When France take on England tonight at Wembley, many will view it as something of an unwelcome showpiece Friendly in the middle of one of the most tightly-contested seasons in Premier League history.

adidas have made their last ever France Shirts before handing over to Nike

But the game tonight will actually be a fond farewell to a partnership that has endured 40 years – that between adidas and the French Football Federation.

adidas have equipped Les Bleus since the 1970’s and have seen the likes of Platini and Zidane pick up two European Championships and one World Cup (as well as a runners-up medal in 2006) but tonight will be the last football match in which the 3 Stripes of adidas adorn the famous blue jersey of France.

adidas have made their last ever France Shirts before handing over to Nike

To commemorate the occasion, all France shirts used tonight will bear a print across the centre of the shirt, “1984. 1998. 2000. 40 ANS DE PARTENARIAT”, featuring the dates of the team’s three major international victories and the words “40 Years of Partnership”.

Not available just anywhere, a limited replica version of this shirt is only available at one place: the adidas Brand Center on the Champs-Elys©es in Paris.

As of 2011, adidas will hand over the title of Equipment Provider to Nike, in a deal set to last until 2018 and worth a reported 42.6m a year – one of the biggest deals in World Football.

It’s been a turbulent couple of years for Les Bleus, and the FFF will be hoping a change in shirt provider will be the marker for a turning point for the national team.

Rocked by scandal, walk-outs, strikes and sackings during the World Cup, France has banned squad players like Nicolas Anelka to send a message to a squad full of big egos and a sense of entitlement and hopes to bring through exciting new talent willing to fight for the shirt.

adidas have made their last ever France Shirts before handing over to Nike

A replica of the 1984 Shirt worn by Micheal Platini

A patchy start to qualification for the 2012 European Championships has ensued, but with many more experienced players such as Florent Malouda and Patrica Evra return to the fold France have reason to be optimistic, and a new Nike kit to look forward to.

adidas have made their last ever France Shirts before handing over to Nike

Zidane, adidas kits, and a European Championship; the 90’s were a good time to be a French Football Fan!

We’re pretty excited to see what Nike come up with for France, but we’re kind of gutted to see 40 years of history ended between adidas and France.

Said to see adidas go, or hyped for Nike‘s new hotness?

Let us know in the comments!

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  1. says: Rasheed

    Adidas has for the most part done a tremendous job with France’s kit. The only miss in my book is the latest kit with those scratch marks down the sides.

    As a Nike fanboy, I am looking forward to what they’ll create for Les Bleus.

  2. says: willis

    I love adidas’ France kits, but im excited to see what Nike can do, I’m also excited to see a new generation of French players on the national team!

  3. says: channo

    as long as umbro still make shirts for England, adidas for Germany, and nike for USA, i don’t care if money does rules -this proves that even money holders still have some dignity and nationalism besides their deep pockets.
    i think joma should do Spain too 🙂 it would be nice to see the smaller brands on world cup final!

    i’ll boycott all nike products forever should they decided to take over England’s kit (even though they does own umbro).

  4. says: sina

    just cant believe it.its like earasing a 40 year gap of history. adidas has always showed its not about the sponsorship but actually is about the partnership that people from different nations have turned their faces to this big and historic brand,as it was originally based only for football.
    but for nike is just a matter of $$money$$ and not the heritage and im sure many of the french soccer fans will not get used to the swoosh easily and they will continue to wear their heritage kits.

  5. says: zizou wannabe

    Thanks shaw… I am living in the old days… in the 20th century, money did not rule as much (it did rule, but not as much), and there were more covert and sneaky ways to do sponsorship deals! haha… well… good ole days arent that good either eh?

  6. says: Geo

    As a Nike fan i’m excited to see what Nike have in store for the new FFF kit espcially after seeing all the World Cup Kits Adidas released this past summer. They were all awful!

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