Five rings, three stripes – Brazil in adidas at the Olympics

The idea of Brazil wearing adidas isn’t completely crazy – they wore the German firm’s kits in the late 1970s and Pyro On The Pitch takes an in-depth look at their 1978 World Cup from a sartorial point of view here.

However, in 1980 they switched to Topper and that decade was characterised by memorable, if slightly anachronistic-looking, strips. Except, that is, in the Olympic Games.

Due to IOC rules, a country had to be outfitted by the same manufacturer for all sports, meaning that Brazil wore this kit – similar, but different, to that used by Anderlecht and Brighton & Hove Albion around that time – as they reached the final in Los Angeles in 1984, losing to France.


En route to the final, Brazil met West Germany and changed to blue, albeit in an older style and a darker shade to that used on the shorts, which, like the socks, were from the home kit.


The same home strip was used for the 1987 Pan-American Games, but, come the Seoul Olympics in 1988, Brazil were in a new adidas kit. Unusually, the shorts were green, rather than blue.


And it’s not as if there was a shortage of blue shorts, as they featured on the change kit, again worn against West Germany. While you could quibble and say that the white trefoil on the shorts and white stripes on the socks detract from it, it’s a kit we love – blue and yellow adidas in the 1980s worked well, as Hellas Verona can also attest to.


As in 1984, Brazil were the runners-up in the competition, losing out to the USSR in the final. By the time of the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, adidas were still the primary supplier to the Brazilian Olympic Committe – the successful volleyball team wore an interesting variation on the three stripes – but a relaxing of the rules meant the football team wore the same Umbro kit as was used in regular play.

1 comment on “Five rings, three stripes – Brazil in adidas at the Olympics

  1. Mark Etches

    Was it ever explained why the green shorts were used? Remember well in 1988, the first time I saw Romario playing. The 84 kit looks more modern than the 88?


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