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Soccer managers turn the World Cup sidelines into a fashion show


Still not watching World Cup games? Well, it's a fashion hotbed.

CAOIMHE O'NEILL: Football and fashion - it feels like it's in this place that it's never been before. You know, there's - you're getting a lot more soccer players now that are on front covers of magazines, which, you know, you wouldn't have always had at one time.

KELLY: That is Caoimhe O'Neill, writer for The Athletic based in Liverpool, who took a look at each of the 32 team managers' attire.


She found that if you look to the sidelines, there's kind of a fashion show going on. Teams' managers have sported everything from a business suit and exclusive Nike sneakers to baseball hats and a pair of Converse.

O'NEILL: Then we've got red Converse from Luis Fernando Suarez, Costa Rica's manager. Apparently they're his lucky shoes, so he's just, you know, wearing them. And I never expected to see red Converse at the World Cup on the touchline at all, so that was a nice surprise.

SHAPIRO: For some managers, fashion decisions can be dictated by superstition, but for others, style trends and comfort are more important, especially with a major tournament on the line.

O'NEILL: I'm also someone who does like to wear tracksuits and feel comfy. And, you know, you've got a big, important job, and you kind of want to feel relaxed doing it.

KELLY: Not everyone, though, took a more casual approach. Many managers opted for the classic navy suit.

O'NEILL: Yeah, see, we were almost - I mean, I was overwhelmed with navy suits to be honest. When I started out, you know, you start going through each manager. And then I was like, not another navy suit, please.

KELLY: Yeah (laughter). There is something, though, to that timeless look.

SHAPIRO: And when it came time for O'Neill to choose a top look, the classic prevailed.

O'NEILL: I gave the title of King of Fashion - the World Cup winner, if you like, was Diego Alonso of Uruguay. He just - his look is, like, top-to-bottom just absolutely on point. And I think, you know, he did spend two years in Miami coaching Inter Miami, so I thought he brought a little bit of a Miami Beach, smart realness to the World Cup.

SHAPIRO: With his smart navy suit, Alonso sported a skinny black tie and white shoes as sparkling as the watch on his wrist - no socks, of course. Since rating the managers' looks, O'Neill has taken a little inspiration from her winner and wore a navy shirt to work.

O'NEILL: Honestly, after writing this piece, I felt like Meryl Streep walking into your office yesterday, a character in "Devil Wears Prada" (ph), 'cause I was like, yeah, I just know about fashion now.

KELLY: Well, I'll just speak for this soccer fan. I am hoping orange is not the new black when the U.S. faces the Netherlands on Saturday.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Mallika Seshadri
Justine Kenin
Justine Kenin is an editor on All Things Considered. She joined NPR in 1999 as an intern. Nothing makes her happier than getting a book in the right reader's hands – most especially her own.
Ari Shapiro has been one of the hosts of All Things Considered, NPR's award-winning afternoon newsmagazine, since 2015. During his first two years on the program, listenership to All Things Considered grew at an unprecedented rate, with more people tuning in during a typical quarter-hour than any other program on the radio.
Mary Louise Kelly is a co-host of All Things Considered, NPR's award-winning afternoon newsmagazine.