Boot deals between elite players and sportswear giants are commonplace in modern football.
Manufacturers are willing to spend a fortune to ensure the most well-known superstars on the planet are strutting around the pitch wearing their products.
Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos has been contracted to Nike for ten years, but their agreement is set to come to an end in February 2017.
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Until then, the Spain international must abide by the terms set out in his current deal with the American outfit before signing up with a new company early next year.
Some of these conditions are truly bizarre, and in order to avoid breaching them, Ramos has even taken a can of spray paint to his top of the line cleats.
The Sun reports the Real Madrid star is prohibited from wearing boots made by a different manufacturer or of any colour other than black, as per the strict conditions of his Nike contract.
These restrictions even apply during training sessions, leaving Ramos’ feet looking rather plain in comparison to the vivid yellow, red, pink and turquoise-coloured boots sported by the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema.
The 30-year-old World Cup winner is keeping his ears open for offers from other brands and has reportedly been in talks with Adidas, Joma, New Balance and Under Armour.
However, a report in Spanish newspaper Marca suggests the former Sevilla man is yet to put pen to paper as his suitors express their reluctance to meet his exorbitant wage demands.
During a time when brand identity is of paramount importance in sport, a player of Ramos’ calibre is unlikely to go without a boot sponsorship for too long.
We will find out in February whether or not he opts to continue with the traditional all-black look he wore with Nike, but it seems unlikely considering the unorthodox colour schemes that are constantly gracing football pitches.
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