The Brazil shirt is a familiar sight the world over, but the story of how it came to be designed - after a shocking defeat - is much less widely known.
 
It is an international symbol of joy. A football shirt that conjures up images of the game´s greatest players, playing the beautiful game in the most beautiful of ways. It has become synonymous with the glamour, magic and fun of Brazilian football on the backs of players such as Pele, Jairzinho, Zico and Socrates, who took football to new heights during the second half of the 20th Century.

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So is it acceptable to wear a football shirt/kit? A form of this question has been asked this week, and answered, in a manner of speaking, by Guardian fashion journalist Hadley Freeman (me neither). The World Cup´s on - it´s silly season, where mainstream journalists talk rubbish about something they know nothing about.
 
Ms Freeman actually starts out ok, identifying that the wearing of football shirts is often (nay, generally) to denote affiliation or leaning. Yes, it can be used to create a sense of community, Hadley, but also to differentiate oneself from others.

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It is the dream of football obsessed fans and kit nerds all over the world. As Rio de Janeiro remains the epicentre of the world for another fortnight, the most popular choice of clothing on the city´s beaches isn´t slim swimwear, but national team football jerseys.
 
The fan-fest on Copacabana has transformed the beach into a near-24-hour party. No longer are thongs, bikinis and boardshorts the fashion of the sand, but jerseys, flags and other football tops.

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Imagine Cruising will be the new mainline sponsors of Swindon Town from the start of the 2014/2015 season.
 
Based in Swindon, Imagine Cruising has built a reputation as one of the UK’s leading luxury holiday companies offering cruise and stay holidays to destinations around the world. Imagine are strong supporters of their local community – the new two year sponsorship deal will contribute to the local economy and promote Imagine Cruising at Swindon Town matches around the country.

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An exhibition of football jerseys that includes a Nazi-era shirt and one from Mussolini's fascist regime is raising eyebrows from visitors to a busy shopping mall in this Brazilian city.
 
The exhibition includes more than 100 replicas and originals from different nations, dating back to the first World Cup tournament in 1930.
 
Salvador doctor Duda Sampao, the owner of the collections, said that the exhibition has been endorsed by the local Brazilian World Cup organizing committee, and therefore has the consent of FIFA. World football governing body officials refused to comment, referring the matter to local organizers.

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When Bert Patrick´s knitwear company, Admiral, started producing the official England football kit - the first to include the manufacturer´s logo on the chest - he paid the Football Association £15,000 a year for the privilege. The revolutionary deal, in 1974, allowed Admiral to sell British-made replica shirts to supporters for £5 - increasing to £9 with shorts and socks included.
 
Now Nike, the current England kit manufacturer, has a £25 million sponsorship deal with the FA, and charges fans up to £90 for a replica shirt.

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Fake England football shirts and memorabilia worth £250,000 has been seized in a raid in the Black Country, just hours before the World Cup began.
 
More than 2,000 of the seemingly-flawless fakes, complete with real-looking branding, price tags and labels, were taken by trading standards officers from two houses in Wednesbury.
 
Officers at Sandwell Council said the copies were so good that even they were fooled. It was only when they scanned the barcodes that the shirts were revealed to be fakes. Officers raided the two homes after a tip-off about the shirts being sold on Facebook for £20 to £30, while a real Nike England shirt could cost £90.

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Female supporters have been invited to get behind the national side ‘with an extra dose of style’, by sporting a more revealing version of the Selecao’s famous canary-yellow kit.
 
Nike have teamed up with the Brazilian designer Pedro Lourenco to produce a low-cut replica of the shirt, which will be available since the tournament’s opening ceremony on June 12.

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I tried to understand the mentality: did these men – these grown men – think wearing the kit made them a little bit like the players? Did they think that it made them look athletic? (Note: it doesn´t. Football kits are designed for rugged, chiselled, athletic men; athletes, in other words.
 
And sports fans are many things but rugged and chiselled are not generally among them.) Were they playing dress-up, like little children? Was it a talisman for luck? But then I started working on the fashion desk of this very newspaper and this gave me an unexpected insight into the mind of the football supporter.

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Nearly 8,000 of you voted after we launched our Back to Blue alternative shirts campaign last week. Now we can reveal the winner. Thousands of you voted for your alternative blue Cardiff City fans shirts - but the two most popular designs were separated by just four votes.
 
We had a two-horse race on our hands throughout and after a total of 7,663 votes were cast, we can reveal the winner. The jersey you will be able to wear with pride next season is shirt three, which won 2,572 votes. The blue background with a yellow and white vertical stripe was inspired by designs of the 70s, which were worn by the likes of Robin Friday.

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BARCA 17/18 HOME

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