A player of undoubted cool, Jerome Boateng is as composed as they come. In raising the bar as he slips into the Nike Tiempo 6 we caught up with a guy whose character is deep, medal haul is world beating and sneaker collection is off the scale.

For a guy who has got a sneaker collection of 600 plus, do boots hold a special place for you?

Yeah, football boots are very special for me. I collect them also, from the World Cup Final, Champions League Final right back to my first seasons, when I was young. Like from when I was 12 years old, I've got all the old football shoes my dad bought me.

From a youngster coming through to now, how did you find your way to Tiempo? Are there characteristics you share with the boots?

Yeah absolutely. I've played with Tiempo for a long time now, I'm really happy in that it is the boot for me. I think for me it's a boot for the defenders and the midfielders, attack starters and maybe strikers too, I don't know personally, but they're really comfortable - good for passing, good for shooting. For me, they're the perfect boot.

You come across as a very creative player and person. Do you enjoy the craft and the back story that goes into the creation of football boots?

Having seen the old Tiempo's from back in 1992 and you see all those players like Maldini or Ronaldinho, it's crazy. Now I can wear them with great pride, just as they did. When you look at the Tiempo 6, it matches my personal taste and style. From all the colours to the way the boot looks and fits, it's my style for sure. It's totally matched to me.

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When you think back to yourself as a child through to now, did you ever see yourself as the face of a boot launch?

No way, never. It's a dream. That's really why I say I'm so proud and thankful that I can be here and present a boot like this.

From your position on the pitch you get to see a great deal around you. Being able to see the game unfold from where you are, is that something about your game that you most enjoy?

Yeah that's something for sure. When I was younger I changed position from striker to central defender. I like to be on the ball and I like to have the whole pitch in front of me with the guys and that's how I like to defend.

Do you think you have that quality that is hard to come by whereby you can see the game unfold before it does?

I would say so. It's something I like to think that I know what the striker does or is going to do because I was a striker once myself. I'm tall so it's good to be a defender but for me I like the movement, I like to be in the center and I like to have the ball but I also like to defend. Sometimes I can go forward too.

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You have grafted your way to the top. Do you think it's possible for players in today's game to say, 'I am this type of player and this is how I'm going to get where I want to go with my career'?

It's a good question. You can't predict your own future but you can do all you can to get where you want to go. You can aim for the success you want as a player and with your team but it's impossible to say I know what's going to happen in ten years, which club you will be with, where and what country that will be with. You just have to work hard.

Are there some players for you that helped you on the path to where you stand now?

Oh yeah for sure. I started out in Berlin where I signed as a professional, I had my brother in my team and he helped me a lot. From there, going to Hamburg I had players like Guy Demel, Ze Roberto, Van Nistelrooy, so these players with different experiences who had already had success and played in big clubs were a big help.

From there, moving to Manchester City, Patrick Vieira was really important for me. Playing with guys like Carlos Tevez and Adebayor was a really good experience for me. Then going from there to Bayern Munich, where there are always world class players [it's about surrounding yourself with success].

Do you feel like you've now got that experience in the bank to pass that on to the next generation?

Yeah of course, I'm 27 now and not really classed as young anymore so I can give my experience to the young guys who are coming through and that's again something I look forward to passing on.

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Away from football, you obviously like to keep yourself busy – has that been a way to keep you motivated in drawing inspiration from other industries?

Sadly, I can't play football forever so I have to try and make a life after football that might be away from the pitch. For me, playing is the most important but I can't just live after football. I can't just lay on my back and do nothing – it's just not me, so I want to have something after to look forward too and to do that you need to start early. You never know what that something is and if it's something interesting then you can see what it turns into. Like football really.

Have you always had that drive?

From when I was young I just thought I could play forever. As you get older, you realise maybe you can't play forever but you can stay in the sport. From management or a coach or maybe you change completely and go to another sport. You just don't know but there's lots out there.

Football finds itself in an increasingly cool place with fashion coming into the game more than ever. Is that something you're enjoying?

Oh yeah definitely and I think it's exciting, especially in the countries where in the past it has not been the number one sport, like in the US. After the World Cup it's become even more popular out there so I think the sport right now is in a really great place in that respect. It's the sport of the world and everyone wants a piece.

Jerome Boateng wears the Nike Tiempo 6 in with typically strong style. Slip into the leather leaders here.