The world’s biggest international soccer tournament apart from the FIFA World Cup, the UEFA European Championships or EURO 2012, kicks off in just over one month in Poland / Ukraine. While we’ve seen kit launches for all of the tournament’s participants over the past few months, PUMA has given us an alternative to soccer jerseys with a nod to past EURO champions with its new EURO Archives Collection (now available at World Soccer Shop). Here is an in-depth and world exclusive look at three of the pieces from the range. These are the type of details that you will not find in online store or catalog pictures so view on for a treat!
PUMA’s T7 track jacket is a legend in its own right. It has been around in various incarnations since the 1970s and has been worn by soccer legends from Johan Cruyff to Diego Maradona to Cesc FÃ bregas.
The PUMA Football Archives T7 track jackets maintain the T7’s timeless heritage-inspired silhouette, polyester shell, stand collar (perfect for popping), front zippered pockets and patented 7cm sleeve taping. At the same time they have been given the following elements celebrating some of European soccer’s greatest teams.
A national colorway that matches the team’s kit
For instance, the Spain 08 T7 jacket is in La Roja’s famed red with yellow accents while the Netherlands’ version is in the Oranje’s unmistakable bright orange with white accents.
Country flag or federation logo on the left upper sleeve
Of the team’s featured in the PUMA Euro Archives range, only Italy is sponsored by the German firm. Thus only the pieces in the range featuring the Italy national team include an official Federation badge. The others (such as our sample Spain and Netherlands T7s) include a shield-shaped embroidered patch of the national flag in question. Official or not, they all look good and are lovely nationalistic accents on the jackets.
EURO championship year on its left breast
Any soccer fan will recognize 88 and 08 on a Dutch or Spanish national colorway as the year that Holland and Spain won their sole EURO titles. Thus while the digits on the jackets may look cool to the untrained eye, they fete soccer history and invoke a sense of nostalgia for lovers of The Beautiful Game.
PUMA Football Archives tag
A nice additional to the T7’s ribbed waistband, PUMA has included a Football Archives tag on the EURO Archives versions of the jackets. The old school-flavored labels feature lettering reminiscent of the 1960s and before. We hope PUMA keeps these types of labels on the future T7 jackets.
EURO champion inside neck label
We saved the best for last with this one! Absolutely unheralded, every PUMA Football Archives T7 jacket includes an inside neck label in the native language of the national team that it represents. Each label includes details of the historic EURO Final win that is paid homage to via the jacket in question. Here is a look at those for Spain 2008 and the Netherlands 1988.
This is a true soccer lover’s delight and the sort of thing that you would want to keep forever. Even after you’ve worn the life of the T7 trackie, you’d want to cut this label out and stick it on some sort of real world Pintrest board (if fact, we’ve stuck pictures of them on our Pintest board!).
PUMA Football Archives Italy T7 Polo
For those trapped in less casual environments such as a corporate office, the PUMA Football Archives T7 polos will let you represent your favorite sport and possibly team this summer within the dress confines of many a workplace.
It is available for Russia ’60, Italy ’68, Germany ’72, Czechoslovakia ’76, France ’84, Netherlands ’88, and Spain in ’08 in home and away colors. Made of high quality pique cotton and featuring a classic slim fit, the PUMA Football Archives polo is lightweight and will serve many well during the hotter days of the Spring and Summer of 2012. Here is detailed look at the away version of the Italy 68 version of the polo.
While the shirt carries a classic polo look that can be worn in many settings, it has been given the EURO treatment by PUMA via the inclusion of the embroidered championship year digits (68 in Italy’s case) on the left chest, the Football Archives tag and the spectacular and collectible championship inside neck label. This is a must for fans of the Azzuri!
Thanks to Heather ans Samantha for making this review possible!