Ronaldo - Nike's Original Speedster

Monday 14th of February 2011 will go down in football history as the day one of the worlds greatest players retired from the sport. Brazilian legend Ronaldo has decided to call time on his illustrious career at the age of 34. His name is already cemented in football history and will forever be remembered as one of the all-time greats. His rise from Rio to becoming the world's best player was nothing less than phenomenal.

Here at SoccerBible, instead of taking you through his endless list of accolades and achievements, we thought we'd remember the influence this legendary player had on the world of football boots and how he changed boot design forever...

Forget Cristiano Ronaldo and Thierry Henry, when it came to nike mercurial vapor 'Speed' players there was only one man for the job. When designers at nike mercurial vapor decided to pour all of their energy into developing the world's lightest boot, Ronaldo was the obvious choice to front the revolution of football boot design.

In 1998, football was introduced to a boot that would forever change the game. After extensive testing and research in the Nike labs, Ronaldo was introduced to his new weapon in speed - the very first Mercurial. The original 'Phenomenon' was about to lend his talent, vision and mind-blowing speed to developing the fastest football boot on the planet.

Disguised as a Tiempo boot, Nike equipped Ronaldo with his new Mercurial boots. He went on to wreak havoc on Serie A defenders for Inter Milan in preparation for the '98 World Cup. French soil was soon to be introduced to the world's fastest player with the world's fastest boots.

Weeks later, Nike's most valuable asset, R9, used the biggest stage in world football to announce the arrival of the new Mercurial nike soccer cleats. This wasn't just any boot for any player. Ronaldo's new Silver/Blue/Yellow Mercurials created an impact that rippled to all four corners of the globe.

They caused the kind of stir a shark makes in a fish pond. For boot fans, the France '98 World Cup will forever be associated with the famous Nike R9 Mercurial boots. The marriage of the world's greatest player and the world's fastest boots. R9 marked the beginning of a boot revolution...

Four years later, R9 was still ruling the football world. Once again, Nike were ready to use the global stage of the 2002 World Cup to introduce the latest, most anticipated boot ever to emerge from the Nike labs - the Nike Mercurial Vapor I. Even Nike couldn't have anticipated the impact Ronaldo and the new Mercurial Vapor boots would have in Korea and Japan...

The brief for Nike designers was simple - make the lightest football boot ever. The Vapor I's completely broke the mould for lightweight boots. The new era of 'Super-Light' boots had arrived and was set to take the world by storm. The boots weighed an astonishing 194 grams and were the lightest production boots on the market.

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