Germany 2018

Germany 2018


There are some kits that seem destined to live long in the memories of football fans - until the team wearing them crashes and burns. 

There is quite possibly no greater example of this in the last decade than what the German national team did to one of the finest kits in recent memory: the 2018 World Cup away shirt. 

The shirt itself, as with the side's home kit, drew heavily on those worn during Germany’s triumphant World Cup 1990 campaign. Specifically the away shirt famously worn by the Germans when they dumped England out on penalties. 


After a few years away, green returned as the away colour for the German national team in 2018. EQT green, to be precise. In fact, it was just the second time this century, along with the away shirt worn at Euro 2012, that Germany returned to its classic away colour and it's fair to say it got people pretty excited. 

The pattern worked beautifully as an updated nod to the iconic 1990 template and the shirt was completed with a gold badge on the chest, celebrating their status as reigning champions of the world. 

That’s not to say as an overall design it was faultless, mind you. While the design of the shirt was undoubtedly good, the numbering and lettering left much to be desired. We know who Draxler is - Oaaxler on the other hand, we’re not so sure about.




Minor quibbles aside, in a World Cup packed full of throwback designs, Germany’s away shirt really stood out. And with the side among the pre-tournament favourites, it looked destined for classic status. Then it all went wrong. 

Germany, never short of self assurance and confidence, will have viewed their group as eminently winnable. They would be up against Mexico, Sweden and South Korea. 

A 1-0 loss in the opening game against Mexico should have signalled what was to come, but many were happy enough to dismiss it as simply minor blip. 

Next up would be Sweden. As the clock ticked into the dying seconds of extra time, and with the score at 1-1, it seemed that Germany could unthinkably be going two games in a row without a win. Then, in the 95th minute, Tony Kroos scored a remarkable free kick. Germany’s hopes were very much still alive.



Toni KROOS free-kick vs Sweden | 2018 FIFA World Cup. Watch here.


Their final group stage game would be against the already eliminated South Korea. With the two sides playing in the early game, Germany needed to win to put the pressure on Mexico who played Sweden later in the evening. 

A disastrous 92nd minute South Korea goal was followed by Germany throwing everyone forward, including Manuel Neuer. A long ball over the top sent Heung-Min Son streaking away to finish into an open net and to the genuine shock of the world of football, Germany were out. The loss also meant that they were guaranteed to finish bottom of their qualifying group, an unthinkable outcome for the defending world champions and a team tipped as one of the favourites to win the whole thing.


SON Heungmin Goal - Korea Republic v Germany. Watch here.


While pre tournament sales were strong, Adidas ultimately lost out on an estimated 40 million euros following the side's early elimination. 

While the team's performance left everyone in Germany looking to forget all memories of the 2018 World Cup, the away shirt deserves more. 

As an example of executing a throwback design with a modern twist, few have ever done it better.



Words by Andy Gallagher


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