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The Surprising Inspiration for Italy's 2006 World Cup Kits

Italy's 2006 home shirt is one of only 21 jerseys to have a World Cup final victory under its belt, but do you know what inspired it? Thanks to @The_Kitsman and @ChatShirt for bringing this to our attention.

The Inspiration for Italy's 2006 World Cup Winning Kits

Italy weren't amongst the favourites going into the 2006 World Cup, but looking back at their squad now, you may find that hard to believe. Gli Azzurri played the whole of the tournament wearing their blue home kit, with its distinctive navy shaded sections that curved from the underarm onto the sleeves, as well as on the back.

Although the shading has been said to resemble sweat patches, lifting the trophy in this shirt means that it has its place in history secured, while the away shirt is not remembered so fondly in comparison, due to its lack of association with the tournament. In may not look like it on the surface, but there is a common thread running through the two jerseys.

As explained by their designer, Rob Warner, in the video above, they were both inspired by comic books and superheroes. The navy shaded sections reference the effects used in comic books to portray motion. The gold Puma logo and namesets also turned out to be a very suitable choice in hindsight.

The away shirt draws its inspiration from the blue Superman t-shirt worn under the everyday clothes of Clark Kent. It was a design unique to Italy, although the opponents they faced meant this shirt didn't get a runout in Germany. An interesting character to draw inspiration from, but we're not too sure about the execution of this one.

The two jerseys worn by Gigi Buffon throughout the campaign had both the shading effect and the undershirt v-neck. Especially appropriate given his old habit of wearing an actual Superman shirt under his Parma jersey.

Had these jerseys ever reminded you of comic books or superheroes before hearing this story? Comment below.