World Cup Classics – France, 1986
Trying to follow the great kit worn in winning Euro 84 was a tall order for adidas and France ahead of the 1986 World Cup in Mexico.
Rather than aping or refreshing that design – something they would do a lot, perhaps overdo, in the following two decades, they gave white a little more prominence and used a template which, to our knowledge, wasn’t used by anyone else (bar Hereford United 😉 ).
The change kit was simply a re-colouring of the same template, something sadly seen less and less nowadays.
France finished joint-top of their group, losing out to the USSR on goal difference, meaning a last-16 clash with Italy, the white kit worn in a 2-0 win.
Brazil were then seen off following a penalty shootout in the quarter-finals but, as in 1982, France’s tournament ended at the semi-final stage against West Germany, losing 2-0.
The kit would remain until the end of the unsuccessful qualifying campaign for World Cup 90. The socks were updated during the strip’s lifetime, while the long-sleeved version differed in that it didn’t have the white strip below the red on the arms.