On the back of two very contrasting results for the teams, Germany and Spain’s match on Sunday was setting up to be a must-watch.
The two European heavyweights enjoy a rich history in the sport. The duo share five world cups between them, with Spain winning their first and only one in 2010, while the Germans won their fourth in 2014.
Some odd-setters have the Spaniards as the fourth favourites while Germany is the sixth. The pair meeting in the group stage would surely give us an indication of where the teams really stand with respect to each other.
Germany’s first game of the tournament was a shock 2-1 loss to Japan, while Spain’s was a thrashing 7-0 win against Costa Rica.
Lose here and Germany would be looking at an exit, sharing the same fate they had in 2018. A victory would be as good as guaranteeing progression for the Red and Yellow team.
With so much to play for, the players were understandably nervous and afraid to make mistakes. And it showed.
The first half went without a goal. It was actually a substitute in Alvaro Morata who opened the scoring just after the hour mark for Spain. Another substitute Niclas Fullkrug equalised to ensure Germany still has a fighting chance in the tournament.
While the match itself was not an end-to-end thriller, with an xG of only 1.91, the viewing experience did not help ones watching at home either.
And why the sub-par experience? Because of the choice of kits.
The Spanish team was wearing red shirts and red shorts, while the German team was wearing white shirts and white shorts.
You see, up until the 2010 World Cup, teams could wear multi-coloured kits, meaning different-coloured shorts.
But somewhere between that and the 2014 cup, FIFA introduced a rule favouring monochromatic jerseys. It said it was better for viewers and referees.
Spain went from Red and Blue to only Red, while Germany went from White and Black to only White.
And fans used Twitter to voice their opinions.
We dare say, this is completely justified.
There is also a lot of history associated with the colours. We often see retro and throwback kits because it has a deeper connection with the supporters.
Making it monochrome not only takes away that nostalgia and that connection, but also makes the beautiful game uglier to look at. Monochrome takes away some of the characters and makes the whole thing very robot-like.
However, it may not be FIFA who has enforced this rule here. One report says that it was actually Luis Enrique who requested the change in shorts.
Spain are wearing all red instead of navy shorts and socks once again, apparently at the request of Luis Enrique.— Classic Football Shirts (@classicshirts) November 27, 2022
Germany have switched to white shorts instead of the usual black. pic.twitter.com/aAHnYSM1YP
And the report may have some substance to it. After all, Germany did wear their black shorts against Japan in the previous game.
Spain, on the other hand, stuck to the red shorts against Costa Rica as well.
Quite why Germany decided to change shorts this time around is unclear. There is no question of a clash between colours.
Maybe it was a luck thing? Maybe the result against Japan prompted the German think-tank to make that change. Maybe it was something different. We don’t know.
All we know is, it did not look good. And we hope they add some colour going forward. Both, to their jerseys, and to their game. Germany must win their next game and hope that other results go in their favour if they are to proceed to the knockout stages in Qatar.