Growing up in Ireland, it is natural to have an interest in the Gaelic games of hurling and football. While both sports (15-a-side) have goalkeepers, it wasn’t until the late 1960s that a rule was introduced in Gaelic football mandating them to have different colour jerseys from their team-mates, with a similar change made in hurling in the mid-1970s.
In most cases, the decision was made to have a contrasting shirt – e.g. Cork played in red tops with white collar and cuffs, so the goalkeeper wore the opposite. It made sense from the point of view of the team still looking somewhat uniform.
To that end, it’s always pleasing when we see similar examples in football, like Port Vale’s goalkeeper strip this season or Manchester United in 2009-10 (though sadly worn only once). One tournament that stands out in this regard is the 1998 World Cup when Nike took such an approach some but not all of their teams – and would also do so with Arsenal in the following season – and there were also examples of from adidas, ABA Sport and Umbro.
A shout-out to Japan, whose goalkeeper kit had similar design elements to the outfield shirt, albeit with a different palette – this is something we will look at in a future post.
A lovely tying together of the national colours from Argentina, though using the same shorts design would have made it even better. One oddity though was the the other goalkeeper shirt was a blue/purple shade, meaning that, when they wore their navy change strip against England, goalkeeper Carlos Roa was in the black kit, which was not ideal.
All-green goalkeeper outfits were not unknown for Brazil, but the decision to go with a straight reversal of the home shirt was a new and pleasing departure. It was something of a pity, therefore, that Cláudio Taffarel’s shorts and socks didn’t fully match up to the shirt.
England’s kit was more than a year old – between the 1990 World Cup and Euro 2012, their home strips at major finals were never brand-new – and it had been paired with a goalkeeper shirt that matched up in terms of colour-scheme. David Seaman’s longer shorts had the same shadow pattern as the shirt and differed in terms of design to the outfield set.
For the last time at a major finals, Italy’s kit was devoid of any manufacturer’s logo. Their first-choice goalkeeper kit followed the classic style, though it would have perhaps benefited from blue neck and cuffs rather than black. Angelo Peruzzi had been set to be the starting goalkeeper but pulled out with injury and so Gianluca Pagliuca was between the posts, with late call-up Francesco Toldo wearing number 1.
A bit of a cheat in that Jorge Campos actually wore the outfield away strip, but obviously it worked very well in terms of matching up. Wearing the green shirt with blue shorts wasn’t as strong a look, sadly.
The Netherlands were in Nike at a finals for the first time and goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar’s black kit was a perfect companion to the traditional orange. Van der Sar also had a blue shirt, while the outfield away was blue, too.
Sadly, this wasn’t a look that actually materialised at the finals as both Kasey Keller and Brad Friedel wore a green version of the goalkeeper shirt in the games they played, but the red jersey – and a yellow one trimmed with navy and red – were in the kitbag if required. The outfield away was red, limiting the potential for the use of the goalkeeping variant.