Golden ball: when equipment companies offered special football boots to the winners

Considered the most prestigious of trophies, the Ballon d’Or has also long been an opportunity for brands to reward athletes with a special pair of studs for the winner. Here is a look at the different pairs. Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo… Adidas vs Nike…

For almost 10 years, the two football monsters have been competing for the ultimate prize, the Ballon d’Or. If Luka Modric had slipped between the two football GOATs in 2018, the brands with the most presence remained the same.
And since every opportunity is good for communicating around athletes, Adidas and Nike have made a specialty of unveiling unique pairs on the occasion of the coronation of its players for some time. If the practice seems to have stopped since Luka Modric’s coronation in 2018, Lionel Messi’s new coronation is an opportunity for us to look back at the pairs unveiled in honor of the last Ballon d’Or winners.

GOLDEN BALL 2011 – LIONEL MESSI – ADIDAS F50 ADIZERO
Three Ballon d’Or, three stripes. Fate couldn’t have done it better. Within the 3 Adidas stripes on this boot, you’ll be able to see the three years in which Messi won the trophy. A beautiful boot that unfortunately was never released.

GOLDEN BALL 2012 – LIONEL MESSI – ADIDAS F50 ADIZERO
For his fourth consecutive ball, Messi receives a new pair of boots with a special design. On the right foot, three suns represent his first three successes. On the left foot, a single, more imposing sun represents the last one.

GOLDEN BALL 2013 – CRISTIANO RONALDO – NIKE MERCURIAL VAPOR 9 CR7
Five years after winning his first trophy with Manchester United, CR7 has once again added his name to the list of Ballon d’Or winners. For the occasion, Nike unveiled a Mercurial Vapor 109 with a gold sole. For the record, it took Nike three months to release the first CR7 Ballon d’Or shoe. Maybe they didn’t believe in his victory…

GOLDEN BALL 2014 – CRISTIANO RONALDO – NIKE MERCURIAL SUPERFLY CR7
A year later, Cristiano Ronaldo finds himself once again awarded the Ballon d’Or and Nike unveils a new signature boot. The first one is based on the Superfly model and which was imagined in a rather particular way. The first shoe based on the Superfly model has been designed in a very special way: the remains of large stones have been meticulously polished by craftsmen.

GOLDEN BALL 2015 – ADIDAS MESSI 15 PLATINUM
2015, the year the Ballon d’Or returned to the hands of La Pulga. A success marked by the release of a beautiful Adidas Messi 15 platinum. All white with subtle detailing, particularly on the inside of the sole. The tongue features the Argentine star’s face, similar to the Stan Smith face on the eponymous boot.

GOLDEN BALL 2016 – CRISTIANO RONALDO – NIKE MERCURIAL SUPERFLY V CR7
After being interrupted by Messi’s fifth Ballon d’Or, Cristiano returns to the spotlight in 2016. Once again, he is given a signature boot. This one is slightly reminiscent of 2013 one, white with a gold sole.

GOLDEN BALL 2017 – CRISTIANO RONALDO – NIKE MERCURIAL SUPERFLY V CR7
After chasing him for many years, Ronaldo finally managed to join Lionel Messi in the number of Ballon d’Or. To celebrate this fifth success, he received a beautiful white and gold Nike Mercurial Superfly. On the inside, on the sole, are his number 7 and the five years in which he has triumphed.

GOLDEN BALL 2018 – LUKA MODRIC – NIKE MERCURIAL VAPOR 13
In 2018, Luka Modric edged out Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to win the Ballon d’Or. Author of a masterful season that took him to the 2018 World Cup final, the Real Madrid playmaker is also being rewarded by his equipment company Nike on the occasion of his success. But unlike a player like CR7, Nike is playing it modest by unveiling a pair around a classic silver color and only accompanied by a few small touches of gold at the swoosh. Simple, just like the player.

READ ALSO ABOUT: TIME LINE OF ALL FOOTBALL BOOTS WORN BY CRISTIANO RONALDO

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