Some of the top players in world are sponsored by the sportswear giant.
Nike, one of the giants of the global sports industry, have been long represented by a few of the most renowned footballers in the world. Roberto Carlos, Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Eric Cantona, Paul Scholes, Carles Puyol, Thierry Henry, Paolo Maldini and Luis Figo were few of the players who ruled the sport while being sponsored by the American company.
Although the list isn’t restricted to only football, Serena Williams and Lebron James have also been flag-bearers of Nike in their respective sports.
Popularly associated with their slogan of “Just Do It,” let’s take a look at the top five footballers who wear Nike apparels.
5. Bruno Fernandes
The man who is leading the charts for Manchester United, both on and off the field, plays wearing Nike’s Mercurial Vapor XIV soccer cleats. The midfielder has scored 34 goals and assisted 21 others in his 60 appearances for the Red Devils since his arrival at Old Trafford in January 2020.
Valued roughly between €120-150m, the 26-year-old wore the Nike Mercurial Vapor XIII Elite when he scored his first goal for United.
4. Kevin De Bruyne
Ever since the departure of David Silva, Manchester City’s driving force in midfield has been Kevin De Bruyne. The Belgian player has been involved in 19 goals (3G, 16A) this season, with 15 of them coming off Nike’s Phantom Vision II. The boots are built to aid a player in controlling the ball.
The 29-year-old will be the flag-bearer for Belgium at the upcoming Euros in the summer of 2021 and a lot is expected from him.
3. Erling Haaland
The Norwegian has been scoring wonder goals for fun lately. The Borussia Dortmund striker broke onto the scene in the 2019-20 season with RB Salzburg and later moved to BVB in January 2020. Since then, Erling Haaland has scored 43 goals in as many games, along with 11 assists – not bad for a 20-year-old!
He wears Nike’s Mercurial Vapor 14 soccer cleats, which are build to enhance the speed of the player.
2. Kylian Mbappe
The way Haaland and Kylian Mbappe’s rivalry is turning out, it is good for Nike, isn’t it? Many experts and pundits believe that these two players have that ‘X-Factor’ to follow in the footsteps of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi and it is impressive that both the stars are with Nike!
The France international wears Nike’s Mercurial Superfly VIII Elite soccer cleats which are of the same type as those of Bruno Fernandes and Erling Haaland – built for speed. The Mercurial range is designed for pacey forwards.
1. Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo is one of only three players who have signed a lifetime contract with Nike. The other two? Lebron James and Michael Jordan. Ronaldo’s deal is worth a $1billion and proved to be a landmark shift in marketing strategies in the industry. On the field, Ronaldo wears Mercurial Superfly VIII Elite soccer cleats to have 360° fit with the micro-textured Flyknit upper construction and ACC coating for barefoot-level ball control and consistent performance even in wet conditions.
The winger has been known for his choice of boots over the years, always featuring the latest variants that Nike have produced with his association.