England Football Online
Page Last Updated 18 November 2017
Federative Republic of Brazil
Confederação Brasileira de Futebol
Foundation: 20 August 1914 

Colours by Country:

England vs. Brazil

The question of whether the games between England and Brazil warranted a change of colours, must have caused quite a dilemma over the years. For the first twenty years of meetings, it was only deemed necessary to change England's shorts and socks, but for the next 25 years, full change-kits were worn in all of their encounters, apart from in a couple of games.

To begin with, it is probably fortunate that Brazil lost to Uruguay in the 1950 World Cup. At the time, they wore an all white kit, not the canary yellow and blue outfit that they have become synonymous with. White, clearly, would have caused a colour clash with England's white shirts, but in 1953, the Confederação Brasileira de Futebol held a national competition to decide on a new kit, which allowed them to discard the all-white in favour of a strip that matched the Brazilian national flag.

England did not meet Brazil for the first time until 1956. This was a period when England's socks were black, yet for some reason, they changed them to red against Brazil. Perhaps they were under the impression that Brazil would wear blue socks, even though they were white throughout the 1954 World Cup. Apart from this, there was no real problem. England's Umbro white shirts and Brazil's yellow were distinctive enough, especially in contrast to England's dark navy shorts and red socks, as opposed to Brazil's much lighter blue shorts and white socks. The only other change was to England's goalkeeper, Reg Matthews, who had to change from the usual yellow jersey into a blue one.

By the time of the 1958 World Cup, England's socks had become red as first choice, so again, there was no real problem, but when England visited Brazil for the first time, the following year, it was felt that England should change to white shorts, to avoid any possibility that there would be a clash with their opponents' colours.

In the 1962 World Cup quarter-final, England, now in Bukta kits, switched to all white against Brazil, the red socks having been reduced to the role of spare pairs, though this did not prompt Brazil to change from their white socks.

At Wembley, in 1963, England wore red socks, knowing that Brazil were going to wear white, and for their next three meetings, the first two of which were in Brazil, England switched to all white. They had also switched back to Umbro by the time of the 1969 fixture.

For the 1970 World Cup tournament, just as in the previous year's end-of-season tour, England had decided to wear all white, believing that it would help control their body temperatures better in the Mexican heat and altitude, and this decision finally prompted Brazil to make a first change to their kit in eight meetings with England, though it was only to wear a rather unflattering pair of grey socks. This, of course, did not stop their relentless charge to the Jules Rimet Trophy.

England's Colours Against Brazil 1956-70
No. Date Shirts Shorts Socks Gk


Shirts Shorts Socks


9 May 1956         Empire Stadium, Wembley, London      


11 June 1958         Nya Ullevi Stadion, Göteborg, Sweden      


13 May 1959         Estádio Jornalista Mário Filho, Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro      


10 June 1962         Estadio Sausalito, Viña del Mar, Chile      


8 May 1963         Empire Stadium, Wembley, London      


30 May 1964         Estádio Jornalista Mário Filho, Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro      


12 June 1969         Estádio Jornalista Mário Filho, Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro      


7 June 1970         Estadio Jalisco, Guadalajara, Mexico      

By 1976, England were wearing Admiral kits and came face to face with Brazil at the American Bicentennial Tournament. Once again, England swapped their blue shorts for white, a pair yet to be unveiled as part of their new red change kit. Compared to the five previous occasions when they had donned white shorts against Brazil, this was probably the closest in shade that their first-choice blue shorts had been to Brazil's lighter blue. To top the outfit off in a most unexpected fashion, a pair of what has been described elsewhere on this website as 'ghastly pale yellow socks' was worn. This was no error, either, as England wore an all plain-yellow kit against Team America in the final game of the tournament. The game against Brazil also introduced a new Admiral blue change shirt for Ray Clemence to wear in England's goal.

The following year saw England back in Rio de Janeiro and this time, their choice of socks was almost certainly an error. For the first time in ten meetings with Brazil, England decided to wear their red change kit, which was to appear for every game of their South American tour. However, unlike the two remaining games in Argentina and Uruguay, England did not wear the red socks. Instead, they turned out in a navy blue pair which, we can only assume, was borrowed from their hosts.

Having made their decision to switch to red against Brazil, England did the same in their next two meetings, still with no sign of their opponents switching from their famous yellow shirts, or even any part of their traditional colours. Perhaps, they were just too famous to be asked to wear an alternative kit.

In 1978, at Wembley, Brazil revealed the name of their kit manufacturer for the first time against England, as the adidas logo appeared on their shirts and shorts. Meanwhile, Joe Corrigan, in England's goal managed to pair the blue Admiral shirt with the black shorts and socks from the first-choice yellow kit, an unlikely combination given that these were edged with yellow, whilst the shirt had red and white piping.

This possibly prompted the FA and Admiral to change the blue shirt and, by the time that Brazil were next back in town, in 1981, it had undergone an overhaul and was now edged with yellow and black to fit better with the black shorts and socks. It was also a lighter shade of blue.

England were back in Umbro in 1984 and John Barnes raced through the Brazilian defence to score his wonder goal, with England having once again reverted back to white shirts and shorts, with red socks, a combination not worn in any international since the 1959 trip to Rio. Nike would use the inspiration from this game to produce an England kit in 2016. This match also heralded a switch from the endless succession of blue goalkeeper shirts, with Peter Shilton decked out in grey, with black sleeves.

The 1987 Rous Cup fixture was unique in Anglo-Brazilian meetings, as both teams stuck to their first-choice kits, which meant that only the shirts were distinctly different colours, though England were now back in darker shorts. This was followed, in 1990, by a momentous event. Brazil marched out at Wembley in their second-choice blue kit. It was the first time ever that they had conceded colours against England and this was their 15th meeting. Brazil were possibly prompted to change because their shorts were now a darker blue, more of a royal blue, bringing them closer to England's, though still lighter in shade than the home team's dark navy.

Six more fixtures followed in which one or other of the teams wore their second-choice kit. In the 1995 Umbro Cup, at Wembley, England wore an all-red strip, described as 'wine-coloured'. Two years later, with echoes of 1966, England managed to lift a trophy in their red kit, despite losing to Brazil in Le Tournoi, in Paris.

Another dramatic World Cup encounter took place in Japan in 2002, when a blue-shirted Ronaldinho broke English hearts with a long-range lob over David Seaman as Brazil marched on to their record fifth World Cup.

For the new Wembley's first international, in 2007, the teams reverted back to the old days of wearing their first-choice with minor concessions and this time, Brazil wore a pair of blue socks to match their shorts. They repeated this combination in 2009, in Qatar, and again, back at Wembley, in 2013, as England appeared in all white against their old rivals. Four months later, England launched a new red kit in Rio, allowing Brazil to revert back to their traditional white socks.

In 2017, both sides were able to wear their first-choice kits without any colour clash, for the first time. This was due to England wearing white shorts and red socks in their Nike design, inspired by the 1984 Rio victory.

England's Colours Against Brazil 1976-2013
No. Date Shirts Shorts Socks GK Venue Shirts Shorts Socks
501 23 May 1976             The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Exposition Park, Los Angeles, U.S.A.      
512 8 June 1977             Estádio Jornalista Mário Filho, Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro      
519 19 April 1978             Wembley Stadium, Wembley, London      
552 12 May 1981             Wembley Stadium, Wembley, London      
590 10 June 1984                 Estádio Jornalista Mário Filho, Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro      
625 19 May 1987             Wembley Stadium, Wembley, London      
653 28 March 1990             Wembley Stadium, Wembley, London      
684 17 May 1992             Wembley Stadium, Wembley, London      
698 13 June 1993             Robert F. Kennedy Stadium, Washington, D.C., U.S.A.      
713 11 June 1995             Wembley Stadium, Wembley, London      
737 10 June 1997                   Parc des Princes, Paris, France      
766 27 May 2000             Wembley Stadium, Wembley, London      
795 21 June 2002             Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa, Shizuoka, Japan      
852 1 June 2007             The National Stadium, Wembley, London      
881 14 November 2009             Khalifi International Stadium, Doha, Qatar      
916 6 February 2013             The National Stadium, Wembley, London      
920 2 June 2013             Estádio Jornalista Mário Filho, Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro      
974 14 November 2017                     The National Stadium, Wembley, London