The Russia 2018 official poster was presented on Tuesday – and it’s a retro evocation of World Cups past.

But where does it rank among all the World Cup posters? Don’t worry, that’s not a real question – we’re here to tell you exactly what to think. Read on and be enlightened – we’re ranking from worst to first.

21 – USA 1994
Come on now. This is embarrassing. In USA ‘94’s defence, I can’t recall ever seeing this at the time, and the copyright actually says 2008. So although FIFA say it’s an official poster, I’m hoping it’s an im-poster. (Impostor, im-poster, eh? Eh?)

20 – Korea/Japan 2002
Yawn.


19 – Mexico 1986
Bruce Forsyth’s Generation Game silhouette. Next.


18 – West Germany 1974
No, sorry. Appreciate the idea, but the guy looks like he’s just been decapitated – and his right leg is all sorts of wrong.


17 – Germany 2006
The consensus around the office is that this was knocked together in 20 minutes when someone realised they’d forgotten about the deadline. I don’t hate it, but memorable it isn’t.

16 – France 1938
There’s something ominous about this. Basically, it’s precisely the poster you’d release one year before a catastrophic global conflict. Is that glow in the background a warning of impending nuclear war? Very much of its time… but not such a great time, eh?

15 – Brazil 1950
Twelve years to think of a new poster and they’ve repeated the ‘foot on ball’ formula, only this time plus a colourful sock and minus the existential sense of foreboding. Tiny, tiny ball (or massive foot) too…

14 – Chile 1962
To admire the bold simplicity and subtle colouring-in of the host nation? Or to wonder what galactic calamity has caused a whimsically-patterned planet to fly out of orbit and slam into the side of earth?


13 – Brazil 2014
It’s alright if you give the detailing a proper look. But the World Cup poster is meant to smack you round the chops, not seduce you with subtlety. Disappointingly bland.

12 – Sweden 1958
Genuinely forgot about this one and wondered why I was one World Cup short. Not a great sign.


11 – Russia 2018
I’m out of step with the generally rapturous reaction. But when you have to go as completely retro as this, doesn’t it suggest that the contemporary age is entirely monstrous, and devoid of beauty or worth? Er, actually, decent call by Russia 2018.


10 – France 1998
That looks a lot like the same font they use on the Friends title sequence. Even if not, this is resoundingly 90s, for better or worse.


9 – Italy 1990
Kind of stylish. A bit obvious. Fine, I suppose.


8 – Italy 1934
Exactly the kind of thing that springs to mind at the mention of classic football posters. He’s a strangely proportioned fellow, but this is still a creditable effort.


7 – Switzerland 1954
A bit of a throwback to 1930 (which you haven’t seen yet) and all the better for it. You’d expect cold functionality from a Swiss World Cup, but this is actually rather good.


6 – England 1966
Only a stickler for correct flag use could fail to be charmed utterly by this this. Sadly, I am just that stickler. World Cup Willie’s inclusion feels like a watershed moment in the largely regrettable rise of football mascots – but taken on its own merits this is lovely.


5 – South Africa 2010
Making a man’s head out of the continent of Africa sounds like a truly gruesome misstep, but this actually works. Great colour scheme, plus the ball they should actually have used instead of the Jubulani.


4 – Argentina 1978
Oh yes, that’s excellent. Hands the size of industrial shovels, but otherwise it’s hard to fault.

3 – Uruguay 1930
This is a beauty. Surprisingly ambitious for the first World Cup, and in a distinctive style clearly identifiable to anyone more knowledgeable about art than me. A great start.


2 – Spain 1982
Given this was designed by Catalan painter Joan Miro, your take on this may depend on your view of surrealist art. What this lacks in identifiable football elements, it more than makes up in its evocative representation of the host country. Count me in.

1 – Mexico 1970
Everything about this is classic simplicity. The ball, the font, event the lower case ‘football world championship’ – it’s like the World Cup doesn’t feel the need to hype itself because it knows it will be great. Those were the days.

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Alex Chick