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The best European Championship kits of all-time - ranked

Ross Jackson
Jun 4, 2021, 12:00 PM GMT+1
Filippo Inzaghi in Italy's iconic Euro 2000 kit
Filippo Inzaghi in Italy's iconic Euro 2000 kit / Ben Radford/Getty Images
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Euro 2020 is finally just around the corner and we'd be lying if we said one of our favourite parts of major international tournaments wasn't getting to see some quality kits in action.

Classic shirts are big business these days, so much so that there's rarely a new kit released that isn't 'inspired by' a campaign the majority of people who'll buy it didn't even know happened.

With that in mind, 90min has taken a trip down memory lane and picked out the ten best kits ever to appear at the European Championships, ranking them from number 15 right the way down to the best of them all.

15. Belgium - Euro 84

Nico Claesen in Belgium's Euro 84 offering
Nico Claesen in Belgium's Euro 84 offering / Getty Images/Getty Images

Belgium don't seem to have it in them to make bad kits.

If you were to describe this shirt to someone it would sound absolutely horrific, with its black, red and yellow diamonds strewn across a white band on a red background - it just sounds too busy.

But when you see the pictures you realise it actually looks unreal.

The centralised badge with the old-school adidas logo on the top corner is the sort of thing football hipsters start salivating over, and the Red Devils have copied the weird yet wonderful design on a number of occasions since.

14. Poland - Euro 2012

Robert Lewandowski at Euro 2012
Robert Lewandowski at Euro 2012 / Michael Steele/Getty Images

Given the clamour for retro designs these days it's tough to produce a shirt that really stands out from the crowd without being a blatant rip-off of a design from 30 years ago.

Poland have experimented with all sorts of patterns and fits over the years, though their Euro 2012 shirt just hits the spot.

Nothing extravagant, nothing ground-breaking, just a plain white shirt with a rectangular block of colour on the chest and red detailing above.

Should be boring, but somehow isn't.

13. Czechoslovakia - Euro 76

It's only natural that some shirts hold a place in our hearts because of the moments of footballing history that took place when they were worn.

Antonin Panenka made football ten times more fun back in Euro 76 when he produced an audacious penalty and made of fool of West Germany goalkeeper Sepp Maier to claim Czechoslovakia's first ever European Championship.

The shirt worn on said momentous occasion will never be forgotten, and while it may look like a £2 red t-shirt with a badge sewn into the centre, it's still unquestionably iconic.

Any man who makes football more entertaining gets a nod from us, and Panenka penalties are always fun to watch whether they go right or wrong.

12. USSR - Euro 88

Sure it's nice to have your country's national team badge printed on your shirt, but nothing screams patriotism like having it's name plastered across your chest.

The USSR's offering at Euro 88 was, erm, interesting to say the least, with the letters CCCP (the Russian abbreviation for the Soviet Union) proudly displayed on the front.

Amazingly, the letters CCCP probably aren't the first thing you notice when you look at their Euro 88 shirt, with its psychedelic design immediately grabbing your attention.

The 80s and 90s was a time for bright, bold and adventurous kits and this one was up there with the best of the lot.

11. Croatia - Euro 96

Davor Suker in Croatia's iconic checkerboard shirt
Davor Suker in Croatia's iconic checkerboard shirt / Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Again, it really shouldn't work - but it really does.

The Croatia national team have become synonymous with their red and white checkerboard shirts and their 1996 offering is undoubtedly the best of the lot.

They could have tried to be subtle about the whole thing and just added a few checks to the sleeves or the sides, but instead they went big and made it look like they'd rolled around in paint.

The lotto badge, the baggy collar, the oversized fit - it's all just superb.

10. Portugal - Euro 2000

Nuno Gomes of Portugal
Nuno Gomes of Portugal / Tim de Waele/Getty Images

There's just something about a Portuguese player with glorious dark locks that makes a kit look even better.

That being said, Wayne Rooney could have donned this kit (pre-hair transplant of course, Wayne) and it would still have looked incredible.

Portugal have moved away from their deep maroon shirts in recent years and opted for a more mainstream blood red colour, but to be honest it just makes us miss this shirt even more.

The golden detailing coupled with green shorts shouldn't work - but it just does. Plus, Nuno Gomes could make a bin bag look good.

9. Italy - Euro 96

Alessandro Costacurta of Italy
Alessandro Costacurta of Italy / Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Italy just do not know how to make bad kits.

Euro 96 brings back a lot of great memories for England fans and, while that probably adds to the nostalgic value of this kit, it would be a classic regardless of when it was donned.

The competition was a bit of a shocker as far as Italy's performances were concerned, with Arrigo Sacchi's side knocked out at the group stage, but at least they looked good with the 90s style, oversized collar and old Italy badge making the players look effortlessly stylish.

8. Sweden - Euro 2004

Henrik Larsson at Euro 2000
Henrik Larsson at Euro 2000 / Alex Livesey/Getty Images

There's something about Sweden's yellow and blue kits that make them fantastic, but their Euro 2004 efforts is one of our favourites.

Maybe it's the fact we got to see a former Manchester United frontman Henrik Larsson produce an amazing diving header while playing alongside the likes of Freddie Ljungberg and Zlatan Ibrahimovic that makes us all gooey-eyed looking at it, though you can't deny the blue detailing on the yellow canvas looks superb.

The Swedes made it out of their group at the Portugal-based event, though they were unlucky to be knocked out by the Netherlands on penalties in the quarter-final.

7. England - Euro 96

Paul Gascoigne at Euro 96
Paul Gascoigne at Euro 96 / Stu Forster/Getty Images

Ahhh finally, an England shirt.

Shoutout to England's effort at the 1980 European Championships in Italy, but this one has got to be the quintessential Three Lions kit.

The central badge, the iconic shirt lettering, the V-neck, baggy collar, it just screams 90s football and maybe that's why we love it so much.

The true litmus test of any kit should be whether a peroxide blonde Paul Gascoigne looks good wearing it and we think it's fair to say this one passes the test with flying colours.

6. France - Euro 84

Didier Six playing against Portugal at the 1984 European Championships
Didier Six playing against Portugal at the 1984 European Championships / Getty Images/Getty Images

The French have produced some superb kits over the years (of course they have, the stylish little tinkers) and many of the designs have spawned from their effort at the 1984 European Championship finals.

The deep V-neck collar and oversized France badge would probably look a bit daft nowadays, but coupled with an eccentric mullet/perm/lockdown haircut like Didier Six is sporting in the picture above it just works.

The original adidas logo coupled with the red and white detailing are subtle but classy, while the tricolour theme down the stripes of the sleeves are a quality touch.

5. Germany - Euro 2008

Germany prior to their clash with Poland at Euro 2008
Germany prior to their clash with Poland at Euro 2008 / Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Many words spring to mind when you think of the German national team, though 'fashionistas' isn't one of them - which is a bit weird considering they always produce on the quality-kit front.

Given Euro 2008 was played in a time where shorts that look like you've been in your dad's wardrobe were a thing, to still look good is an incredible achievement.

Die Mannschaft's kit for the tournament coupled all-black shorts with a white shirt containing only a few bits of detailing, but that makes the stripe-like effect across the chest stand out even more.

The three gold stars above the German badge (representing their World Cup triumphs at the time) are a classy touch as well.

4. Sweden - Euro 92

Tomas Brolin at the 1992 European Championships
Tomas Brolin at the 1992 European Championships / Getty Images/Getty Images

Some of adidas' efforts at Euro 94 were, erm, how can we put this, adventurous to say the least.

We should hardly be surprised given the mid-90s seemed to spark a trend in kit designers doing the majority of their work down the pub, but this Sweden kit has just about the perfect amount of eccentricity without going over the top.

adidas' template for a lot of their shirts at Euro 92 saw the famous stripes cast over the shoulders, though Sweden's kit with the bold stripes just over one shoulder looks brilliant.

Also, a slim Tomas Brolin is worth shoehorning into any article.

3. Italy - Euro 2000

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

Now we're getting down to the truly iconic stuff.

You know a shirt is a classic when the design is replicated for years after its release - and by multiple manufacturers.

Italy's Kombat kit was more than just a stylish design, it signalled a change in the guard in a way, with the 90s' brightly coloured, eccentric designs left behind to be replaced with this simplistic yet elegant look.

The shirt and shorts have barely any detailing at all on them bar the obvious badge, numbering and manufacturer logo, with the long sleeves, high neckline and tight fit the standout elements.

Maybe it's because we'd become so used to baggy shirts for so long, but this kit did represent something of a watershed moment for kit designs.

2. West Germany - Euro 88

Klaus Augenthaler in West Germany's iconic shirt
Klaus Augenthaler in West Germany's iconic shirt / Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images

Again, why do we not think of the Germans as fashion icons?

Their 2008 effort was good, but the kit they wore at the 1988 European Championship finals was utterly sublime.

If you were to explain this shirt to someone who'd never seen it before it would sound absolutely horrific, with the only detailing - aside from the obvious badge and usual adidas hallmarks - coming in the way of a Germany flag across the chest that looks like its been drawn on by a 5-year-old.

Unlike the Italian Kombat shirt, this kit didn't go on to be replicated by hundreds of clubs and countries across the world in the coming years, though that's more down to the fact it will forever be the German national team's design - regardless of what colours are used.

Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but no-one even daring to copy your design because the original was so good is a pretty decent compliment too.

1. The Netherlands - Euro 88

Ruud Gullit in Holland's superb 1988 shirt
Ruud Gullit in Holland's superb 1988 shirt / Getty Images/Getty Images

Coming in at our number one spot is another effort from Euro 88.

Never mind that greatest kit at a European Championship, this may well be the greatest kit ever.

'Psychedelic' shirts are very hit or miss, though the Netherlands' effort in the late 80s - perfectly modelled by Ruud Gullit - is undoubtedly the former.

It's almost difficult to say why it's so brilliant - it just is. It's busy yet minimalist design looks absolutely perfect in bright orange, while the huge Dutch badge and tiny adidas logo look class.

The Netherlands have a habit of producing superb kits but this is definitely the pinnacle.

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