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Soccer managers turn the World Cup sidelines into a fashion show

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

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.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

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.

Gus Contreras
[Copyright 2024 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.