Since the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia has played as an independent state and qualified for 3 FIFA World Cups (1994, 2002, and 2014). As host of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the Sbornaya have automatically qualified for next summer’s tournament.
Russia, as the largest republic in the former Soviet Union, is sometimes incorrectly thought of as a continuation of the old regime and its cultures, but the Russian Football Union (RFS) wanted to make no mistake about their new identity and made a bold move to a new national soccer jersey that predominantly highlighted the white and blue of the flag rather than the red. The old Soviet Union team traditionally played in an all red kit.
For their first FIFA World Cup as an independent nation, Russia featured a white home soccer jersey with 3 red/blue checkered panels over the shoulders and sleeve with a matching collar and blue sleeve cuffs. The new RFS crest was over the heart, the player number on the right chest, and technical sponsor, Reebok’s logo below the front of the collar.
The Russia 1994 World Cup jersey is still a part of history. Forward Oleg Salenko was wearing the Russia white home jersey when he scored a record 5 goals against Cameroon. It remains the most goals scored by a single player in a World Cup match.
They wore their home jersey in their 2nd and 3rd group matches. Manager Pavel Sadyrin’s side had the unfortunate task of opening their tournament against Brazil and wore their away jersey.
The away jersey featured the same template with a blue jersey with the panels being red/white checkered.
Russia next qualified for the FIFA World Cup in Japan/South Korea in 2002. Since their first World Cup appearance, they had switched to Nike as their technical sponsor. The home jersey was white with blue detailing. All hints of red were dropped from the jersey. The jersey featured blue detailing under the arm that narrowed at is went down the side of the jersey. There was a blue stripe across the back of the jersey under the number. The crew collar had a subtle hint of blue.
For the first time, the player number moved to the center of the jersey, and the Nike Swoosh in red was over the right chest.
This jersey was worn in all 3 of Russia’s Group matches. The away jersey was similar template with the white and blue reversed. The template was the standard for Nike clubs at the 2002 FIFA World Cup.
adidas took over as Russia’s technical sponsor for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. It was a return to the Russia jersey for the 3-Stripes who was the team’s first jersey sponsor in 1992 and 1993 after the break-up of the Soviet Union. The German based company made a bold move with red returning as the predominant color of the home jersey.
The 2-tone red jersey with red body and darker red used on the shoulders and sleeves featured gold detailing for RFS double-headed eagle crest, the adidas Performance logo on the right chest, and the adidas 3-Stripes on the shoulders and continuing halfway down the sleeve. A pop of color was provided with the Russian flag sitting at the bottom of the gold 3-Stripes.
A graphic print starting and the waistline and rising toward the crest is in tribute to Russia’s achievement as the first in space. The statement, ‘пoеxали! (Let’s Go)’ which was said by Yuri Gagarin before blasting off as the first person in outer space is on the back below the crew collar.
Russia wore their 2014 home jersey in their first and final group stage match against South Korea and Algeria, respectively.
In their second group game against Belgium, Russia wore their 2014 away jersey. The white jersey featured a blue gradient once again in tribute to the nations place as first in space. A blue gradient on the upper chest and shoulders represented the earth, atmosphere, and outer space. Red detailing was included as piping around the v-v-neck collar and for the adidas Performance logo.
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