Creative Soccer Culture

A Look Back At Messi & Ronaldo's Signature Ballon d'Or Boots

A decade of dominance from Ronaldo and Messi in the Ballon d’Or came to an end last night as Luka Modric scooped the prestigious award. Marking the end of an era we're taking a look back at every CR7 and Messi signature Ballon d'Or boot since the rival brands began the trend in 2010.

Kicked off by adidas in 2010, the Ballon d'Or has swapped camps throughout the 10s with Nike and adidas each supplying their main men with bespoke special edition designs after each ceremony, and in turn delivering some of the most in-demand limited drops of all time. With Modric bringing the Ronaldo/Messi dominance to an end with his recent win, for which Nike rewarded him with his own bling pair of Mercurial Vapor 'Golden Touch' boots, it feels like the perfect time to look back on some of the most opulent offerings to have ever graced a football pitch.

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2010 Lionel Messi – adidas F50 Adizero

Messi was the first to receive a custom boot following his second Ballon d’Or success, sparking a trend that continued each consecutive year thereafter. As with all Messi signature Ballon d’Oro boots, it was not available for retail; a key difference to Nike’s approach of manic limited edition scrambling.

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2011 Lionel Messi – adidas F50 Adizero

Following his third straight success, Messi was rewarded with another special edition F50, although this time it featured a greater white presence. Cleverly acknowledging Messi’s three wins with a year appearing per stripe, this was a strong look for the Barcelona man.

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2012 Lionel Messi – adidas F50 Adizero

Messi’s fourth Ballon d'Or in a row was honoured with a black and gold special edition boot that featured four suns on the upper (three on the right and one on the left) to represent his four triumphs. Messi only wore this boot on pitch once, against Malaga in the 2013 Copa del Rey quarter-final.

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2013 Cristiano Ronaldo – Nike Mercurial Vapor IX CR7

Ah yeah, this guy. Nike’s first attempt at showing off a signature edition Ballon d’Or boot came in with a clean aesthetic that featured a crisp white upper, black trim and a stunning gold soleplate for Cristiano Ronaldo. There were only 100 pairs of the boot available for retail, making it one of the most hyped releases of all time.

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2014 Cristiano Ronaldo – Nike Mercurial Vapor IX CR7 ‘Rare Gold’

For Ronaldo’s hat trick (he won his first in 2008), Nike released the first Ballon d’Or boot to be based on the Superfly, with the fourth generation getting a stunning golden forefoot that faded back into a black heel and collar. Known as ‘Rare Gold’ – obviously not a reference to Ronaldo’s trophy-laden cabinet – there were only 333 pairs made. Cristiano himself was given an extra-special version, with micro-diamonds embedded on the impressively large CR7 logo that appeared on the instep. Beauty, this.

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2015 Lionel Messi – adidas Messi 15 Platinum

Back to Leo, and this time a rather understated affair for his fifth as adidas went for a pure white and platinum effect on Messi’s signature boot silo. Unbeknownst to both player and brand, but this would be his last Ballon d’Or award and therefore boot. Inside the boot the words “El mas grande de todos los tiempos” – the greatest of all time could be found. Therein lies a debate.


2016 Cristiano Ronaldo – Nike Mercurial Superfly V CR7 Vitórias

Harking back to the 2013 Vapor IX, the Superfly V CR7 Vitórias featured the same white upper with black trim, riding on a golden soleplate. A tried and tested colour combination that delivers every single time. Most recognition for Nike's avid Ballon d'Or collecting step-over merchant.

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2017 Cristiano Ronaldo – Nike Mercurial Superfly V CR7 ‘Quinto Triunfo’

Ronaldo’s fifth triumph saw the release of the Mercurial Superfly V CR7 ‘Quinto Triunfo’, which featured a shimmering golden upper with a Swoosh that hosted the year of his previous Ballon d’Or successes – 2008, 2013, 2014, 2016 & 2017. 1000 pairs were released globally with Ronaldo wearing number one in the FIFA Club World Cup.

Will we see the more reserved Luca Modric in his dazzling Mercurial Vapor 'Golden Touch' on pitch? Watch this space...

Daniel Jones

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