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In the world of football, where intricacies and minutiae dominate and compete for our attentions, simplicity is often received like a warm friend.
Yet this week’s release of the Socceroos’ new kit was received with something resembling apprehension, almost a cringe.
As if a strip resembling the famous Brasil or our own 1974 Socceroos should elicit a cringe.
For football fanatics who can remember back to the World Cups of 1986 and beyond, national strips slowly became ruined by a misapplication of colour schemes and juxtapositions. I won’t even mention club strips. Yeesh.
A few examples should jog the memory. Remember the German strip worn at the 1994 World Cup, replete with its migrainous array of diamonds of black, red and yellow on the white strip? Thank God Iordan Letchkov saved us from seeing it beyond the quarter finals as his hairless head sent them home.
Not convinced? I’ll step it up a notch. Remember the Mexican striker-cum-keeper Jorge Campos as the same World Cup? His strip fluoresced with an intensity so strong it was no wonder he was so adept in one-on-one situations.
Even accounting for the vile match times here, I could swear he resembled a chameleon, his strip changing colour every time he made s save.
And who could forget that wonder goal by Ned Zelic against the Dutch in the 1992 Olympic qualifiers? Yes, the goal was a work of art but the strip looked like the late Pro Hart felt like doing something so avant garde even he refused to be associated with it. It was putrid.
Since 2006, national teams have stopped engaging artists looking to express their inner demons for footballers to wear and have gone back to basics.
This serves two purposes. Firstly, it makes for stronger national identity and secondly it stems the flow of nausea in lounge rooms and pubs around the world as fans watch their national team play.
The strip modelled by Michael Zullo and Marco Bresciano is not just a nod to the greats of 1974, it is simplicity in an age where people look for complexity.
It is green and gold. It’s Australian. And long may it last.