European Championship Classics – Belgium, 2000

Having changed from adidas to Diadora in the early 1990s, Belgium joined forces with Nike in 1999.

Belgium-2000-Nike-home-Euro-01It meant that, having made their European Championship debut with Italy in 1996, the American firm would supply the kits of both joint-hosts of Euro 2000, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Nike’s first Belgium kit was aesthetically pleasing but only ever intended to be a placeholder, with a new set released ahead of the European Championship.

Simple but stylish, the only flourish apart from the panelling on the shirt was the dual-colour crew neck – it’s something of a pity that this concept wasn’t seen more in the 1970s, when shirts could have been livened up with the addition of a third colour.

Belgium-2000-Nike-away-Euro-01Belgium wore the home kit in all three of their group games, unable to follow up the opening win over Sweden as defeats to Italy and Turkey saw them eliminated.

It meant that the change kit didn’t get an airing in the tournament. This was a cleverly executed reversal of the home, with the red and black swapping places.

With white having been used as the back-up choice prior to then, it made for a refreshing departure and it was a pity that, while worn in a friendly against Denmark before the tournament, it wasn’t seen by a wider audience.

Nike would continue with black Belgium second kits over the next few cycles, but, with yellow being jettisoned, it’s arguable that they weren’t as elegant.

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