Singapore: Cristiano Ronaldo and Andres Iniesta are fierce rivals in the Spanish league, but they have one thing in common. Both are extremely choosy about the boots they wear on the pitch and are ready to go an extra mile to ensure they get the best in the business.
“I was surprised to find the involvement and passion of the two superstars in selecting their footwear,” said Lim Aik Leong, product line manager, Nike.
“Both spoke at length about modern football boots. In fact, they had their suggestions ready before we designed our latest boots — Magista and Mercurial — to be launched soon across the world,” he said.
Leong was speaking during launch of “Hypersense: The Art and Science of Modern Football” here, where the company exhibited its key innovations over the years. The exhibition is a journey of the emotion and spirit of the company over two decades brought to life through an interactive experience of light and sound in collaboration with over 25 local and international artists.
The preferences of footballers for boots, it has been noticed, have changed dramatically in recent years. While as an attacking midfielder, Iniesta wants the boots to have more power to control the ball in wet conditions, striker Ronaldo demands a better grip and the to allow for that extra split second to surge ahead.
CR7 is obviously happy with the new boots. “I have never seen this kind of boots before, with that style, the concept, the level of comfort, the design, the colour itself… it really is great,” he said.
Iniesta said, boots are very important for the success of a player. “It is important that the player feels comfortable and the boot feels good when you touch the ball, when driving and when passing the ball. In this case, you get what you’re looking for,” he explained.
Another famous Asian footballer Aleksandar Duric, currently the coach cum player of S-League club of Tampines Rovers, spoke about how the game has changed over the years. Born in erstwhile Yugoslavia, Duric, at 44, is still a member of the Singapore national team.
A prolific scorer, Duric is known for his professional approach, fitness and disciplined lifestyle.
“I have witnessed lots of up and down in world football,” recalled the veteran footballer fondly. “Also, a revolution has come in football boots in the last 15 years. The game has really improved.”
Duric said hosts Brazil are hot favourites to win the World Cup though he does not rule out the chances of Argentina, Spain and Germany. “If Neymar shines, then Brazil could win. One should not underestimate Spain. I know Barcelona did not have a good season but things could be different when their players play for the national team,” Duric said.