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The 5 Ugliest World Cup Kits of All Time

Dave HornbyFeatured ColumnistMay 30, 2014

The 5 Ugliest World Cup Kits of All Time

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    Bruno Vincent/Getty Images

    The World Cup evokes some strong memories—both good and bad.

    Whether it's Bobby Moore on the shoulders celebrating in 1966, Johan Cruyff's turn in 1972, Frank Rijkaard spitting at Rudi Voller in 1990, Bebeto and his "rock the baby" celebration in 1994 or David Beckham's infamous kick on Diego Simeone in 1998.

    With these memories come flashes of colours associated with the kits our heroes wore, be it the orange of Holland, blue of Italy or yellow of Brazil, for example.

    The Guardian today released an interactive guide to all World Cup kits throughout the tournament's history worn by the 32 teams taking part this year. Using this guide, we list the top five worst World Cup kits of all time.

    Word of warning—please only proceed if you wish to feel shocked, appalled and physically sick.

5) Germany Away Shirt 1994

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    Klinsmann in action for Germany v Belgium at USA 1994
    Klinsmann in action for Germany v Belgium at USA 1994David Cannon/Getty Images

    This colourful monstrosity was Germany's away kit for the 1994 World Cup finals in the USA—their first appearance in the World Cup as a unified country.

    Created by Adidas, it was the same design as the white home shirt (shown above), but made worse because of the horrific colour clash between the green, red, yellow and black. The jersey was also nicely finished off with the squad number in the middle of the shirt in one of the worst 3D effects ever conceived.

    Fortunately for the spectators, this shirt wasn't required in the USA as Germany wore their white shirt en route to being dumped out of the tournament in the quarter-final stage by Bulgaria.

4) Belgium Away Shirt 1982

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    Belgium v Argentina at 1982 World Cup in Spain
    Belgium v Argentina at 1982 World Cup in SpainAssociated Press

    In the 1982 finals, Belgium managed to reach the second round, with a victory over defending champion Argentina achieved along the way. Unfortunately though, this feat was not achieved by looking good.

    Both the Red Devils' home and away jersey were based on the same horrific design (home shown above), not too dissimilar to wearing yellow fire-fighter braces. An additional fashion faux pas was the unforgivable overuse of the Royal crown ensign on the shirt and shorts.

    Designed by Admiral, the away kit was not worn by the team at the 1982 World Cup finals, however Belgium did unfortunately wear the red, home version of the kit in the five games they played.

3) West Germany Away Shirt 1990

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    Lothar Matthaus in action for Germany against England in 1990
    Lothar Matthaus in action for Germany against England in 1990David Cannon/Getty Images

    What is it with Germany's awful away shirts? Following on from Germany's 1994 jersey, the nation makes the list for a second time with this art deco eyesore.

    Designed by Adidas, probably the only nice thing to say about it is that the shade of green used isn't too vomit-inducing. The jersey featured patterned shapes with different gradient shading—almost like someone had created it on an early version of Microsoft PowerPoint.

    West Germany famously won Italia '90, beating England on penalties in the semi-final. If penalty misses for Stuart Pearce and Chris Waddle weren't hard enough to take for the English, they were knocked out whilst West Germany wore this interesting little number. 

2) Cameroon Away Shirt 1994

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    Cameroon celebrate against Sweden at USA 1994
    Cameroon celebrate against Sweden at USA 1994Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

    Number two on our list is Cameroon's away shirt for USA 1994, which can only be described as a Blue Peter project gone wrong.

    Unbelievably this kit was designed by Mitre and not a five-year-old, as you'd expect. The jersey was a white polo shirt which came complete with red, yellow and green stars emblazoned across the front—but is this any surprise from the nation that later brought us the sleeveless football shirt?

    Unfortunately though, this shirt never got to experience the joys of being on the football pitch as Cameroon wore their home kit for the three group games they played, before being eliminated from the tournament.

1) Nigeria Away Shirt 1994

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    Nigeria's Finidi George in action
    Nigeria's Finidi George in actionShaun Botterill/Getty Images

    In the top spot on the list of ugliest World Cup shirts is this outrageous number which Nigeria wore at USA 1994.

    The best way to describe it is probably using the word "unique." If you wanted to be a little harsher than that though, Adidas' design could also be likened to a pair of old man pajamas. The Magic Eye inspired kit was worn by stars such as Jay-Jay Okocha, Daniel Amokachi, Sunday Oliseh and Finidi George in victories over Greece and Bulgaria.

    Nigeria were later eliminated at the hands of Italy in the round of 16—this may have been for the best as the shirt possessed the power to induce serious migraines.

    Do you agree or disagree? Let us know which is your favourite ugliest kit in the comments below.

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