We’ve always been captivated by Colombia’s football shirts here at Sartorial.Soccer – particularly as we know it took them a long, long time to settle on those colours.
Over the years, Los Cafeteros have worn light-blue, white, navy blue, orange and red home shirts, before adopting a more faithful representation of the country’s Tricolor flag as late as 1992.
Thinking back to Italia ’90, red was the primary colour of Colombia’s home kit, but we remember Carlos Valderama’s incredible hair matching the vibrant yellow of their change kit.
For this year’s Copa América in Brazil, Adidas wove traditional Colombian patterns into a wavy kit in a paler shade of yellow and navy blue.
That pattern was inspired by the woven fabrics and textures of the indigenous Wayuu people from the north of the country and across the border in Venezuela.
These shirts were released before Adidas unveiled their hotly-anticipated new Arsenal kits, and we believe Colombia’s zig-zag shares the same DNA as the original bruised banana and if anything, we think this is a better shirt than the Gunners’ 2019-20 away kit.
Adidas have since adapted the design for a teamwear template with clubs like Bayern Munich wearing training tops in the pattern.
Colombia won all three Copa América group matches against Argentina, Qatar and Paraguay before a penalty shoot-out defeat to Chile in the quarter-finals, and wore these shirts in every game aside from their opening match where they sported their change strip from Russia 2018.
Adidas’ 2018 World Cup collection helped to make football shirts interesting again after years where manufacturers crow-barred colours into template designs where everyone looked the same.
This year, they have moved beyond the classic retro brief and delivered shirts that give a twist on the heritage and meaning players draw from when they play for the shirt.
This cool Colombia kit didn’t see Copa América glory and will no doubt be changed again for 2020’s tournament; but for our money this is one of the most inventive international football shirts of 2019.