Football fashion

Forget about the game. Let's face it, some of these players are strapping young guys. Which reminds me it wasn't entirely true when I said I was a complete football ignoramus. As an 11-year old growing up in the east of France, I had a bit of a crush on star player and local hero Michel Platini.  Back then though, their outfits were not as flattering as they are now--or so it seems. The difference struck me, seeing  the Germans the other night: sleek tops, with sleeves closely covering the upper arms.  Nothing like those oversized affairs players used to wear, tee-shirts you wear to do a paint job around the house. And the German tops were just the beginning. Then came the Ivory Coast Elephants.  Those orange tops outlined it all, muscles, chests, power--you'd want to send them to the Battle of the Bulge. Clingy sportswear some people would wear in a nightclub. But looking at the Portuguese on the same field, something strange was apparent: the Portuguese outfits were nowhere as tight. On the contrary, they looked very similar to those oversized shapeless tee-shirts of the Platini era. How could it be? How could have certain teams ignored obvious progress when it comes to football fashion? Here's a theory:  The snug sexy tops are made by an Italian company, Puma, which has made it its business to merge fashion and sportswear. The sleek German tops are made by German company Addidas. And the baggy old fashioned tee-shirts are made by, well, Nike, an American company if there ever was one. Good ol' American puritanism dies hard, even on a South African football field. And you can trust the Italians to sex it up, no matter what it is.

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