Like the Internazionale kit featured last year, today’s mashup is actually a team’s traditional look, relegated to alternative because the manufacturers decided to mess around.
Germany won the 2014 World Cup in an all-white ensemble, but while adidas restored the normal black shorts for Euro 2016, they also changed the socks to black – a tribute to past outfits, perhaps, but still not something seen on die Nationalmannschaft in quite a while.
The shirt, like many of adidas’s new offerings, featured the three stripes the down the sides of the body rather than the sleeves as well as a shadow pattern which apparently represented the history of Germany’s world ranking.
It was worn in the three group games against Ukraine, Poland and Northern Ireland, as well as the last-16 tie against Slovakia, which set up a quarter-final tie with Italy.
In March of 2016, the countries had met in a friendly, with Germany winning 4-1 as both wore their normal strips, but UEFA, having allowed black socks v blue in the Slovakia game, sought a change here, meaning Germany were back in the white-black-white look.
Pleasingly, they didn’t just wear the white socks from the away kits, which had olive-green trim; instead, in something similar to the Marseille entry from last week, the white socks used were the same as those which goalkeeper Manuel Neuer wore with his black shirt. Against Italy, Neuer wore (seemingly non-clashing) black socks, though they were slightly different from the home set.
Germany won on penalties to end a winless streak against Italy at major finals. The black socks were back for the semi-final against France, but that proved to the be the end of the line for Joachim Löw’s team.
Incidentally, Germany haven’t had to wear a change shirt at a European Championship since the loss to England in 2000, when, strangely, both sides were in alternative kits.
Germany launched a new kit for the 2017 Confederations Cup and the white socks above were promoted to first choice. Thankfully, the strip for the upcoming World Cup also remains faithful to traditional sensibilities.