Creative Soccer Culture

Raul Urias Creates Series of COPA 19+ Inspired Illustrations

With the adidas COPA 19+ stepping up to the plate with a premium finish and beauty, illustrator Raul Urias has marked the occasion with a series of illustrations that capture players past and present who symbolise the status of the COPA. We spoke to the designer about the artwork and his connection to the game.

These illustrations drop as the MLS comes to a close with the culmination in the shape of the MLS Cup and they pay tribute to players from the contemporary and classic football scene from all over the globe. Stateside, the likes of Will Trapp and Emily Sonnet are included and from European clubs, Paulo Dybala, Mats Hummels and Juan Cuadrado have been included. Adding further prestige, Ngolo Kante is also joined by icons such as Franz Beckenbauer and Lothar Matthäus. The illustrations are each murals that celebrate the evolved legacy for the famed Copa Mundial boot - now transformed into the plush Copa19+. Raul gave us an insight into the creation of this body of work.

Tell us about you as a football fan, were you brought up on the game?

I think that like every child we wanted to be a soccer player as a child and in my case I lived with great passion in the France 98 World Cup and from here a passion for the game arose, with the years I went from playing to being just a spectator and although I am not the more passionate of the game I love to see a good game or a good play and like all Mexican, I do not miss any important match of my selection.

As a creative, bringing your style into football, is that a combination of two passions?

Yes, when I started working as an illustrator, something that I realised was that I could capture my passions and sports, even though I did not play it that much. One of them, in the process of drawing and conceptualising, you have to see references, videos and that helps to understand more any topic and in this case football, I like to understand when I draw a player, their style, their movements, it's a bit like playing to be a film director and being able to have the casting that you want, so undoubtedly it's putting together two passions.

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You have captured the COPA 19+ in your own, unique way, from a designers perspective, what did you make of the boot and did you enjoy putting them through your filter as it were?

For me it was a pleasure, starting with analysing the redesign of the adidas COPA MUNDIAL until I saw its new COPA 19+, exploring its lines, curves and design, I saw part of the industrial design process and for me it was a delight.

Having this I wanted to make a mixture of vintage players who used the COPA MUNDIAL alongside the new generation that represents the COPA 19+ and illustrate the boots in their maximum simplicity, highlighting its futuristic and classic design at the same time.

Although these were created for the launch of the COPA 19+ I wanted to have that vintage, iconic and simple feeling that the illustrations of the 70s had, as references I have very marked Milton Glaser and John Alcorn who did a lot of publicity illustrated by those years., a bit my process is to imagine how someone from that time would have put these illustrations.

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You've done a few things in football now, would you like to do more and more off the back of this?

I would love it, the interesting thing about approaching a project is to know its background and know what we are illustrating and its context. In this case, now be much more than several players and the history of adidas creating soccer shoes; It would be incredible to continue creating projects like this where two passions come together in favour of the viewer having a good product and visual stimulation.

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You can see more work from Raul Urias here. Shop the adidas COPA 19+ football boots at


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