In terms of boot debuts, it probably stands out as one of the best of all time.
While other players in Europe got a first chance to turn out in the new Nike CTR360 Maestri on Saturday, Cesc Fabregas showed them just how to do it with a stunning display in Arsenal’s 6 – 2 win over Blackburn Rovers 24 hours later.
Although the Gunners twice had to come from behind, Fabregas was simply sublime. Showing off all 3 main qualities of the CTR360 boot – receiving the ball, controlling it and then distributing it – the Spanish international ran the show at the Emirates.
He started by providing an assist for Thomas Vermaelen to score Arsenal’s first equaliser before two slide rule passes set up further goals for Robin van Persie and Andrey Arshavin as the home team went in to the break 3 – 2 up.
Fabregas then got on to score sheet himself with a sweet left foot volley before twice being involved in a sweeping move in which he ultimately set up Theo Walcott for Arsenal’s fifth.
Fabregas was an integral part of the CTR 360 launch day on Thursday so the Nike top brass in attendance at the Emirates must have been purring over his performance. A quite brilliant display.
Also on Sunday and again in the English Premier League we saw Liverpool’s Javier Mascherano and Lucas play in the new Nike boots though it wasn’t an afternoon to remember for the pair as the Merseysiders went down 2 – 0 to Chelsea with Florent Malouda scoring one of the goals in, you’ve guessed it, the CTR360.
West Ham’s Valon Behrami donned the Nike footwear in the 2 – 2 home draw against Fulham whilst in the Bundesliga, Stuttgart’s Sami Khedira and Arthur Boka tried them out though none too successfully as their team was well beaten 2 – 0 by Werder Bremen. Interestingly, Boka changed in Tiempo’s for the second half. Italian fans were also treated to a sight of the CTR360 as worn by Napoli’s Marek Hamsik in the 2 – 1 loss away to Roma.
On Saturday, another of Nike’s big names, Andres Iniesta, turned out in the new boot along with team mate Sergio Busquets as Barcelona overcame Almeria 1 – 0.
While back over over in Germany two other CTR360 wearers also enjoyed winning afternoons. Gonzalo Castro was part of the Bayer Leverkusen side that beat Nurnberg 4 – 0 while Sven Bender’s Borussia Dortmund took the spoils with a 1 – 0 victory at Borussia Monchengladbach.