Creative Soccer Culture

Signature Squad | Which Players Are Wearing Signature Boots this Season?

The 2017/18 season has brought an all-time high of signature boots on show. As of February ten players have already been awarded with an exclusive design as brands focus hard on their leading players.

There has been a clear shift in the way brands are marketing individual players over clubs in the last few years. The lure of capturing a charismatic player with bags of marketing potential has arguably overtaken the demand to lock down multiple clubs. The heavyweight clubs still earn the big money, but the appeal of A-list players is higher than ever. Naturally the rise of social media has enabled that shift, with players turning themselves into power-brands of more value and with more versatility than clubs.

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We've seen Paul Pogba and Neymar taken on individual world tours in pre-season with adidas and Nike respectively, and brands are working hard to elevate their players' statuses to a level that challenges fans' loyalty over clubs – much like in American sports. With that increased competition between players off the pitch, and with brands hyping up their respective assets, an increase in signature boots was inevitable. Here we take a look at all 10 players to have received exclusive designs so far this season.

Neymar x Nike | The obvious heir to the Nike Football throne has picked up Swoosh pace this season as Nike launched his first two signature Mercurial designs. The first "Written in the Stars" design marked his return to the Mercurial series, and the "Puro Fenomeno" boot paid tribute to Neymar's Brazilian hero Ronaldo. They'll be more. A lot more.

Antoine Griezmann x PUMA | Despite Sergio Aguero's prolific career in front of goal PUMA appear to have installed Antoine Griezmann as their lead player. Griezmann is young, flash, and busy off the pitch and PUMA see him as perhaps more relevant to connect to a younger audience. He's bagged two signature boots this season, a Chrome ONE 17.1 design and a limited edition Future 18.1 NetFit drop.

Cristiano Ronaldo x Nike | The main man. The most successful and most powerful signature series in football to date. Nike have taken the CR7 brand from limited edition boots to limited edition sneakers in seamless style. Every CR7 drop has that aura of premium desirability and Ronaldo's arrogant-styled confidence only adds to the overall dynamic.

Messi x adidas | The good guy. Messi manages to keep a lower profile than the Real Madrid rival he shares that top 2 status with, and that's probably why the CR7 series packs more muscle. He's quiet, self-assured and lethally efficient. CR7 is the biggest of big time – he's hollywood, and that sells.


Lieke Martens x Nike | How do you earn yourself a signature boot? Winning the Best Player Award ain't a bad place to start. Nike gifted Barcelona's Lieke Martens a signature Superfly after she picked up the accolade in 2017. That 'Lieke' print on the instep making this under-the-radar design one of the most creative.


David Beckham x adidas | How many players could launch a limited-edition signature boot five years after retiring? David Beckham is the original marketing god in football. Never seriously spoken about as one of the world's greatest players, but a powerhouse of marketing gravitas. Being devastatingly handsome didn't work against him, mind. His adidas Predator Accelerator DB sold out in seconds. Still got it, Dave.


Sergio Aguero x PUMA | We've always thought that PUMA have never really fully maximised Sergio Aguero's marketing potential. Of course, this has to come down to what the player wants and doesn't want to be involved in, but Aguero is one of the most prolific strikers in the world every damn season. PUMA dished out some signature love late last year in the form a Golden PUMA One 17.1 design to celebrate becoming Man City's all time leading goalscorer.


Memphis Depay x Under Armour | Having rediscovered his form at Lyon after a quiet spell with Manchester United, Memphis Depay has began to earn his worth as Under Armour's leading player. The Dutchman has been wearing his signature Spotlight Dream Chaser boots this season in Ligue 1 and the Europa League.

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Sergio Ramos x Nike | The only defender to be awarded with a signature football boot this season. It takes a lot more for a defensive player to receive that treatment, but when you're captain of Real Madrid and Spain, you're in with a shot. The Nike Tiempo 7 'Corazon y Sangre' paid homage to his values and root. And horses, he loves horses does Serge.


Harry Kane x Nike | Is Harry Kane England's most marketable footballer? No. But he is England's most prolific frontman and that will always resonate. Brands can't force a player to be something he's not. Can we see Harry Kane launching his own range of underwear? Or flaunting around London nightclubs with A-list musicians and film stars? No. That's not him and that will make Nike focus harder on other players, regardless of his goals. But, his low-key lifestyle is hugely respected. As is his goalscoring. 100 Premier League goals earned his a signature Nike Hypervenom.

Got a favourite? Which other players deserve a signature boot? Shout them out below...


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