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Nike Mercurial Heritage – 20 Years of Speed

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To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the famous Nike Mercurial cleats line by Nike brought back some of the most iconic cleats designs from years gone by, all combined with modern ‘360’ technology.

The sportswear giant official website revealed the news, and unveil the return of five of its most recognizable brands of mercurial boots based on those worn over the last five World Cups.

The new releases are available in both Superfly (high-top) or Vapor (low-top) and they all look extremely incredible.

1998

The first Mercurial was inspired by a young Brazil Ronaldo to keep up with his unrelenting speed. As a result, Nike produced a boot with a thinner plate, overall lighter materials, and the same sticky coating used in racing motorcycles. In this World Cup Ronaldo, who was the face of the boots, and brazil came close to lifting the cup but fell short 3-0 to a very strong France at Stade de France, Saint-Denis. Despite this loss on the field, Nike won a lot of fans and considers this probably the most iconic boot they have ever produced.

Ronaldo’s famous boots – the first of their kind to be made and based on being ‘built for speed’ – were initially known as the the Tiempo Ultra Light and were manufactured with the striker’s searing pace in mind.

Nike have unveiled a new range which includes the legendary boots R9 Ronaldo wrapped around his neck in that iconic picture in 1998.

2002

The Mercurial Vapor was born following the second iteration from Nike Mercurial line.  Our first glimpse of the brand really pushing into the soccer scene came from the very famous Nike Secret Tournament advert with announcing by Eric Cantona on a huge ship. The commercial was based off a 3v3 cage style game featuring players such as Ronaldo, Figo, Totti, Henry, just to name a few. That year Nike released the silver/lime variation, which is the most iconic colorway for this particular model. This was a limited release worn by Ronaldo in the semi-final and final of the World Cup. Ronaldo and Brazil lifted the cup this time around by beating Germany 2-0 at Yokohoma, Japan with both goals coming from Ronaldo.

2002 sees another Ronaldo-worn- R9 mercurial – where the Brazilian, wearing silver/lime Nike mercurial Vapor, finally got his hands on the World Cup, scoring twice in the final against Germany.

2006

If there was a major turning point in the mercurial cleats line it was during 2006. Nike introduced Teijin, a breathtaking new microfiber, in the for upper material used in the boot that allowed the boot to mold to your foot better than any Vapor before. It also featured a lot more padding than its successors especially in the heel cup area, which locked your foot in very well. A lot of colorways were released for this model, but the standout was certainly the yellow/green worn by R9 Ronaldo made specifically for him. In this final, Italy was crowned winners against France at Olympiastadion, Berlin that ended in a heart stopping penalty shootout. Nike commemorated Italy’s accomplishments by making 250 pairs of the Mercurial Vapor III in colors representing the Italian Flag.

Another World Cup, another Ronaldo-inspired pair of boots, with the Brazil striker wearing yellow and green Nike Mercurial Vapor 3 for the 2006 tournament in Germany.

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