Home: white shirt with black trim and Schwarz-Rot-Gold “Chevrons” design, black shorts, white socks
Away: green shirt with black trim and Schwarz-Rot-Gold “Chevrons” design, white shorts, green socks
Coach: Berti Vogts.
In the early 1990s Adidas AG adapted their marketing symbol, changing the famous “flower” trefoil design for three stripes forming a triangle; this new brand identity was marketed as “Adidas Equipment”, and it was this logo that made it onto the next design for the Germany football shirt. The symbol (with the accompanying legend “Adidas Equipment”) appeared at the base of a thick black V-neck which was piped in Schwarz-Rot-Gold and decorated with two woven “DFB” symbols in gold thread. The idea of keeping the colours of the national flag on the shirt was retained in the form of what could best be described as chevrons on the arms.
The white home shirt released for the 1992 European Championship in Sweden was “watermarked” with a recurring design of three simple vertical stripes, with the national eagle in traditional black woven into the design. What was also noticeable about this design was that – apart from the subtle “watermark” – it did not feature the traditional Adidas three stripes as part of the trim, which was usually applied to the shoulders. This shirt was always worn with plain black shorts, and white socks with black “three stripe” piping.
The finals of the 1992 European Championship also saw the introduction of player names on the back of the shirt and numbers on the front – which meant that shirt designs had to be able to accommdate these new additions.
The high quality of the garment was a reflection of the money and marketing research that had gone into shirt design – gone were the days of there being just a simple national crest sewn or ironed onto a generic design and sold in specialist sports shops. Indeed, the design and look of the 1992 German shirt was not shared by any other national or club side, and was the first design I was able to find in a high street sports shop – whereas previously I’d had have to trek down to Soccer Scene in Carnaby Street. (Note to all those born around the time I bought this shirt: there was no Internet at the time).
This kit was brought out for the Euro ’92 tournament in Sweden, where a Germany side coached by defensive legend Berti Vogts reached the final only to lose to an inspired Danish side. The game I’d associate it most with would be the semi-final against the hosts which was won 3-2 with two goals coming from striker Karl-Heinz Riedle, but the man with whom I would for ever associate this shirt would be little Thomas “Icke” Häßler – who banged in a couple of spectacular free-kicks including a stunning last-minute equaliser against a dour CIS side in Germany’s opening fixture.
The second shirt was of identical design to the home one, but in racing green instead of white; the neck and cuffs were identical to the home shirt design, although the national eagle was woven in white thread. Like the home shirt, this away version was also “watermarked” with a recurring three vertical stripes. It worn with plain white shorts and green socks with the traditional “three stripe” piping in white.
As far as I can remember this green shirt was worn only a couple of times, including during the 1993 US Cup when the Nationalelf staged a stunning comeback from 0-3 down to earn a 3-3 draw against Brazil en route to winning the tournament. I had been studying in the Czech Republic during that time, and vividly recall watching the highlights on local television. I can clearly remember Jürgen Klinsmann’s last minute equaliser, and it is this moment I would always associate with this shirt.
1992 UEFA European Championship, Sweden: runners-up
White: v Italy, 25.03.1992, Torino.
Team: Illgner – Binz – Reuter, Helmer, Buchwald – Brehme (46. M. Schulz), Häßler, Matthäus, Doll (69. Bein) – Völler (46. Klinsmann), Riedle
Score 0-1 (- / Roberto Baggio pen 86.)
Green: v Uruguay, 20.12.1992, Montevideo.
Team: Köpke – Thon – Kohler, Helmer – Häßler (84. M. Sammer), Zorc, Buchwald, Matthäus, A. Möller, Doll (84. Kirsten) – Klinsmann (77. Labbadia)
Score 4-1 (Buchwald 41., Möller 60., Häßler 70., Klinsmann 76. / Moran 84.)