While the World Cup winners will take the ultimate glory, there are often dark-horse teams that capture the imagination.
In the 1986 competition, Denmark certainly fell under that heading – the team came to become as ‘Danish Dynamite’ and the the book of the same name by Rob Smyth, Lars Eriksen and Mike Gibbons is well worth a read.
The book details the development of the iconic half-and-half kit Hummel developed for Denmark, including how the initial hope was to have the same style on the shorts. They can be seen in this news item about the kit launch:
While FIFA had no problem with the distinctive shirts, they stopped short of allowing the shorts and so, as was traditional, Denmark went with white on the home kit and red on the away.
As things would transpire, their four games at Mexico 86 saw four different combinations worn, with each set of shorts used with both the primary and secondary shirts.
Denmark began in the default second kit, winning 1-0 against a Scotland side clad in their usual navy shirts, white shorts and red socks. Then, the red shorts joined the (mainly) red shirts and socks for the 6-1 blitzing of an all-white Uruguay. First place in the group was assured with a 2-0 triumph against West Germany, both countries in their traditional colourways.
A real buzz had begun to develop about Denmark and they were being talked of as potential winners. However, the campaign ground to a halt as they lost 5-1 to Spain – with the Spanish in their red shirts, blue shorts and black socks, Denmark wore the white shorts with their change shirts and socks.
While they were out of the World Cup, they had certainly left their mark – both in terms of the team itself and the iconic kit.
The base design would prove to be popular among Hummel’s club roster in the years that followed and it continues to hold a high reputation.