Without question, there are things in this world that we’ve come to know to be possible and impossible, with and without explanation. One thing though, that is as impossible as it gets, is to imagine what it must feel like to blast home the game winning goal in extra time of the FIFA World Cup final.
One man who experienced that breathtaking euphoria firsthand (or foot I should say) less than 24 hours ago is Spanish midfielder, Andres Iniesta.
At a mere 26 years old, Iniesta captured the collective glory of his entire nation, Espana, by unloading a volley goal with the composure and poise only befitting that of a national hero. That exact moment in the 116th minute of the 64th and final match of the 2010 FIFA World Cup sealed Netherlands’ fate to finish the tournament as second-best.
In 2008, it was striker Fernando Torres’ awe-inspiring finish that locked up the European championship for Spain, but perhaps Iniesta could share a few friendly jokes about how the World Cup means a touch more.
I’m sure anyone who watched the World Cup couldn’t help but notice the bright orange and silver boots that were tirelessly dashing around the pitch throughout the tournament on the feet of various players from all over the world.
Those cleats are apart of Nike’s Elite Series that were developed specifically for the World Cup as countries clashed for a month straight to determine the 2010 champion. Being a Nike footballer himself, Iniesta’s very valuable feet were dressed in the Nike CTR360 Maestri Elite FG Men’s Soccer Cleat, one of four editions from the entire Elite Series collection.
Now, on the TV screen, the color contrast may have appeared to be silver and orange, but the official colors for the Elite Series boots are listed as Metallic Mach Purple/Total Orange. Rather than just being for show, designers researched the entire spectrum of colors to come up with two colors that would most easily be discerned by players’ peripheral vision, thereby helping them spot their teammates quicker. To maximize weight reduction and durability, the soles were built of carbon fiber and TPU as well, a technological innovation that has never before been seen in the world of soccer boots.
As for the Maestri Elites that Iniesta won the World Cup in, the upper is composed of Kanga-Lite synthetic leather with specific modifications at contact points of interest for passing and receiving the ball. To enhance ball control and touch, these cleats also have “dampening pods” in the forefoot region and an “asymmetrical lacing” system. You’ll also find an injection-installed pass pad on the medial side to enhance passing, memory foam in the soles to cater to each player’s specific needs, TPU studs for maximum traction and stability and an overall design that was constructed to give the wearer unmatched comfort on the pitch.
I’m not sure how much, if at all, the composition of Iniesta’s boots had to do with his world-class finish, but if it had even the most minute of effects, you’d have to say that Nike knew exactly what they were doing.
Before you get juiced about buying any one of the four pairs of cleats from the Elite Series, take notice that the cheapest of the group runs for $275 retail. Expensive much? Clearly. But check this out, by purchasing any pair, you also get:
– With each pair of Limited Edition CTR360 Maestri Elite cleats, you get a code. Use the code to unlock Nike Soccer+ at NikeSoccer.com.
– Nike Soccer+ is a killer combination of our premium cleats, online pro training programs and access to the world’s top coaches and players – and it’s available for the CTR360 Maestri. With interactive training drills and expert tuition focused around speed, Nike Soccer+ gives inside access to the world best players and coaches designed to help players win.
– The Nike Soccer+ Master Control program will give you exclusive access to FC Barcelona team players & coaches to put the power of control directly into your hands and their game day preparation.
– In addition to these Master Control programs, you will have access to country specific Nike Soccer+ activities like training sessions, trial events and player appearances. Nike Soccer+ is also available as an Apple® App available for iPhone and iPod.
Sadly, the FIFA World Cup will not come again for another four years. The next host nation for 2014 will be none other than soccer powerhouse, Brasil. With captivating moments that range from Landon Donovan’s game-winning goal in stoppage time against Algeria (the greatest goal in U.S. soccer history) to Luis Suarez’s illegal handball save at the goal line that ultimately sent Uruguay through to the semifinals, was this year’s tournament enough to convince you that soccer is the world’s beautiful game?
I certainly hope so.
[Original Release: 2010; Weight: 9.17 oz.; Price: $300; Availability: www.nikefootball.com]
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