The vast majority of soccer uniforms are pretty unadventurous. In hockey and football they wear shirts and pants with bold blocks of color and lots of stripes, but in soccer the designs are typically more subdued.
This is certainly the case with the uniforms the U.S. Men’s National Team will wear at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. In fact, subdued probably doesn’t do them justice. Extremely boring is more apt, seeing as how they look like plain white golf shirts.
However, not all soccer uniforms are boring. When teams do decide to get adventurous and break with tradition, the kits tend to look like they were designed by a cubist on acid. And today, to prove to American soccer fans that the new uniforms could have been worse, we’re going to look at the 30 most batsh*t insane soccer jerseys of all time.
Let's kick things off with the away kits sported by Spanish club Recreativo last year. If they remind you of Minnie Mouse, there's a pretty good reason for that.
30. Recreativo de Huelva, 2012-13
The uniforms worn by the Jamaican national team in 1998 were a little busy, and that collar was brutal.
29. Jamaica, 1998
Here's the original uniform for the Kansas City Wizards, who have since been renamed Sporting Kansas City because the MLS thinks this sort of thing will trick American soccer fans into thinking it is just as good as European leagues.
28. Kansas City Wizards, 1996
Here's another mid-90s classic. Apparently whoever designed this kit was a big fan of Jackson Pollock.
27. Nottingham Forrest, 1995-97
I guess Barcelona was getting complaints from older fans that the team was hard to see on TV?
26. Barcelona, 2012-13
Look at that handsome-ass bastard. Guy's ready to go to the disco and dance to the Bee Gees and it's only 1949.
25. Derby Country, 1949
In case you haven't noticed, abstract wallpaper patterns were popular in the early 1990s.
24. Norwich City, 1992-93
Bright orange and yellow shirts weren't enough for this Japanese club. They also added a map on top of some pretty sweet orange and yellow camo, just to confuse the hell out of everybody.
23. Shimizu S-Pulse, 2001
I bet whoever designed the original L.A. Galaxy jerseys was the same person who designed the original Phoenix Coyotes jerseys.
22. Los Angeles Galaxy, 1996
We certainly couldn't leave Bilbao's famous ketchup camo kits off this list.
21. Athletic Bilbao, 2004-05
The colors are great, and I like the classic Hummel arrows on the shoulders. But the patter is an absolute nightmare, as is the crazy panther print right there on the abdomen. Here's a closer, more detailed look.
20. Sierra Leone, 2011-12
Tottenham could be forgiven for letting Admiral stamp their logo all over these jerseys, and for this particular shade of dijon yellow. But those half-suspenders/untied tie/shoulder sideburns are too much.
19. Tottenham, 1977
It's nice that they tried to incorporate some of Mexico's traditional iconography into this kit from 1998. Unfortunately, the result looks more like something your dad would buy at Tommy Bahama than a soccer jersey.
18. Mexico, 1998
With uniforms this hideous, Bury deserves to be on the fourth tier of the English football pyramid.
17. Bury FC, 1992-93
That's right—jerseys that look like statue torsos. Italian side Reggina wore these for their two derby matches against local rivals Messina during the 2012-13 season.
16. Reggina Calcio SpA, 2012-13
Of course, it's not just the small-time Italian clubs who have sported awful kits in recent years. This was mighty Juventus's away shirt for the 2011-12 season.
15. Juventus, 2011-12
I don't know about you, but I just can't get enough of sports jersey's that look like modern abstract art.
14. Dundee United, 1993-94
Anyone who remembers this insane acid-washed denim look from the 1994 squad certainly won't be complaining too much about the Americans' 2014 jerseys, right?
13. USA, 1994
Look closely at the guy on the right, friends, because he is wearing plaid. (Well, technically it's "tartan," but you get the idea.)
Here's a better look.
12. Dundee United, 1953
This third-tier Spanish club decided to use their 2013-14 uniforms to pay tribute to the most important agricultural product of their region. Can you guess what that crop is?
If you said broccoli, you are correct.
11. La Hoya Lorca, 2013-14
Today they're called the San Jose Earthquakes, but originally they were called the Clash...presumably because their uniforms clashed with everything.
10. San Jose Clash, 1996
Not everyone sees it at first, but if you look hard at this crazy pattern eventually you'll spot all the swastikas. And of course, once you do spot them, they are all you see.
9. Fiorentina, 1992-93
I had a comforter that looked just like this when I was 13 years old. Apparently it was a popular print.
8. Scunthorpe United, 1993-94
I'm not sure whether these look more like pajamas or funky nurse's scrubs.
7. Birmingham City, 1992-93
"Hey guys, what if the team wore huge oversized tie-dyed jerseys this year?"
6. Huddersfield, 1991-92
This is how VFL Bochum commemorated their demotion from the top tier of German football in 1996—insane rainbow kits.
5. VFL Bochum, 1997-98
You have to love this iconic 70s kit. So brown and so stripey. This guy's gingerfro is just the icing on the cake.
4. Coventry City, 1970s
Most of the worst soccer uniforms of all-time were just worn for a single season before the club had the sense to change them. Not these babies, though. Hull City went with the baggy tiger print look for three whole seasons.
3. Hull City, 1992-95
These don't look strange to you? Well look closer. The shorts and shirts are connected. In 2004, Cameroon wore the world's first soccer onesies in the Africa Cup of Nations.
2. Cameroon, 2004
As bad as Cameroon's onesies were, we still have to give the top (bottom?) spot to these atrocities from the Colorado Caribous of the long-defunct North American Soccer League. I mean, they had tassels all the way around the chest like decorative cowboy chaps.
These aren't just the worst soccer uniforms ever. They might be the worst sports uniforms period.