In 2002, Germany – like most of the rest of the adidas roster – had new strips in the firm’s dual-layer style, intended to aid perspiration in the heat of Japan and South Korea at the World Cup.
Notable with the home strip was that, apart from the three stars commemorating the previous three World Cup wins – a functional side would reach the final in 2002, losing to Brazil – there was no red or gold trim, with black the sole additional colour to the white shirt.
Even more revolutionary, by the standards of the time, was the change kit. Rather than usual green and white offerings, instead the shirt was a two-tone grey, featuring contrast sleeves and a horizontal bar housing the adidas logo and DFB crest.
White shorts and charcoal grey socks completed the outfit – ideally, black would have been used as the darker shade to allow for interchangeability but, then, that was something that couldn’t even be achieved this year with a black second kits.
In the event, the backup kit was called upon just twice, both times in long-sleeved format and both for home games. In April, Germany hosted Argentina in a pre-World Cup friendly, losing 1-0 as the kit debuted, and the in October they triumphed 2-1 at home to the Faroe Islands in a Euro 2004 qualifier. When they travelled to face the Faroes in 2005, the home side changed and Germany wore white.
The grey experiment was a brief one, though. For 2004, a black change strip was launched, though that was replaced before too long by a red version.