In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, we’re casting our eyes to where green and soccer collide. We’ve got three lists of 10, counting down the top 10 teams that wear green, the top 10 goalkeepers to don a green shirt and the 10 best cleats on the market today that feature green.
The Teams (five clubs, five countries)
For this list, we chose to focus on the teams that immediately come to mind when you think green. This ranking doesn’t consider the best team 11 v 11 (if our first squad played our 10th squad, the 10th team would be heavily favored), rather it focuses on those who are iconic in green.
Perhaps the first club to truly embrace green, Celtic’s initial jersey, way back in 1888, featured a green collar and green socks. It 1903 they debuted the green and white hoop jersey that they have worn ever since and that’s the first thing most people think of when they hear “Celtic FC.” The design has inspired many other teams including La Liga’s Real Betis.
Know as “The Boys in Green,” and “The Green Army,” the Irish national side has always donned the primarly color of their country and have worn it in three FIFA World Cup™ finals.
CONCACAF power Mexico traditionally wears green, red and white to represent the national flag. That’s why they are called “El Tri,” meaning “the tri-color.” Home jerseys are usually dominantly green with red and white trim.
Now known as “The Super Eagles,” Nigeria rose to prominence in the African game under the name “The Green Eagles.” The reigning Africa Cup of Nations champions have made five of the last six FIFA World Cup™ finals and have worn green home shirts and white away shirts with green trim en route to becoming continental elites.
5) Sporting Lisbon
Like Celtic, Sporting Lisbon is famous for wearing green and white hoops, and they are among the most successful clubs from their country. The Portuguese side known as Verde-e-Brancos, “Green and White,” first employed their hoop design in 1928 when they needed lightweight and more breathable shirts when competing in Brazil and borrowed from the rugby team.
6) Seattle Sounders
The Sounders wore green away jerseys during their original NASL days in the 1970s. When the Emerald City club made its return to the big leagues in 2009, “rave green” was chosen as the home color for the new MLS franchise. Now one of America’s best supported teams, the Sounders fill CenturyLink Field with an average home attendance of more than 40,000.
Green makes up half of the Algerian flag and represents the beauty of nature. Their home jersey is typically white with green trim, while the away is green with white trim. They will wear those colors this summer in Brazil, the fourth appearance for Algeria in the FIFA World Cup™ finals.
8) Santos Laguna
Liga MX side Santos Laguna was founded in 1982 and has worn green for their whole history. Known as Verdiblancos or Albiverdes, “The Green and Whites,” and “The White and Greens,” Santos inherited green when they took over from Angeles de Puebla and have been decked out in their signature hue ever since then.
9) Portland Timbers
A club that truly embraces their surroundings, the Portland Timbers cloak themselves in ponderosa and moss green to pay homage to the lush Oregon trees. The Major League Soccer squad was founded in 2009 but shares history with the old North American Soccer League named the Timbers that first competed in 1975.
10) Ivory Coast
The flag of the Ivory Coast consists of orange, white and green to symbolize fertile land, peace, hope and the forest, respectively. Though the orange is what first comes to mind when you think Ivory Coast, green is used on the away shirts, and the badge is predominantly green.
Also receiving votes: Werder Bremen, Slovenia, Real Betis, Wolfsburg and Plymouth Argyle. Who did we miss?
Lucky for us (see what we did there?), green stands out in a crowd, and as such the world’s top goalkeepers often sport that shade of shirt. Here they are:
1) Manuel Neuer
2) Iker Casillas
3) Gianluigi Buffon
4) Victor Valdes
5) Thibaut Courtis
6) David De Gea
7) Joe Hart
8) Hugo Lloris
9) Tim Howard
10) Wojciech Szczesny
The latest and greatest shoes in the sport of soccer are eye-catching these days, and green fits the bill. From the stunning Nike Mercurial Fast Forward ’02 Vapor IX to the Solar Slime Copa Mundial Samba Edition with its supple kangaroo leather, most of the top boots in the game are easy to find in green.
adidas F50 adizero – Solar Slime/Black/Vivid Berry
Nike Mercurial Vapor IX – Neo Lime/Metallic Silver/Polarized Blue
Nike Hypervenom Phantom – Neo Lime/Total Crimson/Black
adidas Copa Mundial – Solar Slime
Nike CTR360 Maestri III – Fresh Mint/Black/Neo Lime
adidas Nitrocharge 1.0 – Solar Slime/Black/Solar Zest
adidas Predator LZ – Ray Green/Black/Electricity
Shop the entire St. Patrick’s Day collection at SOCCER.COM. Give us a pinch and your thoughts in the comments section below. Happy St. Paddy’s.