Previously, we have looked at France shirts that were only worn by the country’s underage teams and not the senior side, and today’s offering was one we thought fell under that banner too.
However, it is in fact one of the rarest shirts worn by les Bleus in that it only appeared for one half of a game, and not even a full international at that.
On September 3, 1980, France played Juventus in one of those country-v-club encounters that you never see nowadays but which weren’t completely rare back then. Michel Platini played for France, in case you were wondering.
In the opening half of the clash in Paris, France wore their then-current first-choice adidas shirt, featuring a white wing-collar.
The shorts featured the new-style adidas number font, one most likely adapted from that produced by French firm Somms in the 1970s.
A scoreless first half proved to be the last outing for those shirts and France appeared for the second period at the Parc des Princes in a different set of tops.
This design included a white v-neck instead of a collar and, most notably, white raglan sleeves with the adidas striping matching that of the shorts.
Presumably the change was planned, but we don’t know why it happened – perhaps it was intended as a trial for a potential new direction for France kits.
If that was the case, a 1-0 win – the goal scored by Jacques Zimako – wasn’t sufficient enough to advance the case of the white sleeves.
France’s next game, away to Cyprus, saw them in the white change version of the shirts used in the first half against Juve but then in November they took on Germany and wore their new kit, featuring red and white alternating pinstripes.
Twenty-four years later, France would again wear shirts for just one half – in the friendly against Brazil to mark Fifa’s centenary, both sides wore their normal strips in the second half, having donned vintage outfits in the first.