Chris O (follow on Twitter: @COakleyFtbl)
Fri 16 June 2006

Obscure World Cup Kits From History #2

Nigeria (v Greece, 1994)

The early 90's was a time of great imagination in the world of football kit design. Improved technology and advances in the manufacturing process allowed the big name companies to produce ever more bizarre and outlandish strips.

While some looked plain ridiculous, combining colours that simply didn't belong together, others focused on intricate and detailed patternwork. A prime example of the latter was never better illustrated than when Nigeria took to the field to play Greece in the 1994 World Cup.

The Greeks had first choice of kit colour, so naturally they went for their traditional blue shirts but that meant the Nigerians were unable to wear the green shirts they favoured, so out came their brand-new Adidas change strip of all white.

Yet this was no ordinary white strip. On closer inspection, those white shirts and shorts were actually riddled with what can only be described as an 'ethnic' pattern. While nothing like it had been seen before (and some would argue since), it seemed to work. Here was an African team wearing a kit that resonated African tribal symbolism... kind of.

OK, so some people compared it to your favourite old pair of pyjamas from when you were six years old, but I thought it was a bold and inventive design by those canny Germans, and it can't have done the Nigeria team any harm as they beat Greece by two goals to nil in what was in fact their first ever match at the World Cup.

What a way to make an entrance...

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