

At a time when European politics seems to be heading towards

extremism and division, let's hope the only right wing we’re talking about is Mykhailo Mudryk's.

Ukraine football kit - Euro 2024

9.) Belgium Away - Tin Tin Out

It’s actually pretty rough, especially those brown shorts. But the fact that it’s inspired by Tin Tin’s outfit means I simply can’t leave it out. It's utterly absurd. Imagine England choosing an away kit inspired by Rupert the Bear’s red jumper and yellow trousers. Actually, maybe that’s what Umbro was thinking with Dave Seaman’s keeper kits in 1996.

Belgium football kit - Euro 2024

8.) Denmark Home - Taking the Schmeichel

Not just retro-inspired; it looks old, in a good way. I’m delighted that Hummel continues to provide for Denmark. They go together like Michael and Brian Laudrup. It looks like the kind of kit you’d be too afraid to wear to the pub in the eighties for fear of a stray cigarette sending you up in flames. And for that reason, it’s a massive thumbs up from me.

Denmark football kit - Euro 2024

7.) England Home - Flagging Some Style

For all the furore and cries of ‘wokery’ around the flag on the home kit, it’s a pretty safe number. But I like it. Two shades of blue trim are a nice touch. Most importantly, it’s listed as having navy shorts, which they really need to use instead of the white ones that have featured prominently in recent years. Nike seems to have decided to "keep calm and kit on."

England football kit - Euro 2024

6.) Scotland Home - Yes Sir, I Can Boogie

There’s a touch of Euro 96 vibes to this with the tartan-influenced pattern. The white stripes on the sleeve set off the otherwise yellow trim. It will look beautiful being worn by a sunburnt Tartan Army fanatic in a water fountain outside Cologne Cathedral.

Scotland football kit - Euro 2024

5.) Croatia Home - Checkmate

The Croatian home kit is one of those classics that’s hard to beat, like Newcastle’s stripes, Celtic’s hoops, or Real’s all-white. Nike’s approach?

- Take the traditional checks

- Zoom in

- Make the logo bigger

- Add a Nike swoosh

Just done it.

Croata football kit - Euro 2024

4.) France Away - Le Coq Massiv

We’ve all sat in meetings where the marketing director argued to make the logo bigger. Well, Nike seems to have taken this approach with all their kits this year, and it’s worked. None more so than on the French away kit. No ‘massive coq’ jokes from me, just a pseudo-baseball shirt that belongs in the Louvre.

France football kit - Euro 2024

3.) Netherlands Away - Be Stilj My Beating Heart

Supposedly inspired by De Stilj (the art movement, not the White Stripes album), but it could also have been influenced by 1980s duvet covers. Either way, I love the shapes, and the blue and orange combo is magnificent. Perfectly paired with an 8% Trappist beer outside De Hems in the West End.

Netherlands football kit - Euro 2024

2.) Portugal Away - A Night on the Tiles

I’m often criticized in these columns for favoring safe retro kits. Well, how do you like these apples? When kit manufacturers come up with concepts like ‘it’s inspired by azulejo tiles,’ you often struggle to see the influence. In this case, I can imagine it adorning the floors of a restaurant in Porto on the banks of the Douro. Hand me another pastel de nata and a glass of port, I’m not going anywhere.

Portugal football kit - Euro 2024

1.) Germany Home - Der Meister

The German team’s kits have been in the news a lot this year. Whether it was the announcement that Nike will take over manufacturing duties after 70 years of Adidas, or the current makers prohibiting the use of the number 44 due to its likeness to the SS symbol. But as for the hosts' home kit for the tournament, it’s absolute fire. It even looks like fire. The inside collar is a nod to the 90s, which instantly upgrades any kit, especially when it conjures images of Klinsmann, Brehme, Effenberg, and Matthaus. I love the gradient effect on the sleeves. An absolute gem of a kit. Superfantastisch.

German football kit - Euro 2024

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