Argentina and Germany will meet in the FIFA World Cup Final at the Maracana on Sunday, July 13. It will be the third time the two sides have faced off in the final and the question facing these 2 adidas sponsored teams is whether either can break the World Cup Final jersey jinx.
Both teams play in a predominantly white home or primary jersey. The classic all-white with some black/red/gold detailing is a hallmark of Germany while the vertical white and sky blue of Argentina’s home jersey is one of the most recognized around the world.
The problem is that they will not both be able to wear their preferred jersey come Sunday and history does not bode well for the team pulling on the away jersey.
Flashback to 1986, and Argentina led by Diego Maradona was aiming for their 2nd title after winning on home soil in 1978. West Germany was looking to add a 3rd star to their federation badge that day at Azteca Stadium.
The heat and humidity in Mexico was an issue for every team and special fabrics designed to combat the conditions were just being introduced in 1986. The majority of teams worked to play in lighter colored jerseys.
Argentina went so far as to have an equipment manager go out and find lighter blue jerseys at a local shop after they discovered they would be required to wear their away jersey against England in the quarterfinal. Maradona is rumored to have pointed to the eventually jersey and claim ‘We’ll beat England in that.’
La Albiceleste did not have to go to the same trouble for the final as they wore the home jersey. West Germany had to revert to their green away jersey. And it did not go well in their second jersey for the European side. They lost 3-2 with Maradona playing a key role providing the assist for Jorge Burruchaga in the 84th minute after West Germany had equalized 3 minutes earlier.
Four years later West Germany got their revenge at the 1990 World Cup Final at the Stadio Olympico. The 2 teams were once again in the final but this time West Germany, playing their last major international as a divided country, played in their home jersey. Argentina was in their solid blue away jersey.
This was also the last time adidas sponsored both teams in the World Cup final.
The match was an ugly and hard-fought match with Argentina having 2 players sent off and West Germany winning 1-0 off a Andreas Brehme converting a 85th minute penalty.
But does this giving any insights into how the 2014 World Cup Final will end?
Both teams have played 6 games thus far. Argentina have been in their home jersey in each of those matches while Germany has turned to their away jersey in 2 matches. And it is hard to think they will not be confident in the red and black hooped look if needed after putting a 7-1 beat down on hosts Brazil in the semifinal along with a hard-won match against the USA in the final group match.
But it looks as though Germany have the option to wear their home jersey. FIFA regulations say, ‘In principle, each team shall wear its official team kit as declared on the official team colour form. If the two teams’ colours might cause confusion, the host team shall be entitled to wear its official team kit and the visiting team shall use its reserve team kit or, if necessary, a combination of the official and the reserve team kits.’
This will sit well with Die Mannschaft their 2014 home jersey bears a slight resemblance to the jersey they wore when they last won the World Cup in 1990. The white adidas jersey for both years has the red detailing across the chest.