Cold War Classic #14: Poland vs Mexico, World Cup 1978

Our regular guest slot over on is back (yes, we just copy and paste this part every time…and now this part), with installment fourteen of the Cold War Classic. In each edition, we usually discuss a vintage east vs west international match-up (the exception so far being Austria vs Sweden, 1973) from the Cold War era, specifically relating to the amazing and fascinating kits of the time and their evolution. Detailed backgrounds are included, and all retro kits relevant to the story are expertly illustrated in glorious colour by MOJ top boy Denis Hurley.

For the latest installment we look at the meeting of Poland and Mexico in the group stage of World Cup 78 and what made their two respective kits unique at the tournament, plus background. See below for a brief extract and a link to the full post.


Cold War Classic no.14 – Poland vs Mexico, 1978

Poland rightfully boast a grand World Cup tradition, as any country who can look back upon a spot at a pre-WW2 tournament – in this case 1938, an ominous year for the nation – have a right to be proud of their classic football history. Despite a defeat to Brazil in the first round, and hence elimination after just one game, the Poles could claim the moral consolation of holding the South Americans to a 4-4 draw over 90 minutes, before eventually coming out on the wrong side in a 6-5 epic.

More importantly, their national badge of an eagle over a red field had been seen for the first time on the highest stage, representing a proud people just before some of their darkest days.

It would be 36 years before Poland again appeared at a World Cup, with the now communist state qualifying for a trip to West Germany 1974. This Germany of course was also a new entity to the one that had invaded Poland in 1939, although many Nazi sympathisers remained in positions of power.



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