The Switch

The most iconic fits in European Championship history

Krishan Davis
There have been some fantastic Euro fits down the years
There have been some fantastic Euro fits down the years / Pool/Getty Images
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If you're into your fashion, there is nothing quite like getting a fit off.

Fit
noun
Another word for outfit.
'Man, that guy's got some nice fits.'

Stepping out in a pair of box-fresh trainers, dusting off a forgotten jacket purchased in lockdown and basking in your mates' compliments at the pub, clocking a fellow hard garm™ enthusiast eyeing up your outfit before giving you a knowing - if fleeting - glance as you pass each other in the street. They all hit differently, as they say.

Making an ostentatious display of individualism on the football pitch (or the sidelines), though, is a delicate skill - especially given the limitations and traditions of a uniform kit, tracksuit or suit.

However, in the rich history of the European Championships there has been countless show-stopping kit, boot, suit and outlandish hairstyle combinations.

That's right; in a footballing sense, an iconic fit has been created when all those components - the shirt, the boots, the hair - come together perfectly to leave an imprint on that tournament's history.

Here are the most iconic fits - from players, managers and occasionally whole squads - in European Championship history.


1. USSR squad - 1960

The first European Championship may have been played during the Cold War, but the USSR brought the heat.

The inaugural winners, and they wore a wonderfully simple shirt while doing it, too.

2. Ferruccio Valcareggi - Euro 1968

One of the OG European Championship looks.

Italy would win the tournament, and you'd usually find Valcareggi donning a spell-out 'Italia' tracksuit.

The tops are still iconic to this day, with bootleg versions available at any good European street market.

3. Antonin Panenka - Euro 1976

Antonín Panenka
Antonin Panenka takes his famous penalty kick in 1980 / Getty Images/Getty Images

Best known for inventing the cheekiest of penalty kicks, the Czechoslovakia hero also looked pretty cool while doing it with his barnet and 'tache, combined with the classic adidas jersey.

4. Kevin Keegan - Euro 1980

Kevin Keegan
Kevin Keegan in 1980 / Getty Images/Getty Images

Captain fantastic. Who wouldn't want to follow that perm into battle?!

The Admiral shirt is among the most underrated in England's history, too.

5. Luc Millecamps - Euro 1980

Belgian Team Group
Millecamps is number 3 / Keystone/Getty Images

A true pioneer with a thick beard back in the early 80s.

It's hard to know where Millecamps' hair ended and facial hair began, but dressed in Belgiums lovely 1980 strip he looked the part.

6. Michel Platini - Euro 1984

Michel Platini, Carlos Alonso
French team captain and midfielder Michel Platini / STAFF/Getty Images

Ignoring the, er, discrepancies that have come to light since, Platini is an icon of the European Championships.

Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your stance) the short shorts and baggy shirt combination is a thing of the past. Platini was one man who could pull it off, though.

7. Allan Simonsen - Euro 1984

Allan Simonsen
Allan Simonsen back in 1984 / Getty Images/Getty Images

Surely the only player who ever has, or ever will, swap Barcelona for Charlton Athletic?!

He left the Catalan giants for south London when Diego Maradona arrived on the scene. Not sure what he was thinking, but at least he looked cool.

8. Dutch squad - Euro 1988

UEFA European Championship 1988 - VI Archive
Frank Rijkaard and Marco van Basten in 1988 / VI-Images/Getty Images

Is having the waviest kit the key to European Championship success? We'll have more evidence to suggest that's the case later on.

The faultless geometric pattern with vibrant orange fading into white remains hugely popular to this day.

Always the bridesmaid never the bride, the 1988 European Championship remains the Netherlands' only major piece of silverware.

9. USSR squad - Euro 1988

Oleksandr Zavarovof
The USSR sported this beauty in 1988 / Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images

The USSR at it again - still during the Cold War, but still bringing the heat.

Honestly, the pattern is the same as the Dutch shirt, but details like the collar and striking typeface across the torso set it apart.

10. Denmark squad - Euro 1992

Danish players celebrate their victory after defea
Danish players celebrate their victory at Euro 92 / PATRICK HERTZOG/Getty Images

Another set of winners with a drippy strip. Make of that what you will.

The partnership between Denmark's national team and Danish brand hummel has been producing unrivalled kits for decades now.

The Danes defied the odds and stunned the continent when they reached the final and defeated Germany in Gothenburg.

11. Ruud Gullit - Euro 1992

Ruud Gullit of Holland
One hell of a fit / Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Ruud Gullit has always been among the coolest players in the game, but he achieved the ultimate fit as the no.10 in this oft forgotten Netherlands shirt from Lotto, of all brands.

The dreads, the geometric pattern, the extremely 90s typeface for the shirt number. Oozes cool.

12. Tomas Brolin - Euro 1992

TOMAS BROLIN SWE
Sweden's Tomas Brolin in 1992 / Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Look at that flowing blonde mane. adidas' designers really knew what they were doing in the 90s, and Brolin benefitted.

The three stripes on the shoulder and the shorts are a thing of beauty.

The Swedes made it all the way to the semis on home soil, and the forward scored in every game (including against England).

13. Aljosa Asanovic - Euro 1996

CROATIA V ITALY ALJOSA ASANOVIC
Aljoša Asanović looking handsome / Michael Chan/Getty Images

Asanovic makes the cut for having every young Englishman's haircut at Euro 96, even if he is Croatian.

Later adopted by the likes of David Beckham, Asanovic was a pioneer. It didn't look bad paired with his nation's fine Lotto strip, either.

14. Arrigo Sachhi - Euro 1996

Sacchi looking fire at Euro '96
Sacchi looking fire at Euro '96 /

This one speaks for itself. Nike's first foray into international European football was in 1996 with Italy, which meant coach Arrigo Sacchi got to flex this ridiculously cool shell suit on the sidelines.

Eagle-eyed sneakerheads will also spot the pair of Air Max 95s adorning his feet, too. Italian managers know what's up.

15. David Seaman - Euro 1996

David Seaman of Engalnd prepares for another penalty kick
David Seaman of Engalnd prepares for another penalty kick / Simon Bruty/Getty Images

Goalie shirts in the 90s were not for the faint-hearted, but David Seaman could pull them off no problem.

Here he is in his iconic Euro 96 kit, look - on paper a horrible clash of red, purple, yellow and green.

But, somehow, paired with his moustache it was just right.

16. Paul Gascoigne - Euro 1996

Paul Gascoigne
An icon whatever he was wearing / Getty Images/Getty Images

The most iconic fit in England's history? Not for me to say - but yes.

Whether he was in the home or away shirt, Gazza's bleached blonde hair, number eight, tucked shirt and early adidas Predator look was something to savour.

17. Abel Xavier - Euro 2000

Abel Xavier
Abel Xavier's hair was a madness / Ben Radford/Getty Images

Xavier's bleached blonde hair and matching beard are even mentioned in his Wikipedia entry.

He was a central figure for Portugal in France, with this look enough to throw any top striker off their game.

18. Edgar Davids - Euro 2000

Edgar Davids
Edgar Davids has always been effortlessly cool / Ben Radford/Getty Images

Man, the Dutch sides of the 90s and early 00s were cool.

Edgar Davids might just be the coolest of the lot, and he's rarely looked better than at Euro 2000. Paired with his trademark goggles, this Dutch kit was a dream.

19. Francesco Totti - Euro 2000

Francesco Totti
Totti at Euro 2000 / Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Admittedly one of our favourites on this list is a young Francesco Totti.

The flowing man-bob, the contrast of the white headband, the kit in that lighter shade of blue. Kappa revolutionised football shirt manufacturing with their seamless Kombat 2000 design for Italy at Euro 2000, and it just pops on the Bimbo de Oro.

Synonymous with the number ten, looking at this image is enough to convince you he was born to wear 20. Madonna.

20. Frank Rijkaard - Euro 2000

Franck Rijkaard
Frank Rijkaard led the Netherlands at Euro 2000 / DENIS CHARLET/Getty Images

We're still not sure what happened to Frank Rijkaard, but at his peak he was one of the best dressed managers around.

If you can pull off a leather trench coat on the touchline you clearly have something about you.

21. Henrik Larsson - Euro 2000

Henrik Larsson
Henrik Larsson looking fly / Gary M. Prior/Getty Images

Another excellent headband-shirt combo.

Apart from aerodynamics and all the obvious, necessary scientific stuff, why did anyone ever stop making these ridiculously baggy shirts?

A shame IMO.

22. Karel Poborsky - Euro 2000

Karel Poborsky of the Czech Republic
Karel Poborsky of the Czech Republic / Simon Bruty/Getty Images

The Czech legend was a sign to behold with his wild hair and mazy dribbling.

There was no mistaking him bombing down the wing in this smart PUMA kit and old school PUMA King boots.

23. Steve McManaman - Euro 2000

Steve McManaman, Paulo Bento
Steve McManaman looking cool / Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

The floppy hair, the tucked shirt, the adidas Copa Mundials.

You've definitely played several iterations of this bloke on Hackney Marshes.

Very much a look - just a shame McManaman didn't show up at the Euros and has become a naff commentator.

24. Ian Walker - Euro 2004

Michael Owen, Ian Walker
England arrive in Portugal for Euro 2004 / Pool/Getty Images

Only included England's third-choice goalkeeper because this pic of him getting off the plane in Portugal is hilarious.

25. Otto Rehhagel - Euro 2004

FBL-EUR2004-GRE-CZE
Otto Rehhagel in his famous tracksuit / ADRIAN DENNIS/Getty Images

A full adidas tracksuit is enough of a statement from a manager in itself, but to win a whole tournament wearing one?

Respect man, respect.

26. Rui Costa - Euro 2004

FBL-EUR2004-POR-GRE
Rui Costa's iconic look at Euro 2004 / ARIS MESSINIS/Getty Images

OK maybe Totti isn't actually our outright favourite on this list.

Rui Costa's Euro 2004 attire was something to behold, made even better by the unnecessarily low socks over his subtle ankle tape and lovely adidas Predator Pulses.

No-one was complaining about Nike's kit templates back then, with the circle around the front shirt number a detail we have not seen enough of in the years since.

27. Tomas Rosicky - Euro 2004

==CZECH REPUBLIC OUT== Czech national fo
Funny / AFP/Getty Images

Another photo for comedy value, but on the pitch Tomas Rosicky looked like every teenage boy at the time, taking a break from watching Sum 41 videos on Kerrang! to tune into the football.

The wet-look gelled up hair, baggy shirt and Total 90s was a vibe.

28. Andrey Arshavin - Euro 2008

Andrei Arshavin
Simple, but brilliant / Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Russia were the surprise package in 2008, and Andrey Arshavin was at the heart of everything they accomplished.

The impish attacker had a unique look, with shirt tucked in and understated black Nike Mercurials all tournament long.

No wonder he went into fashion.

29. David Silva - Euro 2008

David Silva
David Silva oozes cool / MLADEN ANTONOV/Getty Images

David Silva has always looked like that unflappable cool boy from school who was sick at football.

His surfer hairstyle, baggy shirt and low-slung shorts all contribute to an iconic look. Those adidas adiPure boots aren't bad either.

30. Torsten Frings - Euro 2008

Michael Ballack, Torsten Frings
Frings at Euro 2008 / Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

Scorer of bangers, wearer of fine fits.

A beneficiary of the latter days of baggy kits, Frings looked fine in 2008 with his trademark long hair, headband and a clean pair of white Total 90s.

31. Vicente Del Bosque - Euro 2012

Vicente del Bosque
What a tache / Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Some nice suits down the years, but he mainly gets a spot for his unforgettable tache.

32. Zoltan Gera - Euro 2016

Zoltan Gera
The one highlight of Euro 2016 / Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

In truth, there were very few fits of note in 2016 (and 2012) for that matter, as football kits become more technical and football boots increasingly more garish (depending who you ask).

Zoltan Gera does deserve a mention, though - mainly for his unorthodox Mizuno boots, in which he scored a banger. Hungary's adidas kit from the tournament is sufficiently smart, too. Nice work all round.

33. Roberto Mancini - Euro 2020

Roberto Mancini
Roberto Mancini getting a fit off on the opening night of Euro 2020 / Alberto Lingria - Pool/Getty Images

It may have been the opening night of Euro 2020, but it was Roberto Mancini's fit that stole the show.

Already one of the most suave gaffers in the game, this light grey suit jacket took his touchline look to new levels. We really should just go directly to the Italy national team's manager for fashion advice in the future.


For more from Krishan Davis, follow him on Twitter!

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