The kits of Euro 92
- Updated from the 25th-anniversary version in 2017
Today, June 10, marks the 30th anniversary of the beginning of the 1992 European Championship.
While my first footballing memories are linked to Italia 90, beyond Ireland’s games I wasn’t too aware of what what was happening at the time. As such, Euro 92 was the first tournament I properly experienced.
It was the first major finals to feature names on shirts and frontal numbers, but in other ways it now seems very anachronistic, making it worthy of our attention.
Having only eight teams taking part seems incredibly quaint, considering there are now 24 in the continental competition. On the kit front, superfluous sleeve patches had yet to muscle their way in, while special inscriptions to mark the event made their first appearance but were only utilised by a few countries. Only two – England and Scotland – had their crests on their shorts.
Perhaps most surprisingly, of 15 games played, only three saw a side use its second kit. Shorts clashes were tolerated and, barring one exception, dark-v-dark wasn’t deemed a clash.
Group 1 saw hosts Sweden joined by eventual winners Denmark, France and England. Both Sweden and France had adidas kits – they made the strips for four of the eight sides and were pushing a new aggressive branding.
Well, we say ‘new’ but this look was familiar to English fans, as Liverpool had had it since the start of the previous season.
Liverpool didn’t have to deal with fitting a name on the back and Sweden opted for a yellow outline.
Sweden’s numbers were similar to those used by the likes of Milan at the time.
France were wearing a look which hadn’t been seen before, with the thick three stripes coming over both shoulders. This meant, rather unusually, two red stripes with one white in the middle, rather than three white stripes with blue and red in between. While their numerals looked like those used by Germany and the CIS, the recognisable keyline shadow style, they were shaped slightly differently.
As they would do in winning the World Cup on home soil in 1998, France had indvidual match details on the crest.
On the away shirt, not seen at the Euros but worn in a warm-up friendly against Switzerland, the names were in red.
France also played the Netherlands in a friendly on June 5, five days before the tournament started – something unthinkable nowadays.
Richard Møller Nielsen’s side were a late addition to the competition, invited instead of Yugoslavia due to the Balkans War.
They would go on to win it, and would end up being the only side to wear a change kit twice.
The kit was classic early 90s fare, with very long shorts, and plenty of design elements – a few years back, Hummel launched a tribute kit and felt that they had to calm it down somewhat.
It wasn’t bad but suffered in that it didn’t live up to its 1986 predecessor – the 1988-90 kit was pretty cool too.
One quirk of the Danish kit was that they started off with shorts numbers matching the distinctive Hummel style on their backs (left) but by the time of the final they had adidas-style digits, also seen on the away shorts.
As well as the penalty shootout semi-final win over the Netherlands, the Danes also changed against France.
Presumably the sock clash played a big issue, though France in blue-white-white and Denmark in all-red would have been a more sensible solution.
Oddly, England wore the same kit as they had had at World Cup 90, apart from the addition of the shirt numbers, the ‘Euro 92 Sweden’ inscription below the crest and the Umbro wordmark now being in caps.
It seems likely that this kit’s record of being worn at two major finals won’t be equalled in the foreseeable future.
The Dutch were unbeaten as they topped Group 2.
Having had adidas since the late 1970s, they switched to Lotto after the 1990 World Cup and the Italian maker kept largely to the same theme during the six-year partnership.
Their main change was to add the colours of the Dutch flag to the collar, while the Lotto logo was repeated throughout in a darker shade of orange.
The world champions came close to repeating the West Germany feat of 1972/74 and holding global and continental titles at the same time, only to fall to Denmark in the final.
The big problem for adidas was trying to improve upon perfection.
Mercifully, they didn’t go overboard with the Germany kit, nodding to the previous ribbon but confining the coloured bars to the sleeves – the same design would be used by Arsenal – while the neck featured subtle DFB (German FA) logos.
Andy Roxburgh’s men were also in Umbro, but again it was a kit which wasn’t new. This had been launched in the spring of 1991, when Umbro’s big motif was esoteric geometric shapes.
The collar insert was very obtrusive and, while red socks look well on Scotland, confining the colour to the tops of the socks made them look like a borrowed pair. Another curiosity was the fact that they had two different shorts styles. Seemingly a matter of preference, some players were in shorter shorts that lacked the design on the left leg.
As with England, Scotland had a different number font on their shorts to their shirts. Incidentally, their squad numbering was determined by how many caps each player had, so the number 5 was worn by centre-forward Ally McCoist.
But for a 90th-minute Thomas Häßler free kick, the CIS would have begun with a win over Germany. Instead, they bowed out with just two points, drawing with the Netherlands and then losing 3-0 to Scotland.
Having qualified as the USSR, the break-up of the union meant that, for the finals, they were known as the Commonwealth of Independent States and so it wasn’t worth anybody’s time to create a crest. Beginning with the 1994 World Cup qualifiers, each nation would compete under their own steam.
The CIS had the same style as France – the home shorts and socks were exactly the same – with the away kit worn against the Netherlands. Names were rendered in black to deal with the adidas stripes while the second strip had an odd mismatching of number colours.
As mentioned above, Denmark were only there as they had finished second to Yugoslavia in the qualifying.
In their final game as a unified entity, a friendly against the Netherlands in March of 1992, Yugoslavia had worn the same kit as they had had at Italia 90. For Euro 92, adidas were set to give them a new kit, but oddly, rather than anything from the adidas Equipment line, it was to be the same design as Arsenal’s 1990-92 strip.
As you can see in this Bourne Sports the neck is shown as blue, but each of other countries’ kits has an error too – Germany and Sweden crests wrongly placed, trim on France neck and USSR crest on CIS – so it’s safe to class them all as prototypes.
When Yugoslavia – effectively Serbia & Montenegro, following the break-up of the federal state – returned to the international fold in 1994, they still had this Arsenalesque kit, albeit with a new crest, keeping it until 1996 – surely the trefoil’s last appearance on a ‘proper’ strip.
Therefore, it’s our best guess that they would have looked something like this:
21 thoughts on “The kits of Euro 92”
I remember Euro 92 very well, and adopted Denmark as my team in the tournament because of their kit, seeing as Wales had narrowly missed out on qualification (to the Germans). Best memory was watching the group match between Denmark and England whilst on holiday in Greece in a communal hotel TV area (as TV’s in hotel rooms abroad were additional extras that cost a fair whack of money), and cheering on the Danish whilst sat next to a Danish couple – much to the annoyance of one half-cut English bloke who couldn’t understand why I was cheering on Denmark if I had a “British accent”. My dad put that bloke in his place (“He’s Welsh… and can cheer on who he wants!”)
Anyway, in the semi’s the white away kit Denmark wore actually had a white collar rather than the red one illustrated…
I do recall seeing that Yugoslavia kit that didn’t get an outing, but did wonder how come their kit was basically a two year old Arsenal kit recoloured and with the “old” (trefoil) adidas logo, rather than the new (Equipment) logo.
Also here’s another interesting snippet… the Dutch kit made by Lotto worn in Euro 92, and the one worn in World Cup 1994 are almost identical.
1992 shirt has abstract Lotto logos on the background print, and 3D style numbers
1994 shirt has KNVB logos repeated on the background print, and solid block numbers
I’d even guess the shorts and socks were the same for the entire 5 year period that the KNVB had with Lotto, from 1991 to 1996, when a new home kit with a different collar and a radically different away kit, were used in Euro 96.
Cheers Jon, will amend the Danish away – I was duped by a fake!
I linked to the other Dutch kits above – one other nice addition for 94 was the flag trim on the cuffs!
Ahh yes, I never really noticed the Dutch tricolour on the cuffs of the 1994 shirt, thanks for pointing that one out.
Lotto made some good kits in the 90’s, and some where the designers went a bit crazy (the Wales third kit of 1996/97 springs to mind!)… and the goalkeeper outfits were rather loud. Though come the 2000’s they seemed to be more restrained in design but did start a somewhat annoying trend that almost all of the Italian manufacturers seem to be guilty of – large brand logos on the sleeves.
Does anyone know whether Sweden ever wore their blue away kit (even outside of Euro 1992)? Trying to find out if it was a shirt produced but never worn.
I went on that same quest, Ross – I couldn’t find any evidence. They played Colombia in a friendly in Miami in February 94 but wore their home.
1992 Olympics? Does that count?
Sweden did wear their blue away kit, with blue shorts and socks, against Australia in early 1992.
Correction – the picture I posted above was actually when Sweden played Australia in the 1992 Olympic Games football event, in the quarter finals. Australia wore adidas kits as they were the supplier of their Olympic committee’s team outfits, but were still wearing the outlandish Kingroo kits at full international level until adidas actually took over some time in 1993.
The Sweden kit in the picture actually has the Svenska Fotbollförbundet logo in the middle. Back then most teams in Olympic football competition wore the same kit as the national teams in FIFA competition, though Australia (and also gold medal winners Spain) were exceptions. These days teams tend to wear the same kit but with the country’s IOC logo or a flag replacing the national football association’s badge.
By the way, Sweden and Australia actually met in a series of friendly matches in early 1992, but for those I would guess the Australian team wore the Kingroo kits.
some times, these days, even in 1992, the teams also wore the kits made by the same countries’ IOC suppliers.
About Sweden 1992 kit, curiously, during USA 94 qualifiers and friendlies, the kit was the same, but the numbers had the 3 diagonal stripes (similar to 1995-96 Newcastle’s font)
2020 Tokyo Olympics Sweden wore Uniqlo shirts which were noticeably more dayglo yellow than their usual Adidas ones
Thanks. It also looks like they wore the away kit against Paraguay at the Olympic Games too.
I just found on eBay the Yugoslavia shirt as you predicted, feel it has some rarity value so at 65 quid I thought it was rude not to!
Nice one, Paul!
From closer inspection, the esoteric shapes on Scotland’s 1992 Home Kit actually are the tridimensional letters “SFA” over the top of a diamond
Definitely Missing the days off the low-key tournament text under the team badge which I prefer as it still informs you its a big game during a major tournament still instead off the modern style large sleeve logo which while does the same also has the big downside of over-interfering with shirt designs (especially adidas) although it has briefly given us the benefit off the first adidas trifoil under arm “basketball style 3 line trim since Man U away shirt in mid 70’s ? … big +’s from euro 92 is not 1 but 3 great adidas’s templates plus a great gk template with the six chest bars on top for good measure …but far more importantly any dark vs dark kits wasn’t an 100% automatic kit clash and short clashes was normally allowed also if overall colours were different enough …although the only one I remember that wasn’t all white vs white shorts was the Sweden vs England blue vs navy shorts (although for me personally I would have preferred England in white shorts vs Sweden in either all white or traditional England red n white away kit t.b.h!) but aside from that those facts alone make me nostalgic for this tournament … now it’s far too rare to watch France in blue-white-red traditional home kit combo …and I’ve forgotten the last time the french wore another football/rugby classic off a white/blue/red ( basically the away kit with home red socks still) against a team in blue shirt’s with white shorts … miss those days … also I don’t know why but I prefer Scotland in all navy socks (like the rugby team in navy/white/navy combo colours) unless obviously being good sports changing against the opponents allowing them to don a full home kit which includes dark/navy/black socks (like Spain etc ) and/or especially when Scotland playing England in their all white with navy shorts kits in which case I prefer them in all red socks or red socks with navy turnovers … like you said all navy socks with red turnovers doesn’t look right/work for some reason!
1983 v Denmark was last time France wore white-blue-red, David – I must check further to see when last time v a blue team was!
👍Denis …was thinking mainly games vs Italy but maybe I’m thinking more off an rugby union international instead … ?
2 things I’m glad went away with euro 92 though … back passes and it being harder to qualify for the continental tournament (8 spaces) then the World Cup (back then 12-14 spaces for European teams) … I remember even at the time it didn’t sit right with me … it should always be the opposite and harder or at least the same to get into an World Cup (unless your an host) then to get to your own confederation championship !
Agreed but they should have stopped at 16 teams – that was the perfect format.
Yeah, 16 for EC and 32 for WC but greed never stops