Legendary 1998 Chile home shirt was so good it had to be reigned in

FSC Approved – 1998 Chile home shirt

The best shirts have a story behind them which carries forward the legend for future generations.

Sometimes these stories help explain some of the odd quirks you might notice when you look back on kit history. Take Chile in 1998 for example.

If you look up pictures of La Roja’s home shirt in 1998, you’ll probably see images of Marcelo Salas and Ivan Zamorano, a truly cult strike partnership. The pair led the line for Chile at France 98, guiding the side through to an honourable defeat to finalists Brazil in the last 16, after going unbeaten (3 games, 3 draws) in the group stage.

The shirt that summer was a memorable design from Reebok, which utilised Chile’s classic colours with the standout addition of a giant Reebok logo in white across the top of the shirt. A contrasting blue collar with subtle white detailing was replicated nicely on the cuffs, and everything was finished off nicely with some typically bold 90s numbers.

Let me loop back slightly though. I said the top of the shirt featured a giant Reebok logo, but in truth the design you’ll see in picture of France 98 is technically only a partial Reebok logo.

To get the full effect, you need to find pictures of Salas and co from a match outside of the World Cup. In what is a rather contemporary tale, Chile and Reebok were forced to adapt the original, full Reebok logo design due to branding restrictions. 

I absolutely love the adaptation. It would have been easy to simply remove the white Reebok mark altogether, but by tweaking the logo instead and maintaining some of the original design, we’re left with a more interesting aesthetic that’s faithful to the original whilst also conforming to FIFA regulations.

Both the World Cup version of the 98 Chile shirt and the non-WC version are bona fide gems, and if you’re lucky enough to own one you’ll have the added benefit of a dinner party story in your back pocket too…

If you’re quick, you can snag a 1998 Chile home shirt (World Cup version) with Marcelo Salas’ name and number from our marketplace.

What is FSC Approved?

FSC Approved is a lovingly curated list of shirts that deserve to be in the conversation as good, possibly even great football shirts, no matter who you support or what your taste in shirts is. Old classics, new contenders, if it’s FSC Approved it’s as close to a certified banger as you can get.

Phil Delves

One thought on “Legendary 1998 Chile home shirt was so good it had to be reigned in

  1. When some people asked why they kept part of that giant Reebok logo, they replied it means also to represent Los Andes mountains shape. Very clever answer imo.
    To this day this is probably one of the most popular shirts between chileans along with the 80’s Adidas shirt, even more with all the controversy of the 2020 horrible Nike kit.

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