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Foot wants what it wants

All the most clamorous changes of sponsor in the history of football

Foot wants what it wants All the most clamorous changes of sponsor in the history of football

Few days ago it was the birthday of a former Italian footballer who, in his own way, has had a great impact on the history and evolution of football boots: Marco Simone. While his mates used to wear black boots, in the Champions League final of ‘95 the AC Milan striker took the field wearing white boots Valsport which shook up the market. Since this moment the fight between sponsors has become more complex. In those years Maradona, Van Basten and Baggio used to play it Italy wearing adidas boots rigorously black, but also Lotto, Diadora and Puma. In the last decade we have experienced and aesthetic and symbolic revolution of the football boot, which is not just seen as a mere tool to kick the ball. The same sponsors were persuaded to create exclusive lines dedicated to their favorite testimonials, investing in what for many has become a real passion.

Recently an Italian footballer who played abroad for the past few seasons, has caught the attention of several sponsors ready to fight in order to get him. We are talking about the number 10 azzurro Marco Verratti, born in ’92 whose contract with Puma has expired not long ago. The fact that Verratti plays for PSG sponsored by Nike, is an element that will probably shift the balance in the negotiations between the player and sponsors.

We, here at nss sports, are not particularly interested in aspect related to the contract but rather the evolution experienced by the market of football boots and its protagonists. In the first part of these mini-series dedicated to football boots we are going to mentioned just some of the footballers who during their long career have decided to change sponsors arousing disbelief and clamor among fans and insiders


Lionel Messi

The Argentinian Pulga started his career wearing Nike which was Barcelona's technical sponsor at the same time; adidas succeeded in signing Messi in 2006 creating a real sport and stylistic movement around Leo. Many years has passed since adidas launched the adidas MESSI and it has always been one of the favorite boot all around the world, thanks both to its design and its colors. 


Paul Pogba

Until last year not even the French midfielder had decided which sponsor he was going to sign with once and for all: United's number 6 has recently decided to embrace the adidas cause with which he just announced his signature line “PP” where he wears the ACE17 + Purecontrol. Let’s see what is going to happen!


Zlatan Ibrahimovic

The Swedish striker has been one of those you do not believe unless you see it. Zlatan has been one of the most important Nike Vapor testimonials for years: yet, he was already unsure to re-sign with Nike at the time he was still playing for PSG. When he moved to Manchester United he definitely decided to sign with adidas leaving fans speechless. The number 9 bet on adidas X 16.1 since the beginning of the season and looking at his scores, it seems he made the right choice! 


Cesc Fabregas 

The former Arsenal captain has been one of the most important players for Nike until 2011 when – after his transfer to Barcelona FC – he decided to sign with Puma becoming very important for the German brand. The Spanish midfielder debuted wearing the Puma Powercat 1.12. 


Dani Alves

The Brazilian defender lived the opposite journey Ibrahimovic had: sponsored by adidas for many years, after several months of tests and experiments, Dani Alves decided to sign with Nike. His transfer to Juventus this summer, sponsored by adidas, did not affect his agreement: it seems that Alves finally found piece for his own feet. 


Mario Balotelli

It was the end of 2013 when Super Mario decided to abandon the Nike CTR-360 in favor of Puma: for the match played at San Siro Stadium between Milan and Rome, the German brand made a limited boot decorated with heading journal’s clipping where Balotelli was the obvious subject. Since then, Puma has made the Italian striker as one of the most important testimonials. This relationship strengthened since this summer where he moved to Nice in order to restart a career with too many highs and lows. 


Hernan Crespo 

The Argentinian was certainly one of the most beloved strikers of the last decade, despite having played in many rival teams like Parma, Lazio, Inter and Milan. Crespo has worn long Nike before switching to adidas during the break of Chelsea and AC Milan, and then he switched back to Nike and adidas in the final years of his career. Who knows what would wear today el Valdanito.


Gianluigi Buffon

The number one for Juventus and the Italian national team has a very different story compared to his colleagues: Gigi has wore both Diadora and Fila before Puma, in 2002 they made him sign what was the first contract that still binds the goalkeeper to the German brand. In 2011 he re-signed a lifetime contract with Puma, accepting the role of ambassador.


Francesco Totti 

That of the Eighth King of Rome is a very special story since everyone remembers him for wearing two historic brands in different moments of his career: Nike and Diadora. But in which order? Il Pupone won his first and only league title in 2001 wearing Nike. In 2005, Totti decides to abandon the American brand and sign for an Italian company Diadora. The Italians will forever remember his white and blue boots that the number 10 wore for the World Cup in 2006. Nowadays, Totti wears Nike, that given the times, they have no miss the opportunity to carry out an ad hoc boots, a Tiempo Limited which is unique thanks to the tab and the elastic old style.


Gonzalo Higuaín 

El Pipita was one of the main sponsor adidas when playing for Real Madrid - verifying the fact that the technical sponsor of the team for which you play counts, quite a lot. Once he left the Spanish team, and moved to Naples, the Argentinian decided to sign a contract with Nike that still binds him despite his transfer to Juventus. While in Naples, the takings by the sponsor were divided with the club, in Turin Higuaín manages the personal revenues by himself.