China, of course, won’t be at the World Cup in Russia when it kicks off next week, because their men’s team sucks.
Having finished behind Syria and Uzbekistan in their qualifying group for Russia 2018, China’s best chance of making it to the men’s World Cup Finals at some point in the reasonably near future seems as a tournament host.
Or maybe they just need a little black magic? Welp, enter the (black) dragon:
This little black number and potential hipster favorite is Nike’s new away kit for the China national team. The first black shirt (or “soccer jersey”) in the team’s history, the design features a sleek dragon motif and a few flashes of neon, a combination that has prompted an op-ed in High Snobiety to declare it better than the so-hot-right-now Nigeria strip.
We’re not sure we’d go that far, but it is a sharp look.
Some commenters on Weibo meanwhile have likened the design to a tattoo, referencing the apparent mainstream “tattoo ban” that saw China’s football players cover up their tats before getting hammered 6-0 by Wales in March.
Oddly, the shirt is only available via Nike’s US store at present. Well, there and through “unofficial” suppliers on Taobao, who want around 1,000RMB for one. The new home shirt, which we’re less keen on but is still pretty nice, is available on the China online store right now however:
We’re hoping the away shirt will hit stores and get some pitch time soon anyway. That way the next time the men’s national side suffers an ignominious defeat they can at least do so in style.
You might also like:
Made in China 2.0: How Li-Ning Sneakers Went from Beijing Outlets to New York Fashion Week
We highlight our top stories each week in an email newsletter that goes out every Monday - hot, fresh, and straight to your inbox.
Don't worry, we don't spam