In a world where crazy patterns are less of a factor, the right (or wrong) colour choices can make all the difference. Many international teams stick closely to the status quo, but other nations are more open to playing around with different themes from time to time.
One team who have done a good job of keeping things fresh is Portugal. The European champions have a recognisable look in terms of shirts which is easily identifiable at any major tournament, but a quick glance over their history reveals a decent level of experimentation withinthis distinctive theme. In the 80s, a red base was complemented by both white and green details at various points. The early 90s brought with it the introduction of yellow to the palette, and towards the end of the decade Nike played around with a new maroon primary colour.
Portugal (1999); Bento,Couto,Baia,D.Teixeira, Rui Costa; agachados: Secretario, Joao Pinto, Sá Pinto,P.Santos y Figo pic.twitter.com/zOSTzGSWfs
The 1998 home shirt in particular is a standout aesthetic, with contrasting green sleeves trimmed in yellow alongside the deep maroon centre. It doesn’t get any more Portuguese than this.
Nike were relatively conservative on the international scene, and it’d be easy to overlook their work, but shirts like Portugal’s demonstrated the brand’s fantastic approach to colour. Like many MLS kits from the era, or other international kits like those for the Netherlands and South Korea, Portugal’s ‘98 home stood out with it’s considered balance of different shades.
Take away the green and the shirt, though still decent, goes down a gear or two (the relatively underwhelming 2000 home shirt showcases exactly why Nike made the right call). In a similar vein, without the gold trim the shirt is missing that final layer of goodness.
The collar and neckline construction look fantastic with further sections of gold trim, and pleasingly the cuffs of the green sleeves continue the gold trim theme. There simply isn’t a foot put wrong here in terms of colour choices.
Many modern shirts are simply too restrictive with their secondary colours, but the 1998 Portugal home shirt showcases the benefits of a freer approach.
Add the 1998 Portugal home shirt to your collection today. We even have one in our marketplace with Rui Costa’s name and number on the back.
What is FSC Approved?
What makes a football shirt good? It’s a purely subjective question, right?
Whilst there are indeed a lot of subjective elements when it comes to shirts, there are still factors to consider. Sometimes, a design is notable for its unique aesthetic. The colourway, pattern or construction may have gone where no shirt dared to go before it, or it might simply be a particularly good utilisation of a classic approach. Other times, a legendary player elevates a design to immortality, even if the design in question would’ve been hard to pick out of a crowd before.
Our series FSC Approved will be 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.