Now that the BBC has celebrated it’s annual Sports Personality of the Year shindig (and well done to all the current footballers who were shortlisted – all none of you) it’s time to get down to the real thing as we publish the' Footy Boots Xmas Awards 2008, otherwise known as The Studdies.
Congratulations to all the winners, commiserations to the also-rans and please remember, it’s just for fun so don’t get arsey if we have a pop at you.
Most embarrassing football boot moment of the year – Umbro
Even after all these months, it’s hard not to still feel sorry for John Terry. A more honest pro it would be hard to find and he also seems to have cleaned up his act off the pitch too. So it’s doubly painful to recall his dreadful experience in the Champions League final against Manchester United. There he stands, with a penalty to win the trophy…he runs up and whoops-a-daisy, his Umbro SX Valor’s let him down and he ends up on his backside as his spot kick hits the post. The Umbro hierarchy must have been choking on their prawn sandwiches at that point. The Luzhniki Stadium bar probably did a roaring trade in finest Russian vodka that night as sorrows were drowned.
Best football boot launch of the year – Bikkembergs
As the actor Christopher Lambert says in Highlander “There can be only one.” And indeed there is. Take a bow Dirk Bikkembergs. His new football boot was launched at the Stazione Leopolda, Florence. In true Bikkembergs tradition, the Tirosegno was displayed sixtyfold on top of black lacquered columns and overlooked by 10 gigantic pictures. These pictures were at first hidden by black curtains in an even darker room. The guests received a torchlight and discovered the reflective qualities of the Tirosegno while walking amidst the columns. One by one, the pictures were uncovered during a countdown, at the end of which the room was totally lit up by a set of dazzling stadium lights coming from behind a stage packed with 100 male models wearing the new boot. Pure class.
Most cringing football boot quote of the year – Nike & Niklas Bendtner
Oh dear, oh dear oh dear oh dear. A few days after the launch of the Nike Mercurial Vapor Berry, the Arsenal striker came out with this little gem. “I love it. I always wanted to play in a pink boot ever since I was young. I never saw anyone play in a boot like it. I think it’s an outstanding colour and looks amazing.” Nothing about winning a World Cup, scoring the winning goal in the Champions League final or even becoming a better player. No, not for Niklas. His dream – to play in a pink boot. What’s next on the Bendtner list of things to accomplish? Buying a family bucket from Kentucky Fried Chicken perhaps?
Best performance in a new boot
There have been players who have scored when wearing a boot for the first time, midfielders who’ve bossed a game and defenders who have singlehandedly kept the opposition at bay. But this year’s award goes to a player who lost the match in which he debuted his new footwear. Playing in goal for Real Madrid isn’t easy right now but Iker Casillas was in inspired form when he lined up against Barcelona just the other day. The Spanish international produced a string of world class saves in his Reebok Valde Pro’s and even kept out a penalty before he was beaten at the death by Samuel Eto’o and Lionel Messi.
Most over blown, over hyped nonsense of the year – Nike Mercurial Vapor Berry
Franck Ribery starred in a video promoting them and, as mentioned above, Niklas Bendtner’s dream came true when he played in them. But 24 days after they were first shown to the world, the limited edition pink Berry’s took a major back seat in the final round of group matches in the Champions League as Ribery, Bendtner and a host of other Nike players all turned out in the new Vapor Citron. 24 days! That’s not limited. That’s virtually extinct.
Best football boot video of the year – Puma v1.08 Pink
We’ve seen some fantastic CGI this year, some amazing trickery and interviews and an astonishing range of intricate and wonderfully creative ideas. But this video has loads going for it in spades. First off, there’s a gorgeous model, wearing only a pink bikini, socks and high heels. And she’s talking French. Sexily. Not bad. But the clincher is that Nicolas Anelka, the pink v1.08 ambassador, is in shot the entire time, tied to a chair and gagged, which means he doesn’t utter a word. What more do you need in a video?
Best football boot competition of the year – Nike
A brilliant idea this, getting fans to design a pair of boots to be worn by Nike’s contracted players in the Premier League clash between Arsenal and Manchester United. The competition produced over 15,000 entries with the winners treated to a VIP day out at the game itself to see their creations being worn on the pitch. Theo Walcott received more designs than any other player so hats off to Ben Pricthard who came up with the winning Vapor boot. The Footy Boots favourite was Cesc Fabregas’s Tiempo by Jan Szabala.
So, thats our list. If you think any brand or particular football boot deserves an award, then use the comments section below for your suggestions.
Dodo cartoon from www.urmstonartcompany.co.uk'