The second adidas on-pitch boot collection of the 2018/19 season is imminent as the brand’s leading players begin to switch into their next colourways. Bayern Munich’s Thomas Muller providing an early glimpse at the upcoming X 18 design.
The new pack is set to launch ahead of the Champions League group stage kick off next week, but you can probably expect a few players to make an early appearance in their weekend domestic fixtures after training in the soft pastel colourways since returning from international duty.
We’ve already seen Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil in the soft pink adidas Predator 18+ design and now his former German international teammate Muller joins him in the cleanest of all-white colourways. It’s an update that will no doubt be popular as it offers a fresh take on the latest lightweight speed option, following on from the “Energy Blue”, “Solar Yellow” and “Triple Black” editions.
The new pack will replace the “Team Mode” colourway which have been worn by all leading adidas athletes since the beginning of the 2018/19 season. Stay tuned for a first look at the full collection when it drops in the coming days.
An aerial view of the iconic La E’ixample District, famous for its diagonal streets and city blocks covers the chest and highlights the fact that the club connects with local culture far outside of Camp Nou.
The pale pink backdrop and a darker red sash continue Barca’s bold tradition of bright alternate strips reserved for world-class players and their fearless and fashionable fans.
“We believe the kit is bold and exciting and therefore ideally suited to FC Barcelona,” Pete Hoppins, Nike Football Apparel Senior Design Director, said in a release.
“The football club is part of the fabric of Barcelona; its influence is visible in every avenue and plaza, and that passion really inspired the team’s 2018-19 collection.”
The third completes a collection that includes a home with 10 stripes to honor each of the city’s districts and a volt yellow away that pays homage to the 2005-06 campaign when Ronaldinho won the Ballon d’Or.
Look for all three on the likes of Philippe Coutinho, Ousmane Dembele, Gerard Pique and their teammates to wear it in UEFA Champions League, La Liga and domestic cup play this season.
From his man of the people persona to his humble heroics that have put him in the hearts of England fans, Harry Kane has helped the Three Lions rediscover their roar. Responsible for thousands of airborne pints, soaked shirts, and an unforgettable summer of celebration, Kane’s 6 World Cup goals fired England back into the big time. A return to his first ever club Ridgeway Rovers, sees Nike salute their marksman with a message of genuine sentiment as the brand unveil the special edition Hypervenom boot.
Giving the Hypervenom a lick of premium paint and bespoke graphic execution, the boot has been completely tailored for Harry Kane. A tonal St George’s flag is complemented with the England National Team badge, and on the instep of the boot are the words ‘Lane, Lion, Leader’. The alliterated phrase is symbolic of the growth of Kane. Starting at Ridgeway Rovers, his game began in raw surroundings and has risen to the elite world stage.
Going back to Ridgeway Rovers to re-visit the first chapter in Kane’s journey, Ian Marshall, the Chairman of the club, helps paint a picture of the real effect Harry Kane has had on their club. “When I took over at Ridgeway Rovers, it was the same day that Harry Kane came back to the club to do a presentation. I had been secretary at the club for a few years but that was my first day as chairman. Harry came along and gave out the trophies. I remember someone saying “never heard of him”, and we all just thought “you soon will”. That was probably the best thing I’ve ever said.
We’re a spit and sawdust club and he’s taken on the world from here. It’s special for us and the club to have that attachment.”
“Harry has brought a lot of interest to our club and it’s something totally unique. We’ve been asked all sorts but there’s so much good that can come out of it for the community. Most recently, we’ve been asked to put a team together of all ages that can play against ex-professionals who are trying to get fit. They are more than ex-pros too, they’re more like legends, so getting that kind of focus is something few clubs would get.
“From our ground here, you can see the cranes going to work at Tottenham Hotspur on the new stadium. From here to Spurs, and doing what he did at the World Cup, it’s inspiring, and we couldn’t more proud.”
Call it a golden line drawn under a summer of optimism, a summer of fulfilment and a summer of goals. Kane’s special edition Nike Hypervenom III will not be available at retail, but the man himself will wear them as he marks his international return when England play Spain at Wembley.
Before the new season gets rudely interrupted by a late summer international break we’re taking a look back at the past seven days of action to pick out who was wearing what. From the customs, to the limited editions. It’s Monday, it’s Boot Spotting.
Crystal Palace midfielder Jason Puncheon was back in his limited edition adidas Predator Accelerator Electricity boots last week. Puncheon slipped into the boot that was re-released in July for his side’s League Cup tie against Swansea.
Fernando Torres (Sagan Tosu) Mizuno Morelia Neo II
Fernando Torres’ days as an adidas player look to be over as he slowly changed out of the Three Stripes in the past few weeks. The former Liverpool striker was wearing the Predator 18 but recently reverted back into the X 15.1 boots. Last weekend he moved away from adidas entirely by wearing a white/black edition of the Mizuno Morelia Neo, removing the logo for an unbranded look.
Granit Xhaka (Arsenal) Under Armour Spotlight Pro
The latest “Radio Red” colourway of the Under Armour Spotlight Pro boot has began the new season as the brand’s on-pitch option. Grant Xhaka was sporting the update as Arsenal beat Cardiff 3-2 in Wales. Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold is also wearing the colourway.
Paul Scholes (Royton Town) adidas X 16.1
Paul Scholes was lured out of retirement at the weekend when Royton Town turned up at Stockport Georgians a player short. The former United legend’s son plays for the Manchester Premier Division side and he stepped in to make up the numbers wearing the adidas X 16.1 boots. A Nike player throughout his professional days, chances are he just borrowed whatever was knocking around.
Oleksandr Zinchenko (Man City) Nike CTR360 Maestri III
Oleksandr Zinchenko took things back to 2012 in training this week by lacing up in the third generation Nike CTR360 Maestri football boots. The CTR is arguably the most popular Nike control boot of all time, but it was replaced by the Magista in 2014. Zinchenko’s “Fresh Mint” colourway was a smart match-up with the City training kit.
A drop from the Nike Mercurial Superfly 360 “Heritage Collection” was on show this week as Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang wore the 2006 inspired design in training. The yellow and green colourway was worn throughout Italy’s successful 2006 World Cup campaign in Germany.
Bastian Schweinsteiger (Chicago Fire) adidas X 15.1
Bastian Schweinsteiger said goodbye to Bayern Munich last week as the Chicago Fire midfielder played for both sides in his testimonial match. The German World Cup winner was wearing the “White/Semi Solar Slime” colourway of the adidas X 15.1. A boot that launched the X series in 2015.
Virat Kohli (India) PUMA Future 2.1
India cricket captain Virat Kohli takes his side’s pre-training football match seriously enough to bring his own boots. Kohli is a PUMA sponsored player and has managed to get the brand to throw a pair of Future 2.1 boots in with his cricket gear.
Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur) Nike Tiempo Legend 7
Hugo Lloris indicated that his current contract with Nike may have expired last week by wearing a blacked out edition of the Tiempo 7 in Tottenham’s 3-0 win at Old Trafford. The Spurs keeper is presumably in negotiations about renewing his contract and isn’t keen on playing for free so to speak.
Todd Cantwell (Norwich City ) PUMA Future 18.1
Norwich City’s Todd Cantwell was sporting the limited edition launch colourway of the PUMA Future 18.1 in the League Cup last week. The black and yellow design launched ahead of first on pitch colourway to build momentum for the first generation boot.
Time to see who made the cut this week as we pick out the best of the Boot Spotting action from the past seven days. Custom designs, to limited edition game, to the latest new season drops. All aboard…
Dani Ceballos (Real Madrid) Nike PhantomVSN
Nike supplied the latest “Rising Fire” colourway to a handful of their young stars this week. The majority of Swoosh players remained in the “Raised on Concrete” pack, but Dani Ceballos was sporting the dark red version of the Nike PhantomVSN boots.
Luis Suarez (Barcelona) PUMA Future 2.1
Luis Suarez became a PUMA player last week by officially signing for the brand after leaving adidas. The Uruguayan gave a winning start to life with the Big Cat as he wore the “Uprising Pack” Future 2.1 as Barcelona beat Alaves 3-0 at the Camp Nou.
Adama Traore (Wolves) Nike Mercurial Superfly V
Adama Traore made his Wolves debut on Saturday afternoon as his new club went down 2-0 at Leicester. The former Boro man has a huge collection of custom Mercurials and will no doubt use the Premier League stage to showcase them throughout the season.
Adama Traore (Goztepe) adidas Predator LZ
You wait all year for an Adama Traore, and then two come along at once. This one is of Turkish Super Lig fame with Goztepe, and he wore the adidas Predator LZ launch colourway from 2012 during his side’s defeat to Galatasaray on Sunday.
Kylian Mbappe (PSG) Nike Mercurial Superfly 360
Kylian Mbappe was Nike’s go-to man to front the new “Rising Fire” pack. The World Cup winner switched into the new Mercurial Superfly 360 colourway as he came off the bench to score twice in PSG’s 3-0 win over Guingamp.
Yassin Ayoub (Feyenoord) adidas X 18.1
Feyenoord recorded their first win of the new season with a 3-0 victory over Excelsior on Sunday. Amongst all of the latest bright colourways on pitch was Yassin Ayoub wearing the recent all black “Shadow Mode” edition of the adidas X 18.1.
Leeds United continued their impressive start to the season by beating Yorkshire rivals Rotherham 2-0 at Elland Road. Kemar Roofe got the second goal wearing the Nike Mercurial Vapor 360 Heritage Collection, released ahead of the 2018 World Cup and inspired by the design worn by R9 in 1998.
Jack Wilshere (West Ham United) adidas Predator 18.1
Jack Wilshere made a surprise boot switch at the weekend. The West Ham midfielder has worn Nike throughout his entire career, but ditched the Swoosh to lace up in the adidas Predator 18.1 on Saturday to indicate that he may well have, or is about to, sign officially with the Three Stripes.
Thomas Meunier (PSG) adidas COPA Gloro 17
With the likes of Neymar and Mbappe acting as their brand’s poster boys in the latest eccentric boots, PSG teammate Thomas Meunier has gone low key in the blackout edition of the adidas COPA Gloro 17. Safe.
Feng Boyuan (China) Nike Mercurial Superfly 360
Another colourway from the Nike Mercurial Superfly 360 “Heritage Collection” was on show this week as China’s Feng Boyuan wore the 2006 inspired design. The yellow and green drop was worn throughout Italy’s successful 2006 World Cup campaign in Germany.
Not wasting any time – Nike Football has released an all new boot silo, PhantomVSN.
In order to create something unique and different to the rest of the pack, Nike designer Phil Woodman began to think of how he could built a boot from the inside out.
Resulting in a new proprietary construction that will debut in football with the PhantomVSN, it will also soon roll out into other variations of Nike footwear.
Down to tech specs – The new PhantomVSN boasts an internal ‘Quadfit’ mesh bootie that conforms to the foot, providing a player with support in every direction. Remarkably, through this process, the boot is able to keep its shape and not overstretch.
“Players have long been acustomed to the rigors of breaking in their boots,” explains designer Phil Woodman, “but the PhantomVSN is match-ready right out of the box.”
Adding to the revolutionary features, Nike have included the new ‘Ghost Lace System.’ In order to make traditional lacing systems better, the new Ghost Lacing setup has minimal touch points and provides a one-pull construction implemented for equal tension all the way down the boot.
“We’ve done tremendous amounts of research, talking with players and analysing data in the lab,” says Woodman.
“The results are unanimously in favour of lacing to provide that customised fit every player desires.”
We’ll see players such as Philippe Couthino, Mallory Pugh, Kevin De Bruyne and Leon Goretzka lace up in Nike’s new PhantomVSN.
In addition to the tech specs listed above, the new boot silo features NikeReact cushioning, a Flyknit upper, a new traction pattern and so much more.
Either you love or hate artificial grass, but one thing is certain and that’s that it’s becoming a new standard in football. The increased amount of artificial grass pitches means that there’s a larger need for AG boots, but don’t worry!
We are seeing an increased amount of artificial grass pitches in the Scandinavian countries such as Sweden and Norway. You might not find that many teams that still plays on firm grass, due to the colder temperatures in the countries. Therefore, it is also important to get AG boots, so you can get the job done the best possible way.
We would always recommend you to get AG boots for artificial grass, due to the boots are designed specifically for this purpose. The AG boots are made with shorter, hollow studs for more even grip with less strain on the joints and knees.
Artificial grass is made from plastic and with rubber granulates. Furthermore, the pitches are also made with a harder surface than firm grass pitches. If you play with regular FG boots on artificial grass, then you would experience that you get hard shocks through your joints, which could lead to bad injuries. That’s why AG boots are equipped with the latest and most innovative technologies, making the trip to the artificial pitches more comfortable.
Nike AG boots
Nike is known for making some of the best AG boots for artificial grass, due to you get the best possible tool for the job. There are a lot of other brands who also make AG boots, but many of them make hybrid solepaltes which makes the boots FG/AG, so they could be used for both firm grass and artificial grass. This also means that you don’t get the pure AG boot and all it’s cool features. We would always recommend you to get AG boots for artificial grounds if you mainly play on AG pitches, and have few games on FG pitches.
If you are looking for some new AG boots, then why not take a look at the Nike Raised on Concrete Pack, which includes more than 20 different AG boots, all from Elite price points to Academy price points.
Have you ever wondered how the top class midfielders make the game look so easy? For me, it’s the little things that often go unnoticed, that set the great midfielders apart from the truly special ones. We recently posted a video where Ilkay Gündogan gave us some tips on how to be a better midfielder, which inspired me to expand on that, and give you my top 4 tips for becoming a better midfielder.
I’m aware that ‘The Lion King’ was released 24 years ago, however one line in that film always stayed with me on the football pitch – “I’m surrounded by idiots”. If you’re also a central midfielder, I guess you can understand where I’m coming from? They say that a football match is mostly won in midfield, and in this blog I’m going to try to give you some tips to help you make the game look a little easier, and also win your midfield battle. Sound good? Keep reading to find out!
Step 1 – Technical ability (Control, First Touch and Passing)
My manager used to tell us that losing the ball is the worst thing you can do on a football pitch. “Treat it like you love it, look after it and it will look after you.” Admittedly, this was a weird thing to say to an 8 year old who just wanted to run around and kick a ball, but it makes total sense. The best way to not lose the ball, is to improve your technical ability. Do drills designed to improve your first touch and passing. Your first touch should always put the ball about a yard away from you, and not near the other player. This will give you the time to look up, and pick out a pass to your team mate.
Step 2 – Mentality
This is becoming a theme in my blogs, but that’s because it’s so important. Preparing well mentally for a game will allow you to step onto the pitch with nothing on your mind except what YOU are going to do. Your job is to dominate the middle of the pitch and you are going to be up for a fight if necessary. Coming up against a player that has a higher technical ability than you can be demoralising, but as I’ve said before – “Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard”.
Step 3 – Awareness
In my opinion one of the most important skills you can possess as a midfielder is awareness of what is happening around you, and awareness of where all of your teammates are. The best players are the quickest thinkers, and what better way to demonstrate this by knowing exactly what you’re going to do with the ball, before you even receive the pass? Look all around you at all times, even when you have the ball. Paul Scholes was a master of this art, and made it look simple.
Step 4 – Create Space
All the best players seem to be always standing in space – why outmuscle your opponent when you can out-think them? There is space that can be exploited in-between the defensive and midfield lines, all you need to do is find it, and go there. This means a lot of movement to place yourself between opposition players to create a clear passing line as an outlet for your team when under pressure. When the pass is released, you can move towards the ball and use your body to shield the ball. You can then use the skills I mentioned above to control the ball, shield it from your opponent, be aware of where your teammates are, and pass the ball. This will keep the attack moving into the final third of the pitch. I personally think Kevin De Bruyne is a great example of a midfielder who finds space well and exploits it.
So that was 4 steps on how to become a better midfielder. I hope you can use some of the ideas I mentioned to help you step-up your game!
The domestic leagues are about to start and as always, we have a huge assortment of the newest club shirts for the new 2018/19 season. Go through our Top 10 of the newest club shirts this season.
10. Werder Bremen Away Shirt 2018/19
On 10th place of our Top 10 we find the Werder Bremen Away Shirt. Werder Bremen changed their shirt manufacturer to Umbro this season, and that was not a bad idea. They provided the Germans with a stunning navy-blue Away Kit, to complement their classic green Home shirt. The Away Shirt has the well-known Umbro sleeves which can be spotted on multiple Umbro club shirts, and this only makes the shirts look even better.
9. Manchester United Third Shirt 2018/19
On 9th place we find the blueish Manchester United Third Kit. It’s made with a nice visual design on the front which complements the blue colour and golden touch on the logos. The Parley for the Oceans collaboration only makes this Third Shirt even more great, due to the cause it supports.
8. Udinese Away shirt 2018/19
Udinese is known for pulling out some eye-catching things on the pitch when it comes to shirts. Last season the players wore 11 different home shirts against a Lazio, where 10 of them was their 10 previous Home Shirts. This year Macron has given them a golden touch, with a completely golden Away Shirt, absolutely stunning! Could they have made the shirt of the season in Serie A so far? Well let’s find out by going through the list.
7. Frankfurt Away Shirt 2018/19
Nike is known to make some of the wildest Away Shirts every season, and this year is no exception. On the 7th place we find the Frankfurt Away shirt, which is kept rather stylish and simple, yet eye-catching and stunning. The basic black colour is combined with some subtle greyish stripes, while their black and white crest is meant to be for the Away Shirt.
6. Atletico Madrid Away Shirt 2018/19
On 6th place we find another Away Shirt from Nike, and it’s the sky-blue Away Shirt from Atletico Madrid. The Away Shirt is made with the Vaporknit template, which gives the shirt darker toned sleeves with the refreshing pinstripe design. The iconic crest is combined with a red Nike logo and sponsor logo. Overall everything works together to place this shirt on 6th place.
5. Arsenal Third Shirt 2018/19
Mint seems to be this seasons colour, and the same goes for the Arsenal Third Shirt. PUMA has recently stepped their shirt game up a notch, and this Third Shirt is a prove that they can do some awesome things. The Arsenal Third Shirt comes with a mint green colour with purplish colors on the crest, logos and sleeves. Furthermore, the shorts and socks are made in the same design, which gives this kit a complete look for the new Premier League season.
4. Saint-Étienne Home Shirt 2018/19
The Saint-Étienne Home Shirt is placed on our 4th place with the stylish and simple green shirt from the French brand Le Coq Sportif. The brand doesn’t represent that many clubs, which is a pitty because they make awesome product. The Saint-Étienne Home Shirt is made with a classic collar and a nice dark green colour, which puts it on the 4th place.
3. Paris Saint-Germain Away Shirt 2018/19
Nike is at it again with PSG’s new Away Shirt. This might be one of the most hyped shirts this season and makes us think back on their Third Shirt from the 2016/17 season. The new Away Shirt is made in a grey and beige combination, with a golden touch on the PSG crest and Nike Swoosh. The pictures pretty much talks for itself!
2. West Ham Away Shirt 2018/19
We can’t get past West Ham’s new Away Shirt made by Umbro, just stunning. The blue colour is not something that you would connect with West Ham due to the other Premier League rivals from London. But the blue details have always been a part of the West Hams Shirt, and when the club used a darker blue shirt when they were founded in 1892 as Thames Ironworks. The new Away Shirt pays tribute to foundation of the club, while rocking glolden details on the crest and Umbro logo, and Bordeaux on the collar and sleeves.
1. Lazio Home Shirt 2018/19
Did you see this one coming? On first place of the Top 10 list we find the awesome and stunning Lazio Home Shirt. Lazio has always been known of rocking light blue home kits with white details. This year Macron has taken the Home Shirt to whole new level, with adding the well-known eagle on the front as a big detail. The eagle is also a synonym for Lazio and is used by the club due to their nickname le Aquile, meaning the Eagles. The eagle print splits the shirt into two halves where the upper part is white and lower is light blue.
Nike drop one last Mercurial Superfly 360 colourway of the summer as the Swoosh go deep into pre-season stoppage time. Landing as one half of the “Rising Fire” pack along with the PhantomVSN, it’s a design that reps in red.
For now, the Rising Fire pack is only available in the United States, with the Swoosh set to make the duo of boots available in Europe before the end of the month. It’s worth pointing out that the Hypervenom and Tiempo aren’t part of this new pack – the Hypervenom’s days look to be numbered in the Nike line-up, and the Tiempo would’ve been a bit of a third wheel here.
The “Team Red” colourway wraps around the Nike Mercurial Superfly and Vapor 360 for a familiar feel, and one that will be adopted well across all levels. For Nike’s professional players, they’ll remain in the new “Raised on Concrete” collection to kick off their respective domestic campaigns this month.