Seeing players ball out in long-sleeved shirts gets us in the World Cup groove like nothing else. And we’re happy to report that the classic bit of ‘Football Heritage’ is still well and alive.
There’s just something ineffable about a player weaving magic on the pitch with the sleeves rolled down all the way.
It adds a bit of finesse to the shoulder feint, extra sauce to the slaloms, and makes for some majestically nostalgic viewing.
While full-sleeved shirts were the norm in an era bygone, they’re a relatively rare sight these days.
It all started with an effort to cut out production costs by kit-makers, leading to a gradual decline in their availability.
Eventually, long-sleeved kits were phased out by several manufacturers altogether, following which, short-sleeve variants began dominating the scene.
Players seeking thermal assistance simply wore undershirts, which does aid the aesthetic but it still isn’t enough.
Naturally, the fan-version kits were also put out of production, and demands for their return have been largely ignored.
However, heritage is impossible to eradicate, and over the years, numerous star players have shown their loyalty towards the long-sleeve resistance.
The likes of James Rodriguez and Leroy Sane famously wore full shirts back in 2020, leaving wide grins on the faces of fans.
And fortunately for us purists, the proper long-sleeve revival is here, and it is beautiful.
We certainly didn’t expect to spot long sleeves in the warm conditions of Qatar, but being the nation’s winter season, there looks to be a chill in the air.
Thankfully, the players are well-equipped, and many of them have already donned long-sleeved shirts.
The Chelsea forward led the line for Germany during their game against Japan. And while the 2-1 upset took over the headlines, fans didn’t fail to notice Havertz embracing a bit of tradition.
Dembele started on the wings for the reigning champions and did so while wearing a full-sleeved kit. He was also joined by fellow resistance member Antoine Griezmann.
Poland v Mexico proved to be a rather drab game of Football, although Edson Alvarez embracing the sleeves was certainly a sight for sore eyes.
Ferran Torres joined in on the action during Spain’s thrashing of Costa Rica, making it three Adidas-sponsored long-sleeved kits.
The German brand looks to have made the option available to players.
USMNT youngster Gio Reyna also followed suit, albeit with the training gear, and it led to fan requests for the kit to be made available.
With many matchdays still to go, we’re hoping the revival turns into a full-scale resurrection.
Hopefully, the sight of players in long sleeves prompts fans to demand the same from kit-makers.