PORTLAND, Ore. – With plenty of design nods to country flags and past World Cup success, adidas launched the design of its new home World Cup 2014 kits this week.
While showing off its new Samba collection of brightly colored boots—four in total—they didn’t play with Brazilian-like colors on federation jerseys.
Ernesto Bruce, adidas North America’s director of soccer, says the home jerseys revealed this week offer the lightest uniform to date, 40 percent lighter than what current national teams are wearing at a total of 8.8 ounces with the shirt, shorts and socks.
“Every single one of these kits has been reengineered for the players,” Bruce says.
A gallery of the new kits is above, while a more detailed account of seven nations' new jerseys is below:
When you win as much as Spain does, you can go a bit bold. The new deep red of Spain pairs with golden stripes and a golden crest to “celebrate the golden era they are currently in,” Bruce says. For the first time ever, the national team will play in head-to-toe red.
The white version of the Germany kit includes an angular design in red and black on the front, meant to harken to the architecture and vibrancy of the country with a play on the national flag, Bruce says. They will pair with white shorts and socks, putting Germany in an all-white look for the first time in history. By bringing in silver on the front, the jersey can also feature the team’s crest and three stars to symbolize each of the country’s World Cup wins.
In keeping with tradition, Argentina still boasts sky blue vertical stripes, but now with a modern flare. Using reflective visual effects, the design is meant to simulate a flag waving in the wind, even if it is a bit of a stretch to visualize. Also new is the team’s crest, outlined in gold to help with contrast. Expect to see white shorts and white socks with sky-blue stripes.
To mirror the national flag, the base of the uniform is yellow, but with blue stripes on the shoulder and diagonal blue stripes on the front. In a nod to the flag, a red horizontal line rests on the back of the shirt. Detailed graphical features include the popular Colombian “Vueltiao Hat” crest on the front, Andean Condor wings on the back and new white shorts to symbolize peace.
With more than 33 million Mexican-Americans in the U.S., Bruce says the Mexican team jersey is their top-selling jersey. The base green couple with a “superhero look” said to show a renewed energy coming from the county. “The hunger and passion fans have for this jersey is unparalleled in the U.S.,” Bruce says.
The deep blue of Japan’s kit features 11 lines spreading out from the emblem and national flag to symbolize “Enjin,” or the act of going into a huddle.
The red and gold—seen in the stripes and double-headed eagle crest—of Russia play off the national flag’s colors. A written tribute, “Conquerors of Space,” celebrates Russia’s space achievements.
The away kits for the most popular federations will be revealed in 2014. Tim Newcomb covers stadiums, design and technology for Sports Illustrated. Follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.