- Thanks to Martyn Ping, Simon Treanor and Rick Joshua for their assistance on this – Rick’s site Schwarz Und Weiß, an English-language site dedicated to die Mannschaft, is well worth checking out
Opener for ten – what happened on June 17, 2000 and didn’t happen again until June 23, 2010?
The fact you’ve clicked into this article and have the subject-matter at the forefront of your mind might help you, but just in case, the answer is – Germany wore a change kit at a major finals.
The 1-0 defeat to England at Euro 2000 – when, unusually, both sides changed – was the last instance until the 2010 World Cup clash with Ghana, but that didn’t stop significant thought being given to the country’s alternative outfit.
Having had green as a back-up colour for so long, changes were afoot in the early 2000s. The 2002 away strip was two-tone grey and then, at the end of 2003, the new second strip for Euro 2004 was black.
It was used in friendlies against France and Croatia, the latter occasion with the home socks:
However, that game was the only time the kit was worn by the senior team. It wasn’t needed at Euro 2004 and, when coach Rudi Völler departed, he was replaced by Jürgen Klinsmann, who had big ideas.
Chief among them was the belief that red kits gave teams a psychological edge and so, for the 2005 Confederations Cup games against Argentina and Brazil, a red version of the black shirt was used.
Red was also the dominant colour of the new change kit for the 2006 World Cup, held in Germany, and Klinsmann was hopeful that it could even usurp the white shirts which hadn’t stopped West Germany winning three World Cups. He said:
We will play in the red jerseys as often as possible at the World Cup and we hope that they bring us luck, because we can use a lot of that.
As things transpired, there was no opportunity for Germany to wear the red, though they did still reach the semi-finals.
Klinsmann stepped down, to be replaced by Joachim Löw. Two years later, Klinsmann would take the head coach’s job at Bayern Munich, but not even their red kit could prevent him being sacked before the end of 2008-09.