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In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Bulgaria’s adidas home kit tended to consist of white shirts with red trim and green shorts with white trim.

For the 1994 World Cup in the USA, adidas changed tack with green the very prominent secondary colour on their new template style.

The change kit was the usual red with white trim but, while in the past the away shirt was often paired with the home shorts and socks, now it had white shorts and red socks.

Having never previously won a game at a finals, Bulgaria beat both Greece and Argentina to qualify from their group, in second place behind Nigeria (Argentina beat the African side, meaning all three countries finished level on six points).

Bulgaria’s opponents in the second round were Mexico, who also came out of a tough group – all four sides had finished on four points, with goals scored the determining factor as Italy and Ireland progressed and Norway missed out.

The game with Mexico provided a good example of dealing with what we would term the ‘overall clash’ – where the two shirts can be worn against each other, but some shorts combinations can add to the confusion.

With Bulgaria’s white-green-white up against Mexico’s green-white-red, there was the potential for a problem. Counter-intuitively, though, FIFA determined that the creation of a shorts-clash, i.e. Bulgaria in all-white, albeit with the shorts stripes mismatching those on the shirts and socks, was the best solution.

Bulgaria-adidas-1994-home-shirt-away-shorts-World-Cup-Mexico-01

Bulgaria won the game on penalties and things got even better in the quarter-finals as, wearing their red away kit, they beat Germany 2-1. Italy eliminated them at the semi-final stage, but it has gone down as a very successful summer.

 

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