With rosters for the last batch of international friendlies and new kits rolling out, one thing is clear: the 2022 FIFA World Cup is inching closer.
In about two months, 32 nations will take the field in Qatar for a chance to lift the prestigious World Cup title that only comes every four years – and one country will get to do so in style.
Brands like Nike and adidas have recently unveiled new home and away kit designs that the nations will rock in Qatar, which is one of the most exciting reveals pre-tournament.
Let’s take a look and rank which nations have the worst to best kits in 2022:
Note: Denmark’s official release is on Sept. 19, while Cameroon and Tunisia have had its kits leaked so those will appear when unveiled.
Kicking us off, for all the wrong reasons, is Switzerland. The Puma-designed home kit isn’t stellar but does the job with white vertical lines along the upper half of the kit before getting to the nation crest and logo. Where it falls apart is the away design, which is a common theme for some nations that had Puma work its kits. The white and red colorway is a difficult one to mess up, but Puma made it look like a calendar.
There’s a fair case to put Morocco above Switzerland, but the reason it’s better in this list is because the away kit, which is one of the multiple Puma-designed calendar looks, fares much better than others. The home kit, however, is a letdown here with two green blocks sandwiching the Puma logo.
Puma stays simple with the home kit, but the added gold is a nice touch instead of opting for the home flag’s white. The away kit would’ve appeared far nicer had it not been for the calendar appeal, plus there’s too much empty space circling the middle.
Uruguay also gets demoted with the calendar away kit, which will make an appearance for at least two other nations coming up. The home kit with the gold tertiary font works, but the one-button add-on feels unnecessary.
Senegal’s kits are similar in design to the next nation on this list, but both aren’t as good. Puma went with a different home design by using Senegal’s primary colors as a three-stripe design, but it doesn’t hit as hard considering the next nation’s look stands out more. The away kit is another one wasted by the calendar look, though the green pops out.
It’s a shame Ghana is low here, especially considering it is a potential dark-horse nation if its squad is at its healthiest. The home kit has a simple-but-sleek vibe – and the flag colors on the base of the sleeve is great – but the away jersey ruins the vibes with its calendar feel. However, the combination of the two is the best out of the Puma bunch that has dominated this list so far.
23. Costa Rica
Now that the Puma batch is out of the way, the rest of the kits offer much more variety – but the quality isn’t here yet. New Balance is the designer here, but it’s just too bland of a jersey. The only differentiating factor is the blue sleeve base, but even that’s too big and distracting.
The same analysis to Costa Rica’s applies here. Nike had some hits and misses from its batch that we’ll get into, but this one is just uninspiring and does Canada severe disservice after a 36-year World Cup appearance drought.
Just like Nike did with Canada, the red and white designs are too plain. Though the upper third of the kit is occupied unlike Canada’s, it’s still not good enough to be ranked anywhere higher.
The 2018 World Cup runner-ups won’t look as good running on the pitch in 2022. It’s a braver design than the ones that have already appeared on this list, but the checkers on the home kit are inconsistent and the away one feels only half completed.
For what might be Cristiano Ronaldo’s last World Cup, both kits are bad ones to be repping (though the entire Portugal squad should be entertaining). The color split on the home jersey is done poorly and the away jersey doesn't feel like a finished product.
After missing the 2018 tournament, the USMNT aren’t exactly returning in style. As Nike has done with some European club kits and other international ones, including the next country coming up, both jerseys just look like something players wear during training or pre-match. The blue away kit has some flavor to it with the mixture of black camouflage, but the stitch cutoff around the collarbones doesn’t do it any favors.
The Dutch have similar kits to the U.S. so the same analysis applies, but the classic orange and black helps its rank. But again, they’re not particularly good designs either, mainly the royal blue away kit.
England’s kits were supposed to be launched on Thursday alongside the other Nike kits, but the passing of Queen Elizabeth II had pushed back the release date to Sept. 21, according to The Athletic. However, a promotional error saw England’s official kits get unofficially revealed, so the Three Lions’ jerseys come in here. Again, the home design by Nike gets it completely wrong, but the away kit definitely carries the weight here. Had the badge and Nike logo been white and not blue, England arguably has a top-five away kit in the World Cup.
Iran’s kits were created by local designers Majid. They’re not over the top and they’re not bad – in fact, they’re the most balanced of any nation so far. The flow of the flag’s colors from left to right along the nation’s crest is an effective look.
After some initial concerns, Ecuador is maintaining its spot in Qatar. It is the only nation with a third kit in the tournament, which is good for one jersey per group stage game unless it advances from a Group A that also has the Netherlands, Senegal and Qatar. The blue kit is by far the standout, though the “Marathon” brand logo consumes too much space on the right-hand side on all three jerseys.
Adidas, as it usually does, continues to have a great year producing kits for clubs and nations. The home kit is spot on with nifty lightning-esque vertical stripes, and the away kit is kept simple, minus the unique collar, which is a solid addition but not entirely the best fit here.
12. Korea Republic
Though the Korea Republic team is yet to officially promote its kits, Nike did reveal the official home design with the leaked away kit on the horizon. The home release featuring Wolverhampton’s Hwang Hee-chan goes with the dark pink and black secondary look while the away one is more trippy yet fun with its multicolor appeal. It should look much better on the pitch than just the leaked version.
Belgium’s kits were done by adidas, which does brilliant again. The colorway on the home kit is tremendous, though the fire aspect on the sleeves can go either way as good or bad. The away kit also has a multicolor design that will pop out on the field, but it’s not as strong as the home.
The leaked version of Australia’s kits seemed dire, but the released version is quite fire. Though the kits fall under the USA-Netherlands approach, they both aesthetically are 10 times cleaner. The home kit represents the country’s colors and themes well, while the away kit isn’t too far off. Look what can happen when Nike puts in a little more effort.
9. Saudi Arabia
With Nigeria not competing in the 2022 World Cup, the onus fell on Saudi Arabia to deliver an iconic green and white look. While it may not be up to par with Nigeria’s best, Nike keeps both of Saudi Arabia’s home and away kits fresh and sleek instead of keeping things simple as it did with Canada and Poland.
Here comes adidas again. Spain’s home design is a flawless nod to the country’s kit history in the sport while the away version is wavy and keeps the flag’s colors intact. Keeping the crest and brand logo compact and away from the collar on the away kit is also an appreciated move.
Japan typically comes with great kits in any tournament, and that remains the same in 2022 with adidas as the designer. The home kit is a riveting touch up from Japan’s previous looks, and though the away is solid, it would’ve rated better without the dark blue touches on the base of the sleeve and around the collar.
Nike finally did one of the red-and-white nations some justice. The only negative here is the red kit having Qatar’s crest right above the Nike logo instead of spreading it out like on the white edition. Still, you couldn’t ask for a better debut look for Qatar’s first ever international tournament.
The defending World Cup champions will look to repeat in these crisp new kits produced by Nike. Nike didn’t splash but maintained France’s usual looks with a blue and gold home kit and a white and blue away kit with nods to local aesthetics.
You can rarely go wrong with Argentina’s home kit, which adidas does well here. The real winner is the purple away kit, which it will be using as a way to promote gender equality with the fiery sun add-on representing the nation’s flag. If this is Lionel Messi’s last World Cup, at least we’ll get to watch him in style.
Again, adidas hits it out of the park with Germany. The home kit is another consummate iteration of Germany’s classic looks while the away kit is bolder and braver than previous looks and done extremely well. Let’s see how the DFB fares in these jerseys following a disastrous 2018 tournament.
Nike’s finest creation for the 2022 World Cup came with Brazil’s kits. The home kit is an exquisite addition to Brazil’s textbook yellow-jersey history, and the blue away kit has exceptional sleeves to pair. The only flaw is the one-button add-on as in other jerseys, but the rest is done so well that it doesn’t matter too much.
Not that it’s really surprising at this point, but adidas produced two magnificent kits for Mexico. The home kit is a great nod to El Tri’s history of green kits while the away kit took a big risk with a major payoff. Perhaps the only downfall here is the change of logo, which is far inferior to Mexico’s previous one, but it’s still good enough to warrant a No. 1 spot.