SoccerBible once again takes you into the heart of the football gear industry with behind the scenes VIP access to the official launch of the Nike T90 Laser III football boots!
SoccerBible regulars will be familiar with our behind the scenes reports, as we've already been lucky enough to speak to Cristiano Ronaldo at the Superfly Launch, and Cesc Fabregas when the CTR360 was rolled out last year. Our friends at Nike always put on a great show, and we were invited to Manchester to experience the latest release from the Nike stable, the T90 Laser III!
Four goal hero Wayne Rooney was on hand to answer the questions, posed to the United star by Nike's Charlie Brooks. Check out what Rooney had to say about the football boots, the love of the game, his club and World Cup...
Charlie Brooks: Welcome Wayne. You’ve done a few different films and
adverts now - do you enjoy doing them? Do you get into it?
Wayne Rooney: Yes, I do. It’s something different
to playing football and to be honest, that’s probably the one I’ve
enjoyed most. Normally when you go, there’s a lot more acting or
stuff to do, but there, it was just going and kicking the ball so I
really enjoyed it.
CB: Was that one quite difficult, because
there are so many special effects to consider? You’re striking the
ball in an empty room and then they’re laying it all on – it must
be quite hard to imagine how it’s going to end up?
Yes it is! They explain how they’re
expecting the final ad to look, but I can’t see it at the time.
Then, obviously, they have people who add all of the effects
afterwards, but it was good fun and I enjoyed it. I think it looks
great on TV too.
CB: You’ve been wearing the new Total 90
boots for a few weeks now, designed for total accuracy and for
players like yourself – how have you found them? What have the
benefits been for you?
They’ve been great and I think it’s
very important you get your footwear right. For me personally,
they’re as good as they can be because they’re so comfortable and
they protect my feet, and yes, I think they really help me hit the
CB: A couple of years ago you went out to the Sports Research Lab at Nike’s HQ. What sort of things did
you have to do? What were they taking you through in the lab?
They showed me different types of boots
and different designs and asked what I thought on the ideas they were
planning. Obviously I gave my feedback on what I thought was the
best and they’ve put it into the boot you see here today, and I
like how it’s come out, so it’s always nice to be involved.
CB: Do you think it’s good that you really
get a say in what Nike are creating for you?
Yes, I think it’s brilliant. Growing
up, you always wore boots that you saw your favourite players
wearing, and to actually have input in that process… it was a
privilege for me to do that.
CB: With Nike Football Plus
we offer where people can download training drills or signature moves
by key players. Are there any players you remember copying when you
were a kid?
I’ve always said Michael Owen after
his goal against Argentina. That was an amazing move and obviously,
I play with him now, so that’s pretty cool as well.
CB: What sort of shooting and accuracy
drills do you do? Do you do that on your own or with the team?
I train with the whole team and then,
at the end of the sessions, go and practise on my own and try to work
on my finishing; scoring goals. They’re all different really.
There’s power, curling, placement; different types of shot which
you’ll need in a game.
CB: I’ve heard it said yours is the most
powerful shot at United – is that true?!
We tested it a couple of years ago and
I think it was up there. It was me and Scholesy, so it’d probably
be about the same again now I reckon.
CB: At your level of success in football,
there’s a lot of training and hard work that goes into it. Are
there key moments you look back on in your career as ‘that was the
moment that helped launch me to where I am now’?
Probably Colin Harvey, when I was about
15. He took me into his office and sat me down and he spoke to me for
a while on my own. He told me that he believed in me and explained
what ability I had and also what I needed to work on, and after
speaking to him that day it really made me think about becoming a
professional footballer. And to this day, I still go back to that
moment and think of the things he said.
CB: When you exploded onto the scene,
people really talked about your mental attitude and your strength and
commitment. Now you’re more experienced but you still seem to have
that drive and energy in every game – where does that come from?
I hate losing and sometimes you’re
tired, but the fact that you don’t want to lose… it gives you an
extra determination to get to the next ball or to work harder. I
think it’s how I’ve been brought up. My mum and dad taught me to
never give up and be as strong as I can at everything, so that’s
what I try to do.
CB: You never played with David Beckham
when he was at United but he’s going to be coming back to Old
Trafford in the Champion’s League. What sort of reception do you
think he’ll get and what will it be like playing against him?
WR: I hope he gets a brilliant reception
because what he did for Manchester United over the years was amazing,
so I’m sure he’ll get a great cheer. And yes, it will be nice to
play against him. I played against him once or twice for Everton but
it will be good to play against him in a big game.
CB: With the upcoming game against Milan, what
do you feel about the Milan side? Who are the key players there that
you respect or you look forward to playing against?
Seedorf for me, is probably the best
player I’ve played against. When we played them at the San Siro
three years ago, he was unbelievable. Then there’s Pirlo, and
Becks. They’ve got some great players so we need to be at our best
to beat them.
CB: I know you’ve appeared with
Ronaldinho in a lot of Nike ads, but playing against him when he’s
on form - he’s a special player as well.
Yes, he is. I think he’s
unbelievable too. I saw somewhere that he got ‘Player of the
Decade’ recently, so that reinforces how much of a talent he is.
They’ve got a few players who can score goals from set pieces and
free kicks, so we’ll have to be aware of that.
CB: Moving on to England, as a team England
seemed to really ease through the World Cup qualifiers, which was
fantastic. Is there a renewed sense of belief in the squad since the
arrival of Fabio Capello? What does he do differently to other
He’s scary (laughs). I think,
basically, he’s come in and he’s no nonsense. Everything you do
is monitored. He’ll make you watch the training session if the
training’s not good enough, and show you where you should be
better. He’s definitely made us more on our toes and, I think,
because of that, we’ve shown that we’ve become a better team.
CB: Has it been an extra incentive, having
missed out on Euro 2008 – and I’ve seen other players talk about
you having to watch the tournament from home – to get to the World
Cup and do well?
Of course. With a country like ours,
we should be qualifying for every tournament, so it was a real
disappointment that we never went. Thankfully we did well in the
group stages and qualified, so we’ve got a few games now to prepare
properly for the World Cup and hopefully we’ll do well in them.
CB: Which players do you think will really
stand out at the World Cup, whether for England or for other teams?
Who are the players you’re looking forward to seeing and playing
Obviously Messi, Ronaldo and Kaka;
they’re all great players so I’m sure they’ll have a big say in
the World Cup. And yes, we’ll have to beat the best teams to win
it, so it’ll be great to play against them.
CB: You’ve scored some great goals for
England – which was the most memorable for you, and why?
Probably against Croatia in Euro 2004,
I’d say. I always like watching my second goal… it was a really
nice move. I played a one-two with Michael Owen in our own half,
sprinted past the defenders to the edge of the box and finished it
off. But I always remember thinking, after the goal had gone in, that
it felt like a special goal.
CB: Finally, back to the boots. It’s all about
accuracy and the need for more accuracy. What would be your tip to
kids out there who want to be the next Wayne Rooney on how they
improve themselves and how they can potentially get to where you’ve
got to in the game?
Practice. People don’t realise how
hard it is to practise every day trying to get yourself better. It’s
tough to do but if you want to get the rewards, then you have to put
the effort in. The best players always practice something until
they’ve mastered it, and practice even more to try and get better
still, and that’s what I’ve done since as far back as I can
remember. I played football every single day and I’m lucky that
it’s something I really enjoy and love doing.