Creative Soccer Culture

The Best Of: Nike Tournament Adverts

The Nike tournament advert will forever be key date in the international calendar. It marks the end of the domestic season and fuels the fire for what's to come. Ahead of their Euro 2016 film release we've taken a timeline trip from '94 to '14. Twenty years of epic premieres.

Legendary players, legendary products and adrenaline absorbed film-making. The Nike major tournament advert has become the unofficial opening ceremony. Here's your afternoon sorted...

USA World Cup 1994 'The Wall' - What Nike's 'The Wall' lacked in graphics and special effects it more than made up for in legendary players. Aired ahead of the 1994 World Cup in the United States, players such as Ian Wright, Eric Cantona and Romario came alive from walls in their respective countries to smash long balls all around the world. Doesn't get more route one than that.

England Euro 1996 'Good vs Evil' - Cantona and chums were back two years later ahead of the European Championships in England. This time the team of Nike superstars took on a team that can only be described as a poor mans Stoke City circa 2011, although their front man looked like he had half a yard more pace than Jonathan Walters. Tiempos, Tiempos, Tiempos.

France World Cup 1998 'Airport Football' - Arguably the greatest and most iconic Nike football advert of all time. One of the most skilful Brazilian teams to ever play together weaving through the airport, nutmegging security guards and running riot in departures. Can't help but think there would have been a lot of unattended baggage left behind, but let's not ruin the fun.

Belgium/Holland Euro 2000 'Mission 90' - Edgar Davids, Luis Figo, Yorke & Cole and even an appearance from Louis van Gaal. Despite LVG being behind the wheel, his players put on a creative display of free flowing football to steal back their football from another set of dodgy looking evil bad guys. Explosions, death and helicopters. Could have just knocked on their door, used to work back in the day when we kicked it in the neighbours garden. They must have smashed his greenhouse, only explanation we can think of for that kind of reaction.

Japan/S.Korea World Cup 2002 'Secret Tournament' - The one with Elvis Presley vs JXL a - A little less conversation. Nike's complete squad of stars inside a football cage on a ship, Cantona off his nut and a next goal wins rule. It's up there with the best. Totti taking six soft ground studs in the back to set up the winner, that's teamwork right there folks.

Portugal Euro 2004 'Ole' - More Brazilian magic arrived ahead of Euro 2004 as the South Americans made an appearance to take on host nation Portugal in a game before the game. T90s, Mercurial Vapors, that beautiful T90 Aerow II ball that you could hammer into orbit and the ref sticking Ronaldinho into row z. Fast flowing, dirty, silky and another Cantona cameo. Ole.

Germany World Cup 2006 'Joga Bonito' - Eric Cantona once again took controlled as he went on a mission to make football beautiful again. No diving, no cheating, just beautiful football. The Joga Bonito film was split into a series with new adverts, led by Sir Eric, airing each week. Ronaldinho's signature Tiempos and Ronaldo's signature Mercurials the pick of the boot action.

Austria/Switzerland Euro 2008 'Take it to the Next Level' - The rise of a young footballer from his point of view. Euro 2008 brought a clever twist to the Nike tournament video series. From scoring for his amateur side to signing for Arsenal, working hard and playing international football, it was journey that could have all been so different had the keeper saved that first free kick. It was right at him.

South Africa World Cup 2010 'Write the Future' - Another ad straight out of the top draw for the 2010 World Cup. Nike took their lead players and played out different scenarios and how that one big moment could influence their lives forever. Wayne Rooney living in a caravan, appearances from Roger Federer and Kobe Bryant and a strong focus on the elite series boot pack. One of the most powerful messages from Nike Football.

Poland/Ukraine Euro 2012 'My Time is Now' - The Nike Clash Collection boot pack took centre stage as Nike released an interactive ad focused on the next generation of stars. Neymar gatecrashed the Euro party to meander through Swooshed European superstars before Cristiano Ronaldo turns up late after a wardrobe malfunction. Another colossal line-up of players.

Brazil World Cup 2014 'The Last Game' - The Last Game was the first animated Nike tournament advert. Nike's pool of players from their respective nations come together to take on another set of bad guys to show off the revolutionary Mercurial Superfly and Magista Obra. Neymar, Ronaldo and a morbidly obese Wayne Rooney feature in the animated film, as well as the additional 'Winner Stays On' ad below.

Got a favourite? Call it out below.


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