Brazilian Ronaldo, aka the OG Ronaldo was one of the most exciting players I have ever watched play. His speed, skills and finishing were on an entirely different level and he inspired an entire generation of future players.
Twenty years ago, he debuted the very first Nike Mercurial boots. This original pair of Mercurial boots was unlike anything we had ever seen in the soccer world. The silhouette, the colors, the materials - all looked like they were from another planet and only Ronaldo could really pull them off.
According to Rondaldo:
“I was part of the development of Mercurial since its beginning and that boot was at some point just part of my foot," he explains. "It was an amazing project to be part of and the results were wonderful — writing a new chapter in the history of boots.”
Twenty years after the original Mercurials were released, there is another Brazilian who is lighting up the world of soccer and who just so happened to score his first ever international goal for Brazil wearing the Mercurial Superfly II's. To celebrate this connection, Nike is releasing a new Mercurial boot inspired by the original Mercurial worn by Ronaldo, and the Mercurial Superfly II worn by Neymar when he scored that goal.
According to Nike:
Befitting the connection both Brasilians have to the Mercurial line, Nike’s new Mercurial Puro Fenomeno boots borrow aesthetic cues from the Superfly II while also paying homage to Ronaldo’s original Mercurial boots.
The lateral side of the Puro Fenomeno features the iconic chrome and blue color scheme of the ’98 Mercurial, with the speed ribs of the current Mercurial altered to mimic the original’s wavy lines. The black tips of the cleat studs are also a nod to the ’98 version.
The medial side of the boot features the bold graphic of the Mercurial Superfly II that Neymar Jr. wore as he burst onto the international stage. “Ousadia” and “Alegria” also appear on the medial side of the boots, consistent with the daring and joyful style of play he is known for. Additionally, Neymar Jr.’s personal logo is emblazoned on the heels.
“The partnership between Neymar and Mercurial is perfect. He has this characteristic in his game, he’s very fast, can abruptly change direction," says Ronaldo, who is happy to see Neymar Jr. making his own mark upon the Mercurial franchise. "In football, the boot has to help you perform, not only be there as a footwear, has to be part of you, at your command. The Mercurial has this power.”
The new Nike Mercurial Puro Fenomeno will be available December 21 on nike.com.