Why does a national team’s football strip look like a rejected Topman design?

Ok, this might not be that interesting but I was pretty shocked/surprised to discover France’s new away strip after tuning into the France V Croatia match following one of the best friendlies in recent memory when England played Ghana (incidentally I was offered tickets to this match but then my buddy decided to give them to someone else. Thanks bud). Has anyone seen this?

I mean yeah I guess it’s French right (or at least what the world perceives as French due to that stupid striped sailor shirt – pretty sweet alliteration there right?) but it pretty much just looked like Laurent Blanc had taken the whole French team shopping to Topman or something. Srsly can the French national side actually be taken seriously in this get up? OK OK try to forget what happened at the World Cup before answering that, but you have to admit it looks more like they’re stepping out to smoke cigarettes and chirpse girls outside the local cafe tabac rather than attempting to revisit the glory days of the late 90’s when Zizou was pulling the strings and leading the French to world dominance on the football scene? I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen such a dumb attempt at the design of a football strip, not even on league two goalkeepers. Surely this can’t be an the official strip of a national side can it?

Well it actually is, as those of you who joined me in watching the fairly decent game between France and Croatia will know – incidentally the highlight of the game was possibly Karim Benzema (who is actually in a pretty good run of form at Real Madrid at the moment) skying the ball into row Z from just outside the 6 yard box, which probably illustrates the effect that the adoption of the new away strip has had on France’s aspiration of a return to the glory days . Thankfully there have been reactions similar to mine within the French footballing world with the man who managed Auxerre for an incredible 40 years, Guy Roux – who is described as a ‘renowned football expert’ by – labelling it ‘a disgrace.’

In addition to this, surely France were playing at home in this fixture, so why the need for wearing the away strip? The only answer to this that I could come up with was that the new away strip was SUCH AN EVENT that it had to be showcased in some kind of big event within France. Ok it wasn’t a competitive match but it was still pretty big  and literally the first thing I said when I flicked the channel on was ‘what the fvck are these guys wearing?’ so I guess it had the desired impact of showcasing the new away strip to the world/French people watching the game. This surely means, given the magnitude of the launch, that France itself must actually be treating it as a big event? Of course, they need something to take their minds off the state of their national team right now (although France have been pretty hot in Euro 2012 qualifying, so maybe they don’t anymore but they probably did when Nike were commissioned to make the strip) and what happened last summer but is this really the answer?

I guess we’ll have to see if they qualify for Euro 2012. And what strip they’re wearing when they do. Things didn’t get off to a good start last night though when they were held to a 0-0 with Croatia after a 6 game winning streak -during which they had predominantly been wearing their traditional blue strip.  Only time will tell if this new away strip becomes consigned to history as a football faux pas or the piece de resistance that led France back to the glory days. Probably the former.


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