The Beautiful Game

Did you watch the football? It was a healthy competition, full of talented young men at a peak of physical fitness. We all remember David Beckham, Freddie Ljungberg and, my personal favourite, Didier Drogba posing in their tiny briefs, just bulging with style. Fashion and football have a relationship often overlooked. All the macho men out there might be thinking ‘yeah but I don’t go around in my tighty whiteys’, however I will suspect many of these men have helped in making footie chic by sporting a team shirt.

There are so many links the nation’s number one game has to high end fashion. To label but a few buzz words, we live in WAG culture with Cheryl Cole stamped on the cover of Vogue; Puma during the 1970 World Cup paid Pelé $120,000 to wear their boots and specifically requested that he bend down and tie his laces on the pitch. He might as well have swung his head around to the nearest camera and proclaimed: “because I am worth it!”

But the fashion focal points that show the strongest link to the beautiful game are, firstly, the shirt designs and, secondly, the footballers that become muses to designers.

One of the greatest footballing talents in the world is also now the creme de la creme of the body beautiful. Cristiano Ronaldo is perfection. He is made to model. When looking at his Armani campaign, one must remember he is a sportsman first and poster boy second.

But beauty has to be adorned in worthy attire, and wearing their kit has just as much aesthetic significance, if not more than when, for example, Rooney tries to scrub up well in civilized a suit.

For a focus on the best team attire, firstly there is Coventry away kit 1978. It was brown two piece with vertical curved stripes extending from the shoulder, making the leap from shirt to shorts, and then finishing at the thigh in a united line. The look was the male equivalent to a woman’s matching shoes and handbag. The second look is the Arsenal away kit 1991 which certainly fits the new rave euro pop trends. It is very disco looking with the zig zag fading black pattern over a canary yellow base. The completely unmatching silky sapphire shorts combined to the top just further distance to look from it being a supposed uniform.

But footballers clothing will always walk to line of the good and the very bad. One major attire nightmare occurred in the Manchester United away kit 1994, when Sir Alex Ferguson claimed that their grey kit was causing players to not see each other, and therefore the team quickly changed into their third kit at half time. For the future of the football industry and fashion industry, we cannot predict where the styles of the two will go, but the relationship between them both will certainly last longer than some players fidelity.