When Sweden hosted Euro 92, they did so in a brand-new kit in the adidas Equipment style that had been introduced the previous autumn.
The country’s colours lent themselves nicely to the brash design and is fondly remembered for being the strip in which they reached the semi-finals.
Only Denmark (twice) and the CIS had to wear change strips at the tournament – while nowadays a Sweden-England meeting would probably see one wearing a dark kit, back then there was no problem.
Strictly speaking, the reversed blue and yellow Sweden change shirt wasn’t worn by the senior team. They had played Australia in January 1992 but they wore the soon-to-be-replaced kit; the next time an alternative would be needed for a top-level international, at the 1994 World Cup, white was the choice – forcing both Romania and Brazil to wear their change kits, too.
The closest they came was in a friendly against Colombia in Miami in January 1994 – while the South American side were in their blue second-choice shirts with red shorts, their yellow socks meant that Sweden wore their back-up blue set from the change kit.
However, another tournament in the summer of 1992 would allow the chance for Sweden to take the field in blue shirts. The squad for the men’s Olympic football competition in Barcelona in late July and early August featured three members of the European Championship squad – Joachim Björklund, captain Patrik Anderson (oddly, for a defender, wearing number 7) and Tomas Brolin, who had finished joint-top scorer. Hakan Mild, who was already a senior international and would win 74 caps, and Nicklas Alexandersson, who would go on to play 109 times at senior level, were also in the squad.
Sweden’s opening game was against Paraguay and, while a change kit against red, white and blue might seem surprising, they took to the field in blue shirts, yellow shorts and blue socks.
The blue Paraguay shorts may have been an issue, but even so, one would have expected an all-yellow Sweden combination to have solved that. Paraguay did have white sleeves, so perhaps the light-v-light factor was an issue. The game finished scoreless.
Sweden were back in their home kit against the red of Morocco and South Korea, winning 4-0 and drawing 1-1 respectively to advance as group winners.
That meant a quarter-final meeting with Australia. With their opponents in a yellow and green version of the same adidas Equipment style and yellow shorts, this time Sweden were in all-blue.
Unfortunately for them, a 2-1 defeat signalled their exit and, after being used twice in the space of eight days, the blue shirts were not to be seen again.