The new Portugal home kit celebrates the Portuguese Football Federation’s centenary by combining the best in performance innovation with powerful national symbols and design details, creating a unique and electrifying new look.
“We watched how Portugal plays their football — with pace and energy, they deliver the unexpected and break down the field in a way that can be awe-inspiring,” said Martin Lotti, Global Creative Director, Nike Football. “We wanted to create a kit that reflected this style with an exciting and vibrant design.”
The new Portugal home jersey boasts a tonal design of dark red and bright red stripes on the top half and sleeves. The varying sized stripes create an energizing graphic that provides a sense of speed and exhilaration.
The jersey features a dark red V-neck collar and cuffs with green trim. On either side of the Portuguese Football Federation’s crest are the years 1914 and 2014 to commemorate their centenary.
Inside the back of the neck is a red-and-green pennant tab featuring an Armillary Sphere to herald Portugal’s seafaring history. The Armillary Sphere is a navigation tool that famous Portuguese explorers used to discover the world. It has stood as a national symbol for more than 500 years and serves as the background for the Portuguese shield on the national flag.
The name and numbers on the back of the home jersey have been specially created, and are inspired by the old typefaces used on traditional Portuguese signage. The custom font is a modern take on Art Deco lettering.
“The new kit is beautiful and simple, with design details that respect the culture and history of Portugal. The technology in the shirt also helps keep me dry, cool and comfortable, and ready to play at my best on the pitch," Cristiano Ronaldo comments. “When I put on the national team’s shirt it gives me a real sense of pride — representing the fans, family and friends.”
The new shorts are dark red. Simple and iconic, the fit is slimmer and more tailored to the body, with a cut specifically designed to aid movement and comfort. The center back of the shorts feature Nike’s signature laser vents to aid in cooling and allow for moisture management. The new home socks are in the same dark red.
ULTIMATE IN COOLING AND COMFORT
The kit aids performance by helping regulate player body temperature over the course of a match. By using a combination of Nike Dri-FIT technology, mesh panels and laser-cut ventilation holes, designers are able to localize cooling where players need it most.
Nike Dri-FIT technology pulls moisture away from the skin to the outside of the garment where it evaporates quickly. Laser-cut ventilation holes and engineered mesh in key areas allow for increased breathability and airflow across the skin.
“By managing sweat and keeping the body cooler longer, players feel more comfortable, sweat less and perform better,” said Lotti.
In addition to helping players stay cool, the kit is made with a new dual-knit fabrication that incorporates cotton and recycled polyester for the best in moisture-wicking properties, while adding a softer feel and more flattering shape.
In line with Nike’s commitment to superior performance with lower environmental impact, the shirt, short — and for the first time in a national team kit, the socks — all feature fabric made from recycled plastic bottles (100 percent recycled polyester in the shorts, 96 percent recycled polyester in the shirt and 78 percent in the socks). Each kit is made using an average of 18 recycled plastic bottles. Since 2010, Nike has diverted almost two billion bottles from landfills, enough to cover more than 2,800 full-sized football pitches.
“Incorporating environmental sustainability is a key part of the design and development process for us,” said Lotti. “Our aim is to create a kit that performs for players and is good to the planet.”
Designers utilized three-dimensional body scans of elite footballers to collect data on the form of today’s players and identify an updated fit, improving comfort and allowing the body to move more naturally within the kit.
While looking at every element of the modern football kit, Nike designers even paid special attention to the kits’ socks. Combining athlete insights and research with new materials and fabrications, the Nike Elite Match Fit sock for 2014 features a sleeker fit specific to football. Strategically cushioned zones provide comfort and protection at the big toe and anklebones where the majority of impact occurs, while arch support locks down the foot to help prevent slipping. Material was also eliminated to enhance touch and decrease bulk, and flex grooves were added to the ankle and the top of the foot to prevent bunching.
NIKE PRO BASELAYER
The new Nike Pro baselayer is the lightest ever from Nike and features increased venting and breathability.
Players have a variety of Nike Pro baselayer styles for players to choose from. These are designed for the varying temperatures and conditions athletes will encounter in Brasil, which are expected to vary from high heat during mid-day matches, to much colder temperatures in the southern match locations during evening games.
Nike has redesigned its baselayer short for 2014 taking insights directly from some of the best players in the world.
“When we asked players to talk about the kind of protection they need during a match, they showed us scars and abrasions on their upper-back hip area from sliding,” recalled Lotti. “Several players showed us these same injuries so we set out to add more protection, while balancing the need for lightweight breathability.”
The result is the Nike Pro Combat Ultralight Slider Short. Featuring increased and adjusted abrasion protection zones to match the athlete’s sliding pattern, the short is also 20 percent lighter than previous versions and made with 87 percent recycled polyester. Weight was eliminated through the addition of mesh for increased breathability and cooling where the athlete generates heat.
The Portugal home kit is available on nike.com from March 4 and in stores from March 5.