Small-sided football’s surfaces differ with destination and its reduced pitch dimensions demand creativity — nifty, quick passes and unanticipated moves — that prize players’ mental agility as much as their on-ball abilities.
“I have always been extremely resilient physically, but it’s through working on the mental side of my game that I’ve improved as a player,” confirms Emmanuel Mas, left back for San Lorenzo de Almagro. “In difficult situations you have to be creative to find a solution. It’s important to work on your reactions.”
Small-sided play provides players like Mas an abundance of opportunities to sharpen those cognitive skills that unlock opportunities for the entire team.
Nike’s new MagistaX is expressly designed for that advanced playmaker. Its Flyknit upper features tactile engineered peaks and troughs, which recently debuted on the Magista 2, in the areas of the foot most sensitive to touch, helping enhance feel.
“With this shoe we have pushed the boundaries of engineering Flyknit so that it helps stimulate your feet as they come into contact with the ball,” says Max Blau, VP of Nike Football Footwear.
To further facilitate swift movements, the MagistaX also introduces an advanced traction and cushioning system (featuring a full-length Lunar midsole) specifically crafted for small-sided surfaces.
“Small-sided is mostly played on concrete, asphalt or hardwood floors, so it made sense to look at shoes from other sports that are designed for those surfaces,” adds Blau. “The Lunar midsole provides great cushioning as well as a full range of a rotational movement around the ball of the foot — ideal for the quick turns a Magista player needs to make.”
MagistaX is available at Nike.com and select retailers with an RRP of R1,699.95.