The views and opinions expressed in this piece are those solely of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the position of Highsnobiety as a whole.
Nigeria has dominated pre-World Cup headlines with its Skepta-approved, lime green zigzag jersey, which is now sold out, shifting an alleged three million orders and fetching nearly three times its retail price on the secondary market. The Super Eagles stand next to no chance of winning the tournament in Russia, but that hasn't deterred people from rocking the jawn, proving that aesthetics are every bit as important as prestige when it comes to what fans want in a football jersey.
While Nigeria's World Cup hopes are slim, it at least has more hope than China, which has literally zero chance of success given it failed to qualify for the final tournament. In a bid to counter his giant nation’s status as soccer minnows, President Xi Jinping has introduced plans to revamp the game in China, pumping funds into infrastructure and youth coaching in the hope his country can one day compete at the highest level. Still, as of right now, China is little more than an also-ran, ranked 73rd in the world and yet to produce a single big-name player.
Taking that into account, it would be easy for the shirt designers at Nike to neglect the nation and instead focus on its World Cup teams. Yet they've done nothing of the sort. Instead, the Swoosh has been busy in the lab, cooking up an absolute banger of a shirt that is, in this writer's opinion, even better than Nigeria's.
China's new away shirt has everything you could want: it's bold but subtle; traditional yet modern. Paying tribute to Chinese culture, it features a tonal dragon motif across its monochromatic body, a design that could easily fall on the side of bombast if done incorrectly, as Inter Milan found out to its peril with this shocker several years ago. For some additional pop, the Swoosh and emblem are given a lick of au courant neon, recalling recent YEEZY and adidas Originals by Alexander Wang collections.
A testament to the shirt's brilliance is the fact that, as of writing, it's already sold out in S, M, and 2XL sizes. If you're in between those sizes, cop it via the link below.
What do you make of the shirt? Do you think it's better than Nigeria's? Let us know in the comments below.
Staying with dope shirts, here are some we wish were part of the World Cup.