Home: White “traditional” shirt with black trim, black shorts, white socks
Away: Charcoal-grey shirt with dark grey band and white trim, white shorts, grey socks
Coach: Rudi Völler.
Making its debut in the 2002 4-2 friendly win against the United States in Rostock, the white home shirt worn between 2002 and late 2003 was a clean, classical, simple design – and without doubt one of my personal favourites alongside the iconic “flag” shirt worn between 1987 and 1992.
While many teams during the World Cup in Japan and South Korea were seen sporting outfits that bordered on the garish, the white Germany Trikot was the ultimate proof that a football shirt didn’t have to be primarily marketed as a fashion accessory. Clearly inspired by the design sported by the side of the late 1960s and early 1970s, it was plain white with a simple black v-neck.
Made of Adidas’ new “Climalite” material, the match shirt actually consisted of two layers – clearly designed to help the players manage the heat and humidity of Korea and Japan. The replica shirt consisted of one layer, but with a more breathable fabric being used for the side panels.
In keeping with the design of the late 1960s the sleeve ends/cuffs were plain black, and both the Adidas logo and the national eagle were woven in black thread. The only splash of colour on the shirt was provided by the three championship stars above the national crest and a very subtle horizontal Schwarz-Rot-Gold band on the back under the neck area, which provided a nice contrast to the classic Schwarz und Weiß; a small “Climalite” tab was stitched to the side.
Classic player, classic Trikot. Miroslav Klose sprints past Cameroon’s Raymond Kalla at the 2002 World Cup
Accompanying this classic white shirt were classic black shorts, with no design features save for the three trademark Adidas stripes in white; stitched in white on the left leg was the national eagle and the Adidas logo. The Trikot was completed by the white socks, which went truly vintage in being plain white with no adornment save for a small Adidas logo.
Germany played a number of games in this shirt, including all seven of their matches in the 2002 World Cup. The one I remember the most was the otherwise unmemorable 1-0 second round victory over an eleven-men-behind-the-ball Paraguay in the second round of Korea/Japan 2002 where the winner was scored in the dying moments Oliver Neuville – closely followed by the dramatic moment when Michael Ballack received the second yellow card in the semi-final against South Korea which would keep him out of the final. Alongside Ballack, the one player with whom I most associate with the shirt would be top scorer Miroslav Klose.
The second shirt between 2002 and 2003 saw a breakaway from the traditional DFB green, with this new design being a charcoal grey colour with white trim. The only other grey shirt I can remember in international football was England’s dire effort from Euro ’96, but this was a lot better looking.
Like the white home shirt, the new charcoal grey version was a clean and simple design; the front was actually composed of two layers, a thin light grey fabric and a dark grey breathable “Climalite” layer, which when combined gave the garment a light grey sheen. The back, shoulders and band across the chest were in a darker charcoal grey, with a charcoal grey v-neck and the three Adidas shoulder stripes in white.
The Adidas logo and national eagle crest were both woven into the charcoal grey band, and were woven in silver/white thread with the three stars above the eagle being stitched in the standard Schwarz-Rot-Gold. As with the white home shirt, the colours of the German national flag also appeared in a small horizontal band on the back below the neck area.
Christian Wörns in action in the 2002-03 Auswärtstrikot against the Faroe Islands in Hannover
The Auswartstrikot teamed the charcoal grey shirt with white shorts, which were adorned by the three Adidas stripes in black. Completing this simple design were the national eagle crest and Adidas logo, which were woven into the fabric in black thread. Like the home socks, the grey away ones were plain and stripeless – adorned only with the maker’s logo woven in white thread.
The charcoal grey kit Trikot is among my favourites, but the team’s performances in it was far from bright. The shirt would make its first appearance in a friendly against Argentina in Stuttgart – which ended in a rather disappointing single-goal defeat for Rudi Völler’s side – and its only competitive outing was in the Euro 2004 qualifier against the Faroe Islands – curiously, in the home fixture in Hannover – which resulted in a painfully scratchy 2-1 win for the Nationalmannschaft.
2002 FIFA World Cup, Korea/Japan: runners-up
White: v United States, 27.03.2002, Rostock.
Team: Rost (46. Butt) – Linke, Ramelow, Baumann – Ziege (61. Böhme), Jeremies (69. Heinrich), Frings, Hamann, Schneider (75. Asamoah) – Bierhoff, Neuville (80. Brdaric)
Score 4-2 (Ziege 44., Neuville 61., Bierhoff 65. Frings 68. / Mathis 17., 71.)
Grey: v Argentina, 14.04.2002, Stuttgart.
Team: Lehmann – Linke (46. F. Baumann), Nowotny, Metzelder – Frings (83. Max), Jeremies (77. Kehl), Ramelow, Böhme (46. Ricken) – Ballack – Bierhoff (70. Jancker), Klose
Score 0-1 (- / Sorin 48.)