Nike brought Philippe Coutinho to the underground of Barcelona this week as part of the PhantomVSN boot activation. Taking over a disused tube station all for the good of telling a strong story, the Swoosh used Phantom figurehead Coutinho to give the boot a below the surface sense of style.

Fans who signed up to the Nike App joined a wealth of media and headed into the unknown for an event submerged in fitting Phantom mystery, the unexpected was to be expected. With trains on the underground still rattled through the Barcelona subway that sat underneath the iconic Sagrada Familia cathedral, it proved to be a totally unique and thought provoking setting as Nike looked to bottle the character of the boots and the players who wear them.

Phantom Barcelona_0011__J0A2382.jpg
Phantom Barcelona_0002__J0A2504.jpg

Out of nowhere, the lights were shut down and the subway stood still. Like a scene from the Saw series of movies mixed with a futuristic light show, it was eerie and ominous but electrified all at the same. Freestylers appeared, masked as “Phantoms” and juggling Nike footballs as part of a choreographed performance, it was then time for the headline moment.

Coutinho steppped out, hooded and styled for good measure, and stood silent as trains continued to fly through. Embracing the moment in the spotlight as a short film played out behind him, he too joined in with the freestyling receiving a rapturous applause before disappearing into the darkness.

Phantom Barcelona_0001__J0A2513.jpg
Phantom Barcelona_0000__J0A2542.jpg

From there, the onlookers headed through a maze of unlocked tunnels, past a freestyle challenge (that Coutinho would later boss with a troop of YouTubers) and into an open Q&A. Discussing his time at Barcelona to date, his work with Nike and his relentless style of play it was a conversation that had the receptive media appreciating every word of insight. Phantom duties off the pitch done, attention now turns back above ground for Coutinho as Barcelona take on Girona in La Liga this weekend.

Phantom Barcelona_0015__J0A2388.jpg

Shop the full Nike PhantomVSN collection at