Why do some teams have stars on their jerseys? What do they represent?
When FIFA decided to ban rainbow colors at the World Cup, it made us wonder what other emblems of symbolic importance there are on national uniforms
Every four years, the entire world shifts its gaze toward the World Cup. Fascination with the game is primary but only just ahead of the symbolism that abounds in who plays whom and what each side wears.
What stars represent for national teams
The US vs Iran was never going to be a great soccer match, but the symbolism of the two antagonists facing off under the world’s gaze was laced with dramatic themes. Equally, Morocco’s defeat of Spain represented so much more than a simple soccer victory, when you take on board the symbolism of a former colony defeating the colonizer, the political issues surrounding the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, and the wider symbolic act of an African nation defeating a European one.
In a game packed with symbols, none is more quietly potent than the wearing of stars on the national jersey. Typically placed just above or near the crest, they speak in the softest tones, but carry the heaviest punch.
Brazil lead the stars list
Each star represents a World Cup victory for that nation. Brazil has five stars displayed proudly above their badge, while Germany has four above theirs. The French will have two displayed above Le Coq when they play England, who have chosen not to display the one star that they are entitled to, leaving the Three Lions untouched.
Each contest will have a unique jersey and for the World Cup the stars signify winning the Jules Rimet trophy, whereas teams in the European Cup, for example, will have stars representing how many times they have won that tournament.
Even at club level they are in on the act, proudly wearing stars to show how many times they have won their league title.
With Spain and Germany now out of the competition, the only teams who can add to their total are Brazil (5), France (2), England (1), and Argentina (2), with every other team looking for their first ever World Cup title.
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