The Africa Cup of Nations always delivers when it comes to well-designed and eye-popping national team kits, and this year’s tournament is no different.
Teams across the continent, from powerful Nigeria and Ivory Coast to minnows Comoros, have come wearing their national pride on their sleeves, literally and figuratively.
From bold designs to classic calls, this year’s competition is full of color, flash, and flair. Here’s our pick of the lot as the teams have put their best foot forward with the first round of group-stage matches complete.
Top kits at 2022 Africa Cup of Nations
Below is a list of the 10 best kits at AFCON 2022. Each nation is listed along with its official kit-maker.
10. Cape Verde (Tempo Sport)
The Austrian kit manufacturer has done quite well here for the Blue Sharks. Two darker blue stripes down the middle, with the lighter blue background helping them pop. Wave designs cover the kit, and a neat-looking shark peeks out from the bottom-left of the shirt. An excellent design.
The only issue is the dark blue shark is tough to see on the ocean blue background. Would be even better if that was more prominent.
9. Guinea (Mastia)
The Irish kit-maker was inspired for Guinea’s design by the country’s mascot, the National Elephants, sporting light tusks and an imprint of an elephant silhouette on the jersey, behind tribal designs. Also notable are the fantastic shorts, which are yellow with red stripes down the sides featuring similar deisgns. An excellent kit all around, both subtle and intriguing.
8. Guinea-Bissau (Guisport)
Guinea-Bissau partnered with a local kit-maker for this tournament, and boy did it pay off. The shirt they wore in the opening round match agianst Sudan is actually the least interesting of the group, but all four kits available for the Djurtus to wear are clean, crisp, and exquisite.
The white one with the black, red, and yellow horizontal argyle behind the number is our favorite, a killer design.
7. Egypt (Puma)
Puma’s had better tournaments overall, and while the Pharaohs’ threads are safe and clean, they do pop nicely. Subtle designs can be good ones, and the black across the shoulders pairs nicely with the deep, satisfying red color of the kit. There’s also a very subtle design within the red, a faint pattern resembling heiroglyphics. Well done, although the team will have to play better than they did in the opening match against Nigeria to have a shot at claiming the title.
6. Sierra Leone (Umbro)
Flat out, Umbro crushed it this tournament. This Sierra Leone kit can be divisive, but we love it. The home kit they wore in the opening match is a great shade of green broken up by a classy blue blotch design down the bottom left.
The white away kit has a cleaner look with the flag under the collar. We especially cannot wait to see that third kit on display. It’s enough neon to be eye-popping without being painful.
5. Ivory Coast (Puma)
It’s almost Puma’s best kit at the tournament, but just doesn’t top Ghana. Ivory Coast has had some classy designs in the past, and this fits right in. The broken vertical stripes are a great look, and it’s even better in the orange home kit (bottom-left in the tweet below) that calls to mind a number of Elephants teams in the nation’s true heyday.
4. Mali (Airness)
That Mali Eagle design is fantastic! Central on the breastbone, the Eagle is supported by green, yellow, and red stripes that look like the Eagle’s wings and reflect the country’s colors. The away kit is similar, with just the green background changed to white. It’s an excellent creation by French designer Airness.
3. Ghana (Puma)
While Puma failed to produce anything truly bold this tournament, its more conservative designs still hit home. The Ghana kit is the best of the bunch, with a checkered design of pinstripes and faint stars underneath the centralized black star in the middle. The green numbers and Puma logo pop nicely, and the background isn’t too busy to ruin the design.
The home kit is actually even better, with a yellow background instead of the away kit’s white that really does leap off the shirt, and black sleeves that compliment nicely.
2. Nigeria (Nike)
It’s a shame that Nigeria wore its bland third kit in the opening match of the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations, but the stunner is coming. The Nigeria home kit for this tournament, as seen above worn by Victor Osimhen during a November World Cup qualifier, is an absolute beauty.
A callback to legendary Nigerian kits of yore, including the iconic 2018 kit. This one’s actually maybe too close to that one, which docks it slightly for unoriginality, but nevertheless, it’s a wonderful design in a vacuum. The vertical tooth pattern with a white middle is both bold and energetic.
1. Zimbabwe (Umbro)
This kit is bold, and put simply, the result is spectacular. A yellow background with red, orange, green, and black tears down the chest starting from the shoulder. The colors reflect the nation’s flag, and they are flashy without being too distracting. The tear design is perfectly executed.
The yellow shorts and yellow socks continue the look, with the shorts sporting green numbers that pop but don’t take away from the work done by the shirt. Overall a stunningly brilliant kit, and Umbro gets bonus points for a brave design, because taking risks is always appreciated as opposed to something safe and easy that won’t bomb. Bravo.
The away and third kits aren’t nearly as brilliant, with a “thatched” design, but the home one stands out above all the rest.
Honorable mention: Burkina Faso goalkeeper kit
We have to show the goalkeepers some love, right? Hervé Koffi of Burkina Faso had his on display in the tournament’s opener against Cameroon. The yellow kit with the Burkina Faso red and green stripe down the middle is fire, topped off with a clean star in the center. Lovely.
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