Lookalikes, no. 9 – Portugal 2016 and Brighton & Hove Albion 2021
An unusual entry today in that the two kits – one club and one country – featured had the same maker, albeit five years apart, and in each case the greatest similarity comes from a mashup.
First of all, forgive us if the shades are wrong as two pictures of the same kit can show very different hues depending on various factors. According to the Premier League handbook, Brighton & Hove Albion’s change kit for the current season is described as ‘Hyper Turq’, which is why we’ve rendered it a bit bluer than the Portugal alternative from 2016 – Nike’s own press release only offered ‘luminous green’ as a descriptor.
Brighton have worn their second kit three times in the Premier League so far, but each time with shorts matching the shirt and socks, whereas the default configuration is intended to have black shorts. We read recently that the colour was intended as a nod towards the city’s civic colours – it appears on environmetally-friendly buses – but the launch statement didn’t include that information, oddly.
The darker effect on the sleeves comes from the ‘fingerprint’ pattern that featured tonally on Nike’s outfield strips and more conspicuously on their goalkeeper kits last season. Red Bull Salzburg and Preston North End are two other sides to utilise the design in the current campaign – and going on recent years, the kit will be Brighton’s third for 2022-23.
Rewind five years and Nike were shaking things up in a big way with the Vapor kits, with contrasting socks being the big visual stand-out – in 2019, we did a Fantasy Kit Friday with teams in more traditional editions.
On the Portugal home kit, they were green with red shirts and shorts, while the change strip had socks in a darker shade to accompany the brighter green (incidentally – as noted by Jay from Design Football – Nike’s 2016 ad featured Cristiano Ronaldo wearing a dark-blue set, presumably for green-screen purposes, that didn’t correspond with any other team in the company’s stable).
Having drawn with Hungary in their Euro 2016 group while wearing the green strip, Portugal then donned it for the last-16 tie against Croatia, which they won. Another victory, against Poland, brought them to the semi-finals, with Wales the opponents. While Portugal were the ‘home’ side for the last-four game, Uefa considered Wales’ black and grey change kit not to be distinctive enough against the dark red Portuguese home strip and so both sides changed. Portugal were in alternative socks which matched the shirt and shorts.
In the Premier League so far this season, Brighton have been in Hyper Turq away to Brentford, Crystal Palace and, most recently, Southampton – the two red-and-white-striped sides have black shorts, so wearing the back-up shorts was an understandable choice but they would have got away with the black set against Palace.
Perhaps the black shorts will eventually be used, but it’s unlikely that Brighton will have to undertake an alteration mirroring that of Portugal’s against Switzerland in the World Cup qualifiers in the autumn of 2016. In a similar fashion to how France had to modify their white Vapor kit against the Swiss at Euro 2016, Portugal played in a kit that didn’t have contrasting sleeves. However, the proper shirt later returned.