If you've been around long enough to remember the colorful and motif-heavy jerseys of Paraguay's former goalkeeper Jose Luis Chilavert, you'd know that showing up to a soccer match with the right kit is sometimes as important as the game itself (while Chilavert is a legendary player who's renowned for his goal-defending and free-kick skills as well as his short temper, he also remains to be known as the wearer of ridiculous shirts).
In this case, with only a few days left before the 2018 World Cup starts, Nigeria has already won half the battle with their much-talked-about jersey.
Victor Moses (left) and Jon Obi Mikel in the home kit and away kit respectively
First unveiled by Nike in late 2017, the jersey comes in two designs (home and away) and is accompanied with pre-match and training apparel as well as off-pitch collection. It was officially launched on June 1, and the word on the street is, the kit has sold out already!
The green-dominated jersey is imbued all over with "the Naija spirit." Dan Farron, Nike Football Design Director, took the time to learn more about Nigeria's players to be able to capture the spirit and tradition of the country. The designs have won the approval of Amaju Pinnick, president of the Nigeria Football Federation. "The new Nike kit designs honor our federation’s rich traditions. Moreover, they celebrate everything we relish about our culture,” he says.
The home kit pays tribute to the shirt worn by Nigeria's 1994 World Cup squad (the first team from the country to qualify), with its green torso and eagle wing-like black-and-white sleeve that matches the national team's "Super Eagles" nickname. In the new home jersey, these elements are supercharged with an abstract feather pattern and hyper color.
Meanwhile, the away kit, serves as the "yin" to the home kit's "yang." In obvious contrast to the vibrant home jersey, the away jersey has super-dark deep green color. It is, as Nike describes it, "a cool, refined vision of a classic Nigeria full-green strip."
The Naija cool continues with an off-pitch collection. Other than accessories, the collection also includes an uber-stylish travel suit that comes with green floral pattern.
Check out the collection below:
The national team wore the jersey for the first time when they competed against England during a World Cup warm-up game in the beginning of June. Unfortunately, the Super Eagles didn't win that match; but, hey, at least they did it with style!
Images c/o Nike