With the festivities just around the corner, Christmas has come early for Mizuno Football as we can share their latest high-profile signing - Manchester City and Paraguay striker Roque Santa Cruz!
We revealed Santa Cruz has been play-testing a new Mizuno football shoe earlier this week, and can now confirm the Japanese giant has signed Roque as its new global ambassador in an exciting two-year sponsorship deal. Santa Cruz is set to play a central role in the research and development of the forthcoming Mizuno boot, a brand he is already familiar with having worn the Morelia for much of his career.
Speaking at the official launch, Roque had this to say about his new deal:
"I have to be comfortable and confident in front of goal,” says the 28 year old. “When I choose my boot, it needs to be able to cope with the pace of the game, handle my sharp movements and give me total control in the box. Mizuno understands this better than anyone and I’m excited about helping them lead the way in 2010 and beyond.”
He made his senior international debut at the age of just 17 and now has over 60 caps and 24 goals for his country. At club level he has a UEFA Champions League winner’s medal from his days at Bayern Munich and he is a criminally under-rated star of the Premier League. On the field Santa Cruz is well known for his strength and power in the air, and with 23 goals in just 57 appearances at Blackburn Rovers there can be few question marks about his deadly finishing. The South American hit the headlines in June this year over an £18m transfer from Ewood Park to Eastlands, and despite being hampered by knee
surgery in the summer, the big-money signing is determined to play a major part in City's push for a top four spot this season.
But away from domestic glory, South Africa 2010 will be Santa Cruz’s third World Cup at the age of just 29 and after an epic qualifying campaign that included an historic win over Argentina, the centre forward intends to travel full of confidence and he is determined to cause a few ripples on the global stage.
“We won 10 games in qualifying so there is no need to be afraid. For me personally it is the biggest opportunity to show the world what I can do and I think with our pace and energy we can surprise a lot of people.”
Mizuno will ensure Roque heads to the tournament armed with his tailor-made Mizuno football boots – specifically designed to provide him with the perfect balance between power and precision.
A potential tough group for Paraguay as they were drawn in Group F alongside Italy, New Zealand and Slovakia, but this won't stop the towering forward as he is desperate to get amongst the goals and reach the knockout stages.
But what about meeting England? Nothing would please the striker more:
“England have a great chance and I can see for myself what a World Cup would mean to the people here. It would be a dream tie.”
Be sure to stay tuned to the SoccerBible for more exclusive info and updates on this exciting new football boot release over the next few months!