Mexico Home Shirt World Cup 1998

mexico-team

The Mexican National Team of the 1990s was quite strong. After missing the 1990 World Cup due to using overage players at the 1988 CONCACAF U-20 Tournament, Mexico made both the 1994 and 1998 World Cups and won the 1993, 1996 and 1998 CONCACAF Gold Cups.

blanco

Focusing on the road to France, CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying was marked by draws, with Mexico and the United States only winning of four of ten matches. El Tri won four and drew six to top the Hex table and were placed in a section with Holland, Belgium and South Korea. The competition started brightly as Mexico beat South Korea 3-1 in the opener. Draws followed against Belgium and the Netherlands but it was enough as Mexico moved on to the Round of 16 as the second placed team behind Holland. Germany was next up and Luis Hernandez opened the scoring just after halftime. However Die Mannschaft came back as Klinsmann equalized with 15 minutes to go and Bierhoff finished off the CONCACAF reps with only minutes remaining. (Match highlights)

mexico-shirtEl Tri strode onto the field in a very distinctive shirt, made by ABA Sport, who had taken over for Umbro and were followed by Atletica. I couldn’t find much about the company but did stumble across a facebook page, which has images of the many shirts the Mexican company has produced.

The shirt, also worn at the 1996 and 1998 Gold Cups, was mainly green with a white collar and cuffs, edged with red. In research for this post I learned that a dark red used to be main color for the Mexican home shirts rather than the green I was accustomed to. This switch was made in the late 50s and continues today. The main feature of the shirt was the Aztec tribal design that was shadow printed into the shirt. This video has a nice close up of the design and production elements.

luis-hernandez

The shirt certainly divides opinion. While some find it garish, the writers at Complex ranked it #6 in their greatest shirts of all time, going as far as to say,

For a collector of retro kits, this is either your grail or an image from your nightmares. If you can get your hands on one of these, you’ve just bought yourself a conversation starter for every single social event you wear this out to.

I love it because it is a one off shirt with historical references. My wife picked up a knock off on a missionary trip to Mexico. She wore it from time to time until it was stolen at a laundromat. Such is life. Don’t know if I could ever own one as a US fan but still a great design.

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Additional Resources

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Read the rest of my Strip Club posts here and follow me on twitter @austinlong1974.

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