Home: white shirt with black, red and gold trim, black shorts, white socks.
Away: green shirt with white trim, white shorts, green socks.

Coach: Franz Beckenbauer.

Since the formation of the DFB in the early part of the twentieth century, the German national team would play in what has become its famous colours: Schwarz und Weiß. Based on the colours of the old Prussian flag, this simple yet striking combination would be the formula for every shirt for almost a century, spanning the best part of eighty years: two FIFA World Cups, two UEFA European Championships and three further major tournament finals.

In 1986 at the FIFA World Cup finals in Mexico, something new would appear on the famous white Heimtrikot: a sliver of colour. With nothing like the fanfare seen today to mark the release of a new kit, the new design would be worn for the first time at the finals against Scotland in Querétaro – four days after the new green second shirt had debuted in the Nationalmannschaft’s opening group phase game against Uruguay in the same city.

The Mexico 1986 Heimtrikot follows a simple, classic design – all white with the three famous Adidas stripes in black running down the shoulders. The national eagle crest with “Deutscher Fussball-Bund” is stitched in black thread, with the Adidas trefoil logo printed on.

The main feature of course is the scalloped collar, which is piped not only in the traditional black but also the two others colours of the German flag, red and and gold. The colours are also applied to the bottom of the sleeves to create a striking but at the same time subtle look.

In an age before the Nationaltrikot became a fashionable and marketable item, there is nothing else in the way of decoration – the shirt may have that little dash of colour, but it is clear that it was created purely as a functional item to be worn on the pitch. That said, its simple style means that it actually works as a fashionable item as well – perhaps even more so than a number of more recent incarnations with their additional design features and logos.

This white Heimtrikot would be used for two years, when the injection of colour would explode into the famous “flag” design sported by the Mannschaft at both Euro 1988 and the 1990 World Cup. The example in my collection was not purchased at the time, but rather as a special re-release just before the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

The green away shirt sported by Franz Beckenbauer’s side in Mexico was constructed in much the same way as the white version with the same scalloped collar, but didn’t have any additional colours. The printed Adidas trefoil and the three shoulder stripes would be in white, with the national eagle in appearing as a white patch with black stitching.

I am not aware of any replica editions of this shirt ever being issued – even though the team would wear these colours in the final against Argentina in Mexico City.

Unlike today, in the 1980s the kits worn would be a little more arbitrary – there would never be ably strict design guidelines. There would be a number of variations worn between 1986 and late 1987, including a version of the white shirt with a round rather than scalloped neck with the three national flag colours, and a green V-neck Trikot.

Tournament Record

1986 FIFA World Cup, Mexico: runners-up

Shirt Debuts

White: v Scotland, 08.06.1986, Querétaro.
Team: Schumacher, Augenthaler, Berthold, Eder, Kh. Förster, Briegel (64. Jakobs), Littbarski (77. Kh. Rummenigge), Matthäus, Magath, K. Allofs, Völler
Score 2-1 (Allofs 22., Völler 50. / Strachan 18.)

Green: v Uruguay, 04.06.1986, Querétaro.
Team: Schumacher, Augenthaler, Berthold, Kh. Förster, Briegel, Matthäus (Kh. Rummenigge), Eder, Magath, Brehme (46. Littbarski), K. Allofs, Völler
Score 1-1. (Allofs 85. / Alzamendi 5.)

Shirt Images

1986-1988 Home, front
1986-1988 Home, front
1986-1988 Home, front detail
1986-1988 Home, front detail
1986-1988 Home, crest detail
1986-1988 Home, crest detail
1986-1988 Home, neck/collar
1986-1988 Home, neck/collar
1986-1988 Home, neck/collar
1986-1988 Home, neck/collar
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