Great news for Barcelona supporters and, well, football fans in general: Lionel Messi isn’t going to prison despite being handed a 21-month sentence for tax offences last week.
The Argentine superstar, who also recently announced his international retirement, will be available for selection when the 2016-17 campaign gets underway next month.
And Adidas, who have stuck by Messi despite the outcome of his criminal trial, have unveiled the boots that Barcelona’s number 10 will wear next term.
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The first thing that hits you is that they’re very colourful. The second is that they don’t have laces.
They come in red, blue and a very light shade of green - some might argue that it’s actually yellow - but if you fancy buying yourself a pair, be prepared to start saving those pennies.
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They're not cheap
According to The Sun, the specially designed MESSI 16+ PUREAGILITY boots - the blue ones, created to "provide stability and traction in the lightest possible weight” - will set you back a cool £230.
Sam Handy, Vice President of Design at Adidas, was quoted as saying: “The Speed of Light Pack is the most dynamic range of boots adidas has ever launched, designed to help players standout and lead on the pitch.
"Spearheaded by the fastest boot we’ve ever built, the most agile boot we’ve ever built, and the boot which takes ball control to another level, our new footwear will be integral to deciding some of the biggest games this season between the world’s best players.”
These will be worn by Bale and Suarez
It’s understood that the X16+ PURECHAOS boots - the red ones - will be worn by Messi’s Barcelona teammate Luis Suarez and Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale.
They have been designed “for the fastest players in the world”.
And these ones by Pogba and Ozil
Meanwhile, the ACE 16+ PURECONTROL boots - the yellow ones - are designed to give players “unrivalled ball control” and could be worn by the likes of Mesut Ozil and Paul Pogba next term.
Interesting season for Messi
It promises to be a fascinating season for Messi; will the events of this summer affect his performances next term?
It seems unlikely - once Messi crosses that white line, he’s usually unstoppable - but there’s no denying it’s been a traumatic few weeks for arguably the greatest footballer of all time.
Will Lionel Messi be as good next season? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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