Creative Soccer Culture

Messi & Neymar Make HT Boot Switches

The standout fixture in the Champions League Group Stage presented the perfect stage for both adidas and Nike to lace up their respective icons in their latest signature football boots. All eyes were on the Camp Nou as Barcelona entertained Man City, and while Messi and Neymar duly obliged by starting the game in their exclusive releases, both players reverted to their old colourways at half time.

The battle between adidas and Nike at Barcelona is an intriguing one. While Neymar and Messi take turns unselfishly assisting one another there's a marketing rivalry going on behind the scenes. Nike, of course sponsor the club and Neymar whereas adidas have Messi and an almighty kicker in Luis Suarez. Big game, both brands supply their attackers with new footwear to complement new marketing campaigns. Simple enough. Not quite. Firstly, neither player wears the exact boot that the Stripes and Swooshes are shouting about. Messi wears the 16.1 edition of his PureAgility silo, whilst Neymar wears a Mercurial Vapor XI disguised as a Hypervenom Phinish, a different boot entirely to the Hypervenom Phantom he holds in PR imagery.
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Of course, the power here is with the players. When you're two of the most prolific goalscorers in world football you can't be told what the best boot for you is. Both Messi and Neymar began last night's 4-0 mauling of Manchester City in their signature boots, with Messi opening the scoring in his Space Dust 16.1 and Neymar sporting his latest collaboration with Michael Jordan. Half time comes, Barca are 1-0, all is going to plan for the brands. Emerging for the second half, both players have switched back into their previous colourways. Why? You'd have to ask them.

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A stalemate for adidas and Nike as both brands are left answering the same questions. Of course, Messi went on to complete another hat-trick and Neymar got himself on the scoresheet too. The back pages have the right players on them but the wrong boots if you're sat in adidas or Nike HQ this morning. Wear these they said, how complicated can it be they said. Turns out, very.

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Space Dust left to rust and Jordan cordoned. What's all that about?  


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