A World Cup taking place in the middle of winter is bad enough. A World Cup with horrendous kits is abominable.
All in all, we might have to stick a big fat asterisk next to this winter’s tournament. There’s no saving it.
Here are our picks for the worst kits at the 2022 World Cup.
For the most part, Puma’s home shirts for the World Cup are rather inoffensive.
The same can’t be said of their away designs. Why does Serbia’s kit look like a chocolate wrapper?
Nice try, Nike. American fans aren’t going to be more interested in soccer just because you made their shirt look like a NFL jersey.
Cut off the sleeves of Uruguay’s away kit and you have a NBA jersey. Keep them on and you get a crap football strip.
You know when a pen explodes in your bag and the ink gets all over everything? Yeah, that’s the England home kit.
HOW DO YOU GET CROATIA’S HOME KIT WRONG. IT’S LITERALLY JUST RED AND WHITE SQUARES. YOU DON’T NEED TO DO ANYTHING ELSE.
I’m speechless. As in, I literally have no words. It’s unbelievable. Beyond belief.
Canada will head to their first World Cup in about 300 years without a new kit from Nike.
That would at least be passable if they were any good, but Les Rouges have been lumbered with training wear.
The worst part about Argentina’s away kit is it was so close to being a classic.
Purple with lighter accents? Sign us up. Purple with flames? Why???
Things the Netherlands home top looks like:
– Those cushions with reversible fur when you swipe your hand across it
– An old rug from the 1980s
Things the Netherlands home top doesn’t look like:
– A Netherlands home top
You know things are bad when a Switzerland kit isn’t a big plus.
I’m here all week.
Anyway, their changed strip for the World Cup looks like a FIFA 98 loading screen. And not in a good, nostalgic way.
I was astounded to discover there were actual fans of Portugal’s strange home kit, but I’m standing my ground – the Selecao should always wear a dark burgundy with gold trim. None of this split rubbish with green shorts.
Belgium are threatening to bring the game into disrepute by rocking up to the biggest sporting event in the world dressed like they’re heading to a year 5 disco.
They must be punished for this unforgivable misdemeanour.
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Newcastle set to finalise deal for Garang Kuol
Australia international Garang Kuol is set to finalise a move to Newcastle United, sources have told 90min.
90min revealed earlier this month that Newcastle were in talks with his club Central Coast Mariners, and now a deal is understood to be in place with Eddie Howe’s side seeing off competition from various clubs, including German giants Borussia Dortmund.
Newcastle were waiting for Kuol to complete his international duty with Australia this month before finalising the deal. The 18-year-old made his debut against New Zealand on Sunday and is now believed to be heading to Europe.
Kuol and his camp have already agreed terms with Newcastle ahead of a move that would be finalised in January – at which point the Magpies will decide on what to do with him in the short-term.
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As it stands, Kuol would not qualify for a work permit, but that matter could change quickly if he is involved at the World Cup finals. This won’t be known until manager Graham Arnold names his squad in a few weeks.
Newcastle are understood to already have a plan in place to send Kuol on loan to another league in Europe – the length of which will be determined by his work permit standing.
Jurgen Klinsmann & Danny Williams on why so many USMNT players succeed in Germany
Germany has long been a breeding ground for American players, but why do so many success stories from across the pond begin their European adventure there?
The United States men’s national team’s biggest stars first trained in the Bundesliga before making their jump elsewhere, from Christian Pulisic to Weston McKennie and Tyler Adams. Giovanni Reyna, meanwhile, is continuing his rapid rise with Borussia Dortmund.
This is nothing new, with the likes of Landon Donovan and Fabian Johnson all using the German top-flight to kick-start successful careers at both club and international levels.
So, is it the similarities in culture between the United States and Germany that makes it such an attractive destination, the style of play, or something else?
“I think culture-wise, Germany and the US are very similar. They’re two countries that are full of ‘doers’. They don’t want to wait for the other nations, they’re just doing their thing. America is doing its own thing and Germans just like to go ahead and do their thing,” former USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann told 90min.
“The German culture is very open to young talent coming in and giving it a shot, try it out, see how far you can take it. And if it doesn’t work, you can still go back home, no problem at all. The Bundesliga is known for giving young players chances. 17, 18, 19 years of age. If you’re good, that’s all it takes, the coach will throw you into the cold water and you’ve got to swim, and if the water is too cold, no problem, we can slow down the process.”
As a former US international who was born and raised in Germany, Danny Williams has experienced the pathway between the two countries better than most. The 33-year-old midfielder got his break at Freiburg back in 2010 and also went on to represent Hoffenheim before playing in England with Reading and Huddersfield Town.
He echoed Klinsmann’s sentiments regarding Germany’s willingness to give youth a try, owing – in his opinion – to the country’s much smaller ownership model when compared to clubs in the Premier League.
“I think Germany is one of the best places to develop as a young player because most of the clubs don’t have big owners and there isn’t as much money around like at Chelsea, Arsenal, or Tottenham,” Williams told 90min.
“That’s fine because they still go on and play for those clubs if they succeed in Germany. The tactical and technical education is very good in Germany. I was fortunate enough to go through my youth in these academies and what you learn there is amazing. What I really like about Bundesliga is these young guys are given a chance and they’re trusted by the coach to make the step into the first team, have game time, and not come and be replaced by a superstar if you don’t perform in one or two games, like at Man Utd. They’re a bit more patient with you.”
Across his time in charge of the USMNT and as head coach of multiple Bundesliga outfits, including Bayern Munich, Klinsmann has seen first-hand just how players can excel in Germany, with so many American stars across Europe owing their success to the country.
“I think over decades now, the Bundesliga has proven that model, that’s why a lot of young players give it a shot,” Klinsmann added.
“It’s just wonderful to see so many American players fight their way through it. Maybe they end up in another league but at the end of the day, they have their starting point in the Bundesliga where they become really good, especially if you’re talking about players like Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie, or Tyler Adams. It’s a calibre of player that’s rare to have so many of them in the United States.”
Klinsmann and Williams spoke to 90min at the ‘Bundesliga Common Ground Project Event’ in NYC. For information and more from Williams and Klinsmann, check out our latest our article here and more of our video content from the event on our Twitter and Instagram.
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