While Cristiano Ronaldo tends to be the only one who dons his own signature Vapors, Nike has revealed Neymar’s first-ever Mercurial signature boots. Dubbed the Blue Orbit Nike Mercurial Vapor XI Neymar signature, the new boots will be available globally from 29 July for $255 (around R3,300), and they’re a thing of beauty.
The story behind the customised Vapor IX boots follows the “Written In The Stars” theme, which alludes to Neymar’s journey to stardom. Being earmarked for greatness at a young age, Neymar Jr. embraced the pressure and set out to make his family and country proud.
“Growing up in Brasil, football is everything,” says Neymar Jr. “I am very proud of my country and I hope they are proud of me too.”
Brasil’s flag inspires the boot’s colour palette (which is amplified to vibrant Blue Orbit and Volt) and is also reflected by a Southern Cross constellation graphic.
Two of Neymar’s many highlights with the Brasil national team are also acknowledged within the design. First, his debut goal as a member of the Brasil National Team, against the United States on August 10, 2010, when he was just 18 years old. And second, last summer’s triumph in the Olympics — acknowledged via reference to Maracana Stadium. Brasil’s five stars appear on the boot as well, just as they’re proudly displayed on the national team kits.
References to Neymar Jr.’s family also appear. 11.03.96 references the birthdate of his beloved little sister, Rafaella. 24.08.11 signifies the birthdate of Neymar Jr.’s son, David Lucca. Neymar Jr.’s birthdate, 02.05.92 is on the boot as well, as is his top speed, 34.7 KM/H. The dotted geographical figures on the boot mimic maps of Barcelona and Brasil, respectively.
Several of Neymar’s significant club goals are also commemorated on the boot, including his first goal against Real Madrid on October 26, 2013 and Neymar Jr.’s goal in the 2015 Champions League Final. Upon close inspection, one can see the “constellations” on the boot depict the path the ball took in the build-up to each of the goals referenced.
Additional goals that are personally meaningful to Neymar and are marked on this boot include his 100th career goal on his 20th birthday and his legendary goal against Villareal, on August 11, 2015. Neymar scored in the 85th minute of the game by flicking the ball over his opponent’s head and striking it into goal, amazing everyone in the crowd and across the world.
That daring yet joyful style of play is further captured on the lace aglets of the boot, which read “Ousadia” and “Alegria” (“daring” and “joy” in the player’s native Portuguese).
Neymar Jr.’s “Written in the Stars” Mercurial Vapor launches on 29 July and is available on nike.com.