By Kayode Ogundare:
If the design and quality of a team’s jersey is an indication of how far it will go in a competition, then it will be safe to assume that Nigeria should bring the 2018 FIFA World Cup back home after top international magazine GQ voted the Super Eagles strip as the best of the 32 teams in Russia for the World Cup kicking off on June 14.
GQ, first published 87 years ago, is a New York based magazine which focuses on fashion, style, and culture for men, though articles on food, movies, fitness, sex, music, travel, sports, technology, and books are also featured.
In its ratings of all 32 teams, the magazine said of Nigeria’s second strip: “Nigeria’s offering for the 2018 Cup is eccentric and off-the-wall in the best possible way. The heady mixture of cool green, white, and black evoke sensations of spearmint gum, while the blurred chevrons ooze cool. The bad news? It’s already sold out in the UK.”
The Super Eagles’ group D foes Croatia and Argentina come in second and third place while Peru and five-time World Cup winners Brazil make up the top five.
Africa’s four other representatives Egypt came in at 16th position, Tunisia were voted 24th best, Morocco 25th while Senegal were rated as the worst having come in at 32nd.
World Cup defending Champions and 2018 favourites Germany are rated 14th, two places behind France in 12th and a spot ahead of the Three Lions of England in 15th position.
GQ is published in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Latin America, Mexico, Portugal, Romania, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the United States.
It is the second time the Super Eagles World Cup home strip will be voted the best of the lot after influential UK-based Mirror also gave it the nod last February.
Meanwhile, in the battle of the brands, German kits manufacturing giants Adidas came tops having kitted 12 of the countries at the World Cup. Rivals Nike come closely in second place with 10 teams including Nigeria’s Super Eagles and Brazil while Puma will kit four teams.
American firm New Balance will provide equipment for Costa Rica and Panama, Italian Errea are kitting Iceland and England’s Umbro will kit Peru. Unisport are Tunisia’s providers while Hummel will kit Denmark.
THE FULL RATINGS
13. Saudi Arabia
19. Costa Rica
23. South Korea