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Euro 2020 Kit Rankings

From Croatia’s classic checkerboard, to Portugal’s mint green, and Holland’s all-orange everything, here are the best and the worst from the European championships

Getty Images/Ringer illustration

The for-some-reason-still-named-2020 UEFA European Championship is set to kick off on Friday, so you know what time it is. No, not time for predictions, it’s time to rank kits! From the critically acclaimed to the snoozers, I’ve once again secluded myself in the kit room to analyze who got it right and who didn’t do much at all.

First, the rules: I’ll be choosing the best from the home and away offerings of each of the 24 participating nations and ranking them according to how they stack up against the field. Actual performance and reputation doesn’t factor in here, otherwise we might need a new no. 1. Let’s get going.

1. Croatia home

This is where I say something cute and corny like “Checkmate.” I’d comment that “I don’t make the rules here” but I clearly do, and since these are my rankings, Croatia’s kit will be grandfathered in as the no. 1 every time. It took me a while to choose between the home and away but considering the away kit looks vaguely like a chessboard did the fusion dance with a Columbus Crew jersey and a generic goalkeeper jersey, I’ll opt for the homes.

2. Italy home

It’s a damn shame I don’t have a photo of Andrea Pirlo sipping some expensive wine in this shirt. This Italy roster doesn’t feature some of the debonair players of past teams, like Pirlo, but these jerseys give them all the style points they need. The subtle patterns crisscrossing the kit; the collar that is somehow both business and pleasure; and the hints of gold on the Puma symbol, four stars, and badge make this kit legendary. Look at the drip in these photos! If you don’t like these kits, I don’t like you. Period.

3. Belgium home

I know what you’re thinking: How could this possibly be so high?! It looks like the kit was either run over multiple times by a large truck or a drunk painter wanted to take his shot at Fauvism. Here’s the thing, my dear reader, you just don’t appreciate capital-A “Art.” The gold trimmings will always earn high marks from me, and amid a sea of bland red jerseys, this one immediately stands out, not enough to make it to the championship match, but good enough to win a third-place game.

4. Portugal away

Nothing but the best for the defending champs! These joints are iconic already. I love the horizontal stripes and the combination of teal, red, and black. The light mint green tint of the jerseys also make it feel fresh in a sea full of blah. If I wasn’t a Messi stan, I would cop these immediately.

5. Holland home

[Gets out the loudest fucking bullhorn I can find] “Why aren’t more people using orange in their jerseys?!” If you squint just hard enough, I believe you’ll see a lion in that spider web of designs. Could I pull this shirt off? No? Will I enjoy watching Memphis Depay, Frenkie de Jong, and the boys running around in it? Absolutely.

6. Sweden away

Getting strong ’98-99 and 21-22 L.A. Galaxy kit vibes from this and I LOVE it. Those jerseys are dope and so are Sweden’s for this year. It’s a damn shame we won’t get to see Zlatan embarrass people in it during the tournament, but being in the top 10 here is a solid consolation prize.

7. Slovakia away

One of the few jerseys that I saw and immediately dropped a Martin Lawrence DAMN. I feel like I’m going deep-sea diving in these and I’m not upset about it. I love the crest, logo, and check mark combo stretching across the chest, and it feels different than almost anything else on offer. Can you name a player in this squad other than Marek Hamsik? Maybe not. Should that stop you from picking one of these up? Absolutely not.

8. France home

Simple, yet elegant, feels fitting for France. The red stripe brings a nice pop to the shirt and frames the checkmark and the Gallic rooster really well. France always comes with the heat, so we shouldn’t be surprised.

9. Scotland home

The away jersey looks like someone was drawing an Argentina jersey, got told they were reassigned, and tried to sneak this design through anyway, so let’s talk about the home shirts. The horizontal striping vaguely resembles sound waves, which immediately lends this kit cool points. Plus, I’m a sucker for navy blue, so this sneaks into the top 10 for me.

10. Germany home

As a noted hater of triple black anything, I’m going to opt for the home joints here. The red, yellow, and black on the sleeve cuffs is fantastic, the thin vertical stripes are a nice touch, and frankly this is a great example of having a simple kit design that is also striking. Not nice enough to move any higher, but Germany is in solid form here.

11. England away

This looks like something that the dudes at your local frat would wear for casual Friday and I’m vaguely obsessed with it? The blue is a nice, muted shade that sets itself apart, the red accents are wonderful, and the collar makes it classy enough that I would have absolutely worn it to an eighth grade dance.

12. Finland home

Considering the away joints look the upper half of the Best Buy uniform, I’m going to go with the home kits. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but this feels very 2008 to me. That’s neither a good thing nor a bad thing, just an observation. I’m also of the opinion that someone at Nike looked at the Finland flag, turned it sideways in Photoshop, threw some gradient effects on it, and said “Guys, I’ve got it!” But dammit, the more I look at these and see them on players, the higher they rise.

13. Hungary home

This kit makes me think of ribs—I will spare you all the Hungary-hungry puns, but I am straining not to make a CD Guijuelo joke—which is never a bad thing. In a seemingly never-ending avalanche of red kits, this one is right in the middle of the pack. The sharp neckline accented by the green stripe looks great, as does the crest and federation logo separated by the Adidas logo in the middle. The pattern on the front of the kit is supposed to be a nod to the waves of the Danube, which is also cool. Solid midtable work.

14. Spain home

The patchwork composition here is a fun look, if a bit played out. It vaguely looks like someone put together a kite pattern and placed it on a shirt, but I dig it. The combination of yellow and red is always a hit, but this kit also just looks itchy, so I’m docking points there. The stitching also reminds me of when someone in a movie or video game is locking on to a target and finally lines up the shot. All in all, this is fine.

15. Austria away

“Give me the 2018-19 Japan home kit, switch up the colors, and slap an Austria logo on there.” (A real conversation at the Austrian Football Federation, probably.) Seriously, this isn’t too bad, and this kit and the Italy kits remind me that Puma is capable of putting out cool concepts. On the other hand, it looks like a red-and-white mocap suit, so it stays in the bottom half.

16. Switzerland away

They copied 2021-22 NC Courage whole flow, word for word, bar for bar! Switzerland, you aren’t slick, and your jerseys are pretty boring. Even cool colors on your mountain decals can’t save you from a poor showing in these rankings.

17. Wales away

Somehow still on the topic of stealing kit designs, I have looked at the Wales away kit dozens of times and each time I’ve thought “How the hell did Australia sneak into the Euros and why did it get rid of its cool collar?” That being said, I do like the yellow with green accents, and name a cooler thing to have on a crest than a dragon. You can’t? I thought so. That being said, give me something that doesn’t look like I spilled lemonade on a paper towel.

18. Ukraine away

Looking at too many yellow jerseys in a row is like choosing to intentionally stare into the sun, so I’m going with the slightly cooler away kits for Ukraine. The blue is muted and really lets you see the graphics on the front. And when was the last time you saw Joma do … well, anything? The badge is also cool as hell, so cool in fact that the Ukraine Adidas jacket that I brought to a bar senior year of college was stolen when I went to the bathroom. So because I’m petty and really miss that jacket—the actual reasons are that this jersey is kind of blah compared to those above and there’s been controversy surrounding it, as well—this kit lands in our third tier.

19. Russia home

This design pattern of random splotches for *aesthetic* is familiar by now, I just don’t think Russia has its down yet. Couple that with the weird thickness of the collar and sleeve cuffs and not even the dope Russian eagle can save these from a tumble down the rankings.

20. North Macedonia

There are few players on this team who are technically older than the country of North Macedonia, which was established in 1991. But the journey of North Macedonia’s first major tournament in its history got off to a shaky start after some controversy surrounding its jerseys. I mean, look at these things, they look like an Onix and a wildcat had a baby and that baby is trying to break through the midsection of the North Macedonian players like a bad horror movie. The redesign for this year’s Euros apparently pissed the fans off so much that the president of the federation asked UEFA if it could just reuse the ones the team wore in 2016. This amount of badness should be unprecedented, and yet these jerseys are still above a few others. If you like rock/ground-type Pokémon and High School Musical, sorry you didn’t get your redesign. For the rest of us, here comes the sun.

21. Turkey away

The badge in the middle, which is centered in the thick horizontal bar on the chest of the jersey, is a solid touch. There’s just … not much more to look at here. This is an excellent “jersey that looks like a T-shirt” option, but I can’t put it much higher.

22. Poland home

Poland’s home kits barely escape the bottom two because of the polo style and the central placement of the crest, but they’re on thin ice! Robert Lewandowski is going to look great scoring tap-ins in these.

23. Denmark home

SNOOZE. I’m serious, I can’t muster much for this one. Hummel is a unique sponsor, the striping on the sleeves is cool. I literally just yawned looking at this again. When the goalkeeper kits—which are, admittedly, pretty cool—are the best option you’ve got, you’re doing it wrong.

24. Czech Republic away

Choose your boring-as-hell fighter. These are as bland as your coworker’s potato salad that still has foil on it but you know has raisins in it. This looks like something that will be on sale for $27.99 in Puma’s clearance section a week after the team is ousted from the tournament. If you’re not even going to try, no rank for you!