One of the longest-running boot-swap sagas in living memory was finally brought to an end last night as Mesut Ozil was finally confirmed as an adidas athlete.
The German international will wear the adidas Predator LZ II in action for club and country, having previously worn the Nike Mercurial Vapor line.
Real Madrid star Ozil was first spotted wearing the adidas Predator Lethal Zones as Los Blancos played out a pre-season tour in the US in 2012, sparking rumours he’d already signed on the line with the Three Stripes.
However, the former Werder Bremen man had a number of conditions in place in his lucrative Nike contract, signed in 2011, included a ‘cooling down’ period towards the end of his endorsement deal – meaning Ozil was obliged to wear Nike football boots (or blacked out adidas cleats) whilst Nike were afforded the option of matching offers from other brands.
Having already broken this rule, Ozil was taken to task by Nike in court in the Netherlands, clarifying Nike’s ‘first refusal’ period was still in effect until May 2013 and he would have to shell out €150,000 a day should he be spotted in branded adidas boots.
Obviously not wanting to trigger Nike’s counter-offer clause again, adidas have wisely waited until the start of the new 2013-14 season to officially declare the Schalke graduate a formal deal, something both parties seem pleased with:
“During my talks with adidas I felt at home immediately. adidas is the number one and has a unique history in the world of football. I wear adidas jerseys when playing for the German national team and for Real Madrid. We’ve now come full circle with this partnership, and I am very proud to be part of the adidas family.” – Mesut Ozil
So, after a full year in boot limbo, Ozil is officially an adidas athlete. Happy to see him in the three stripes? Or just happy it’s all over?
Let us know in the comments!