As Puma’s premier national team, Italy undoubtedly have the German sportswear company counting on them to represent them past the World Cup group stage. This could be tricky for Gli Azzurri, as they reside in Group D with England, Uruguay, and Costa Rica. Fortunately for Puma, they make Uruguay’s kits as well, but unfortunately for Italy, this is a tough group. While the Group of Death may be USA’s Group G, Group D is no cakewalk. England, although they perpetually underperform, can beat anyone in this group. The favorite to come out of the group is probably Luis Suarez’s Uruguay and Costa Rica should not be counted as an easy three points.
The Italians are 4-time World Cup champions, so confidence should not be an issue for this squad. Likewise, experience is on their side. Gianluigi Buffon, Andrea Pirlo, and Daniele De Rossi were all on the 2006 World Cup-winning side. With an influx of young talent such as Mario Balotelli (who shined at the 2012 Euros) and 21-year-old Stephan El Shaarawy should prove a quality mix for their hopes in Brazil. Speaking of Balotelli, we should be seeing Puma utilizing their greatest asset quite a bit going forward. Since he recently signed with Puma as the face of their evoPower series, you can expect them to push Balotelli hard over the next several months. For now though, we get to take a look at what Puma and Italy have teamed up to release for their home and away kits.
Alternating blue and whites dominate the two kits and give them both a general theme. However, both tops feature enough little subtleties to give them a real identity. The home kit has a blue jersey with a tailored collar and thin white lining extending from the chest to the waist on each side. On the ends of the sleeves, Puma added the green, white, and red of Italy’s national flag, which coolly accents this shirt with a little more Italian flavor. For the home shorts, we just have the plain white shorts with blue lining and the crest on the right leg. Blue socks complete a sharp-looking kit.
On the away version, a quick look makes it seem like this is just the reverse of the home kit. However, a closer analysis shows a few key distinctions. There are very narrow vertical gray lines running the length of the predominately white top and the white lining on the home jersey is replaced with subtle red and green. On the end of the sleeves, you have blue where the Italian colors were on the home. Up top, the V-neck is in blue and white, instead of the blue collar. The bottom half of this kit does feature the reverse of the home, however, with blue shorts and white socks finishing off the away kit.
On the more expensive authentic jerseys, Puma has installed their brand new performance innovation PWR ACTV. This is a combination of strategically-placed athletic taping and compression within the shirt that improves how your body performs with it on. If you are thinking of getting the authentic, these are very much a slim fit, so you may think about going up a size.
The authentic jersey also comes in a sleek black binder with glossy type about the importance of Italian football and the meaning of the color blue to Gli Azzurri. It’s all very impressive and makes spending the extra cash on a team jersey much easier to stomach. Overall, Puma have given us two classy and modern Italy kits that will help them stand out on the pitch in a positive way.