25 Jun 1978: Team photograph of the Dutch team before the World Cup Final match between Argentina and Holland at the Monumental Stadium in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Argentina won the World Cup 3-1. \ Mandatory Credit: Allsport UK /Allsport

World Cup Countdown: 8 Weeks to Go - Ranking the Best World Cup Kits of All Time

We all love the World Cup. The atmosphere it generates (the vuvuzelas of 2010 aside), the do or die approach to each and every game, and simply the culmination of the greatest players on the planet all playing in one place. It's simply brilliant.  


However, what sometimes slips under the radar amidst the daily action of the biggest tournament on the planet are the kits. The likes of adidas, Nike, Puma and Umbro must spend countless hours at the drawing board, perfecting the shirts of each nation to wear on the world's biggest stage. 


Sometimes, they're a bit naff. Sometimes, they're alright. But other times, they're just downright impeccable. 


Enough chat, let's take a look at some of the best World Cup kits of all time...

9. USA 1994

This strip may not jump out at you instantly, but the U.S. kit for the 1994 edition of the World Cup is quite a classy one. 


The shirt, despite being regarded as ugly by a select bunch of visually impaired individuals, captured the imagination of America from a footballing perspective; even more so given the fact that the tournament was being held in the country for the first time. 


Despite their patriotic strip, however, the U.S. failed to progress past the round of 16, losing to Brazil by one goal to nil. No shame in that, lads. 

8. Canada 1986

Albeit slightly reminiscent of a vintage Liverpool kit with 'Canada' rather than 'Candy' sprawled across the front, the Canadians' kit for the 1986 kit is weirdly likeable. 


The design is smart and basic, and reeks of classy vintage adidas. However, the simplicity of the shirt proved true by failing to distract the Canadians' opponents, as they lost all three group games without scoring a goal. 

7. Brazil 1978

To be honest, you could chuck any Brazil kit in this section and it would be hard to disagree with it being one of the best. 


The iconic yellow shirt and blue shorts with a tint of green along the way has captured the imagination of millions as a symbol of eccentric, flair-filled football. It is emblematic of a playing style full of flamboyance, and is undoubtedly one of the most recognisable strips in footballing history. 

6. Argentina 1978

Simple, classy and effective, La Albiceleste's strip for the 1978 World Cup campaign oozed style through simplicity. 


The Argentines' kit effectively contained the famous white and blue stripes, the national badge and the adidas logo, and is still recognised today as one of the most fashionable football shirts of all time. 


Oh, and they won the trophy on home soil that year as well, just to add substance to style. 

5. Zaire 1974

Arguably one of the worst sides to ever take to the pitch at the World Cup, the Zaire national team did however rock up to their first and only showing at the tournament in style. 


Despite winning the fashion contest by a country mile, Zaire lost the football side of the tournament embarrassingly. 


They were knocked out at the group stage having failed to score a single goal, as well as conceding 14 in three games to add insult to injury. 


But at least they looked cool in doing so.  

4. Soviet Union 1966

The Soviet Union impressed at the World Cup finals in England back in 1966, going all the way to the semi finals in stylish fashion as they finished in fourth place. 


Besides their exemplary footballing ability, the nation had already caught the eye before a ball was even kicked as a result of their kit choice. 


A classic red shirt, white shorts and red sock combo with CCCP emblazoned across the chest - a Russian abbreviation for the Soviet Union - is still adored by football fans even to this day.  

3. Peru 1970

The Peruvians arrived in Mexico back in 1970 with little expectation from a footballing perspective, but boy did they win the hearts of many through their kit rather than their football. 


Playing in an all white strip with a striking red sash across the front and back, Peru made it to the quarter finals where they lost 4-2 to Brazil. 


They may have left Mexico disheartened, but their kit is still regarded as one of the World Cup's greatest. 

2. Netherlands 1978

A team that won the hearts of many a football hipster across the land through their innovative playing style, the Dutch side of 1978 had more going for them than just their performances on the pitch.


The Netherlands finished as finalists in Argentina that year, losing out to the hosts, but they bowed out in style wearing a simplistic but effective orange strip with black lining. 


Understandably, the kit is heralded as one of the greatest of all time and encapsulated Holland's excellence in football.  

1. West Germany 1990

There was never any doubt which kit would finish first, was there? A design so breathtakingly historic and effective that adidas have re-imagined it for the German national team to wear this summer, the 1990 strip has gone down in history as arguably the greatest national kit ever.


A simple white shirt decorated by a zig-zag design embodying the national colours, coupled with contrasting black shorts, spurred the Germans on to World Cup glory. 


Let's be real here, they should've been awarded the trophy before a ball had been kicked, such was the brilliance of the kit; it's simply too beautiful to ignore.