Whatever he is called nowadays whether it is Ronaldo, Brazilian Ronaldo, original Ronaldo or fat Ronaldo, there is no doubting the impact he had on world Football.
France 98 was the first big international stage in which he was to feature for Brazil; he was present in USA in 1994, but failed to make an appearance, Romario and Bebeto were the preferred striker partnership.
Nike, a global sportswear brand, their logo being ‘The Swoosh’, happened to sign Ronaldo to a sponsorship deal; they were also chief kit makers of the Brazilian national side.
In 1998, Nike created a boot called Mercurial Air or the R9; an outrageously colourful looking boot that was the beginning of the end for traditional black and white boots. The Nike Mercurial Vapor was released 2002, and has spawned nine different versions of the boot.
It is evident to see the effect it has had and the impact when looking at today’s football boots. Long gone are the days of the standard black and white, worn by every professional, now every colour has been embraced, some that make the boots look good and some that quite frankly look awful.
It has been 15 years since the World Cup of 98 and Nike have decided to celebrate the anniversary of not only France 98, but also Ronaldo himself. The Oregon-based company have released a Nike Mercurial IX with the colour way of that from the original boot worn by Ronaldo.
Nike’s VP of footwear Phil McCartney commented: “Ronaldo’s impact on the game 15 years ago was immense, and in the run up to 2014, we wanted to celebrate that boot and the man himself. We thought a modern construction of his 1998 boot would be a great commemoration of that moment”.
It is a tribute to perhaps one of the greatest strikers of all time that he can still have some sort of impact on today’s game.
The boot is limited edition only, and Nike is only making 1,998 available for sale, to mark that of the year the boot was created.
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