The 2012 European Championship in football begins in just a few short weeks. People who live in Europe or are descended from people who lived in Europe will be watching all the matches, as will various people who do not live in Europe and in some cases have never been to Europe, but still feel that the level of football played in that tournament is greater than the level played in their locality.
The GoobNet Special Projects Enhancement and Enforcement Division [SPEED], however, is not prepared to discuss the level of football at Euro 2012, partly because it hasn’t happened yet, but mostly because whatever level is played in the tournament is sure to be much higher than the level at which they play.
Instead, we now present the GoobNet SPEED’s comprehensive review of kits to be worn at the tournament.
The Polish kits are delightfully understated, as usual. One change from previous years is the addition of the Polish Football Association’s logo in addition to the nation’s coat of arms. However, this is too many logos for our taste; only the coat of arms should be used. The red stripe on the white shirt is actually lower than the white stripe on the red shirt, done intentionally to evoke the Polish flag. To make this clearer to viewers, we would suggest borrowing a Russian idea and adding a thin border of another colour, perhaps silver, above and below the flag.
Greece’s kits are suitable as is. They have borrowed the cross that Serbia wore in South Africa two years ago, but adding a mesh pattern for a faded effect.
Several years ago, Russia changed from white kits with blue trim to red kits with gold trim, intentionally evoking the team’s Soviet heritage. The colours of the Russian flag are again found, this time as a diagonal stripe offset in gold trim. We would only suggest modifying the stripe ordering on the white socks to match the flag.
The Czech Rep, like many teams that we will see, has changed to a monochrome appearance – all red in this case. The Czechs used to wear white shorts and blue socks with their red shirts. Other changes include a checkered pattern across the top and a blue stripe that features the country’s lesser coat of arms, rather than the greater coat of arms normally worn. We would prefer a lighter shade of red, but overall this is a good change.
The first kit features a pair of triangles in a darker orange shade, which makes the shirt look more like a goalkeeper’s than a field player’s. The second kit is black with an orange stripe extending down from the shoulder. This is acceptable, but we much prefer the white and blue alternates that have been used in past years.
The Danes have selected a kit with a striped pattern, white across the shoulders, and black trim, paying homage to that worn twenty years ago when Denmark won their first European championship. We are pleased with this approach.
We are extra pleased with Germany’s uniforms. The white jersey includes three thin diagonal stripes representing the country’s flag, and the second uniform returns to the traditional green, putting an end to the black and red wackiness seen over the last decade.
Portugal have returned to a simple home uniform in a slightly darker shade of red. This is a good change, but we would prefer more of a wine red like that worn at Korea/Japan 2002. The green and red cross seen on the white shirt is completely awesome.
The Spanish have gone to a diagonal theme: the red shirt has a diagonal stripe pattern, and the second shirt is a pale blue with a dark blue diagonal stripe that fades out at the bottom. Indeed, the choice of pale blue appears to be completely arbitrary. We recommend that Spain pick an away shirt colour and stick with it.
We are pleased to see the Azzurri bring back white shorts after selecting all blue for the past few years. However, you should expect to see all blue in some of Italy’s matches, such as the one against Croatia in Poznań. We are not that excited about the blue stripe across the second white shirt, but we suspect that it will look better paired with white shorts.
The Irish are keeping their current kit, which features classy stripes in two shades of green. The white second kit keeps the same motif with one stripe down the left chest, again in two green shades. This is a winning combination.
The famous red and white checkered pattern returns, but the squares are smaller on the sleeves, an amendment that seems pointless to us. But we enjoy seeing how the checkered pattern manifests itself on the second shirt: in this case, it can be found in a triangle extending down from the collar and shoulder.
The familiar yellow uniform is back, this time with a band across the chest in lighter yellow bordered in blue. The second uniform is the same pattern, but in blue.
The Swedes have selected a yellow shirt with thin blue stripes, which we believe will look delightful on the pitch against England. The dark blue second shirt that bears a yellow diagonal stripe is being kept for this tournament, but we are not as excited about this.
Since switching from Adidas to Nike last year, France’s kits have become much more dull. It’s France, dammit. We want to see blue, white, and red.
England have introduced a new first kit that is in all white with red trim. Blue is, surprisingly, entirely absent. The second kit, introduced last year, is comprised of a navy blue shirt and light blue shorts; red is entirely absent from this kit. These are, in our estimation, the worst kits on offer at Euro 2012. England should revert to the kits worn previously: white shirt and blue shorts, red shirt and white shorts.
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