Creative Soccer Culture

Nike Are Bringing Back The Brazil 1998 R9 Jersey

Looks like Nike are set to raid the archive to bring back an absolute classic from jersey culture, with speculation mounting that the brand are preparing to re-release the iconic Brazil 1998 home jersey.

Few football jerseys in world football are as iconic as that of Brazil ’98. It was the first Brazil World Cup shirt produced by Nike, properly kicking off one of the most iconic footballing partnerships of all time, arriving, as it did, alongside that airport ad, the Nike Mercurial, oh, and a player you may have heard of called Ronaldo. Whilst the tournament didn’t ultimately end the way Nike or Brazil would’ve wanted, that jersey – particularly with “Ronaldo 9” on the back – encapsulated the moment, defining an era and transcending its place on the pitch. And now, with the 25 year anniversary of that tournament and therefore that shirt having passed last year, Nike look set to bring it back.

The Swoosh have been dropping hints since Clint Ogbenna, founder of London streetwear label Corteiz, linked up with Ronaldo in Brazil wearing the jersey. Shortly after, Vinicius Jr. was seen wearing it to launch the Air Zoom Mercurial TN “Black/Pimento”, while Andreas Pereira also gave us a look at the jersey in an Instagram post a couple of weeks ago.

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Now, fresh off the back of releasing Brazil’s 2024 home kit for the upcoming Copa America, it’s believed that Nike are preparing to re-release the iconic Brazil 1998 home jersey. Two versions of the jersey are expected to be released this spring: the classic jersey, devoid of any name or number, and an R9 version, which bears the original 1998 name and number set of O Fenômeno. From what we’ve seen, the re-issue will honour the classic with design details and retro elements that match the original.

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Whilst many of the retro elements of the shirt look to have been faithfully recreated, such as the thick 90s-style neckline and embroidered Swoosh and Brazil crest detailing, early indications are that the rerelease will be made with Nike’s Dri-Fit technology, offering additional comfort in contrast to the original, more heavyweight 1998 jersey material.

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The partnership between Nike and Brazil started in 1996, and the first kits were produced for the Copa America in 1997. They were quickly followed up by the World Cup kits for France ’98, and for that tournament’s look the collar that had been present for the last five versions was unapologetically removed, offering up a more modern, streamlined look that fit perfectly with the team at the time, spearheaded as it was by Ronaldo. He was joined by the likes of Rivaldo, Roberto Carlos and Cafu, as Brazil narrowly missed out on the ultimate prize, but instead succeeding in engraining themselves in cult history and kickstarting a new generation for the Seleção – one that would go on to glory four years later.

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Keep it locked for official release information.

Daniel Jones

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