1966 was a good year for Portuguese football, the Selecao qualified for the World Cup for the first time and finished third in that competition! The world got a close look at the talents of Jose Augusto, Torres, captain Mario Coluna, and the legendary Eusebio as the Portuguese stomped their way through group 1 including a smashing 3-1 win over then back-to-back champs, Pele’s Brazil. That ‘66 side’s only stumble was a 2-1 loss to eventual champs England. Apart from forcing their way to world consciousness, the ’66 Portugal team also had that beautiful white and blue away strip that’s been recreated for the 2014 World Cup. The Nike Portugal Centenary Away Jersey celebrating 100 years of Portuguese awesomeness will be worn with pride by Cristiano Ronaldo, Pepe, Joao Moutinho, and the rest of a strong Portugal outfit.
Portugal’s group G is fierce. In a group with Germany, USA, and Ghana, Portugal will have to hit full gear from the opening match against the Germans who edged them narrowly in Euro 2012 in a game they deserved something from really. There’ll be no room for errors, Germany pack the heaviest resume in the group but Ghana are able to take anyone on their day and the US have a history of beating Portugal at World Cups (who can forget that epic 2002 game). Getting out of this group will require talent, skill, and no little luck. The Portuguese have the skill and talent part down and in this new away jersey, they’ll hope the ’66 luck follows too.
With it’s mainly white body and blue accented around the sleeves and regal collar, this jersey smells of royalty! Nike says they wanted to give the Portuguese a classic and sophisticated look which captured the brilliance of the footie that saw them qualify for the Mundial. Job well done Nike, that’s all there is to say really. With a ‘grandpa-style’ collaring mixed with a polo style button collar, Nike’s given this one a unique two-level stand collar that looks sharper than Cristiano’s hair on a good day. The proud PFF badge adorns the left breast with the founding year and the present year loud and proud.
The away shorts are a blue number much like the ‘66 shorts and are made with a slim fit designed to aid movement and comfort. With Cristiano sure to be bombing down the field like a crazed banshee and the likes of Nani and Varela flying about too, Portugal need that aid and they’ve got it from Nike. The socks for the away ensemble are white and are a deviation from the blue of ‘66 but one can’t and won’t fret that. I’ll choose to go with history and say this is a Portugal side that can and should make the semifinals if things go to plan. The away jersey dictates that much at least.