Here on our next All time Greatest XI, we look at the best of the Nike Sponsored players ever to take to the pitch.

For anyone that saw yesterday’s adidas team, you’ll notice the youthful look of the Nike squad. Whereas adidas are steeped in nearly a century of sporting greatness, Nike have only been producing football boots' for a comparitivly short 20 years.

Despite the relatively young look of the team, we’ve lined Nike’s greatest up in a classc 4-4-2 and have shuffled a player or two slightly out of position (sorry Carlos!) But we’re hoping you’ll agree (or improve upon) our idea that these are the great 11 players ever to wear the swoosh of Nike upon their football boots.

Nike football Boots Greatest players


Victor Valdes

Nike haven’t sponsored many goalkeepers, and certainly none that are revered as ‘greats’ just yet; but there’s no doubt that Barcelona’s Victor Valdes is well on upon his way to achieving that status.

Whilst internationally he’ll be known for playing second chair to Iker Casillas in Spain’s goal – Valdes will be known as the most succesful goalkeeper Barcelona have ever had – which is no mean feat when you consider the history of the BlauGrana.


Roberto Carlos

Lauded as one of the most complete wing-backs ever to play the game, Roberto Carlos’ tireless perforances for Club and country earned him 3 UEFA Champions Leagues and with World Cup with the Galacticos of Real Madrid and Brazil respectively.

But it was Carlos’ set-piece abilities that really helped put Nike’s football boots' on the map – The Brazilian’s free-kicks a serious force to be reckoned with on every level of the game, with scientists writing weighty papers' attempting to explain his technique (really!).

Fabio Cannovaro

One of the greatest readers of the game ever to set foot on the field, Fabio Cannovaro is widely regarded as one of the best man-markers of the modern era.

A powerful player needs a powerful boot, and that˘ why Cannovaro has always been a Total 90 player Ĺ›wearing the AZT90 Supremecy as he captained his side to World Cup glory

Paolo Maldini

The immortal Paolo Maldini played in 25 different seasons for the Rossenri, amassing an inconceieveable 902 appearences in the famous Red and Black.

Maldini has racked up 7 scudettos to his name and 5 European Cups/Champions Leagues. His defensive prowess has also earnt him a place in 2 World Cup all-star teams and 3 UEFA European Championships teams of the tournament.

Carlos Puyol

The Lion, Carlos Puyol has served Barcelona loyally with passion and conviction.

Playing in his Nike Tiempo Legend football boots, Barcelona has rewarded Puyol with honour after honour, including the legendary quadruple in 2009, the only thing most fans can complain about is his firey temper on the pitch.

As long as it stems from his passion for the team, that˘ no bad thing by us!


Luis Figo

2001' World Player of the Year Luis Figo is the most' internationally capped player in Portugal’s history, and one of the few to have played for both Real Madrid and Barcelona in this pomp.

Never a Prolific goalscorer, Figo was known for his power and flair in a' variety of positions – famously playing in the original AZ Total 90' ' football boots.

Eric Cantona

We’ve shifted The King himself back from is usual forward role into a more influential attacking midfield, Eric Cantona was part of the incredible Manchester United team that won two league and cup doubles as well as two more Premier League titles.

Spending nearly his entire career in Nike football boots, Cantona’s obligation to the big swoosh didn’t end at retirement – as the Frenchman continued to star in some of Nike’s most memorable advertising campgains including The Cage and a' cameo inn the samba-tastic Airport ’98.' 

Cristiano Ronaldo

Always a bone of contention among fans and players alike, there are few players that divide opinion like Cristiano Ronaldo.

Currently playing in his Mercurial Vapor CR Safari Superfly football boots and valued at 100m, there˘ no disputing the raw talent in Cristiano Ronaldo, it˘ how he chooses to use it over the next few years that will define his legacy as a ‹Ĺ›great˘€žË˜ of the game.



Mr Mercurial himself is single-handedly responsible for inspiring today˘ deadly breed of striker.

Blending pace, power and crowd pleasing skills and tricks, there˘ simply noone better to lead our Nike XI˘ front line.

Patrick Kluivert

All-time highest scorer for the Dutch National team, Patrick Kluivert posessed an extraordinary first touch for such a big player.

Something of a journeyman, Kluivert has been able to ply his trade in some of the biggest leagues in the World, racking up 200 club career goals in 468 games.

We’ve had the toughest time picking out just' 11' Nike football boots' wearing greats; who would you have included in your great XI?

Written By
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  1. says: KK

    Two things:

    1: Has Edgar Davids been sent off, because he’s the only player pictured who doesn’t get a write-up.

    2: It’s Carles Puyol, not Carlos Puyol.

    Irrespective, it’s a good list.

  2. says: harry

    i think footy boots should have made a subs bench. 4 real how romario and henry are not mentioned amazes me and with all the lists readers and footy boots have made, no clarence seedorf, 3 different clubs and 3 european cups. these teams make great debates

  3. says: bob flipper

    no edgar davids write up. and cristiano over Ronaldinho! you got to be joking. i would take ronaldinho in his prime over ronaldo any day.

  4. says: iPodkiller

    Yes, Henry is Reebok, but greatest nike-players ever. That will not say they must be a life long nike-player. So Henry can’t be missed here.

  5. says: Brad Messado

    Henry will always be remembered for his Nike days so he should be there or Bergkamp ahead of Kluivert. Figo had a 1 in 3 goals to games ratio for Portugal so he was a goalscorer as well as provider. and for me to not Include Ronaldinho would be tragic given the joy he gave every1 who watched him even if he comes in for Cantona who was only great in England. Possibly Nesta at his best but it would be hard to call. Puyol and Carlos are on the wrong sides for the OCD people like me too lol. I’m sure most people could think of alot better goalkeepers from nike than Valdes from the last 10-15 years as well, the most shoking inclusion by far.

  6. says: sam

    Cristiano Ronaldo? An all time great? Really? I’m sorry but things like this are severly biased towards players from the last 5 years, what about such legendary players like Romario, Seedorf, and another one that has to be on the ‘small brand’ list………. Van Basten

  7. says: aza246

    In the Adidas XI it mentions there will be an article coming displaying the all star team for those players who have worn more than one brand’s boots. Expect to see the likes of Henry in there. 🙂

  8. says: E@zy

    Tunde’s right, Puyol covers Alves as he used to play there, e.g. last year’s el Clasico he played there. But thats just picking bones.

    Guys, you forgot Ian wright

  9. says: forthefun

    this is an effortless attempt of putting together a nike team. First of all, Davids? lol, that’s pretty random and it doesn’t make sense why he’s even included. There’s players ronaldinho, van nistelrooy, romario, drogba and etc. please redo this.

  10. says: Nina

    i think ruud van nistelrooij is also an important player wearing nikes.. in my opinion better then kluivert.. but yeah ronaldinho not in the team:s

  11. says: broplem

    Really? No Romario..

    Cristiano Ronaldo in place of Ronaldinho?

    Ronaldinho, had his OWN Nike Line of Footwear and Clothing..and he doesn’t make Nike’s Greatest…

  12. says: ignitus

    i thought peter schmeichel was sponsored by nike when he was at manchester city..eventhough his prime time was at manchester united wearing valdes better than schmeichel now?? don’t think so..

  13. says: zaxri

    great team..just change patrick kluivert with ronaldinho (twice player of the year- must be in a team).. maybe goal keeper need to change..jorge campos
    F-rooney or torres or nistelrooy
    DM-makelele or essien
    D-evra or sergio ramos

  14. says: channo

    nike has did it again: the brand itself caused so much controversy, people just couldn’t stand to not talk about them 😀

    – valdes second to casillas?? wasn’t there’s that guy named pepe reina?? he’s wearing joma though… anyway, nike’s first goalkeeper are gonna be Spain’s third guy :p
    – no doubt kluivert is a great player. but i just can’t believe ronaldinho are not on the list!! that guy revolutionized football just like valentino rossi revolutionized motoGP!!
    – henry would be a nice addition for the lineup. but whenever i think of him, all i could remember is a red bull-colored valde pro II. so maybe he just doesn’t have that nike image anymore. good call 😉
    – whoever even think of insulting R9: don’t! that would only means you haven’t seen him play… like really play. that phenomenon is the worst enemy you could ever face and the best, most-reliable guaranteed-to-score teammate u could ever have.
    – some guys already mentioned this: between puyol and carlos, puyol would make a better right-back.
    – i’m just gonna follow the others and remind u guys to update about the edgar davids section.

    nice article! 😀

  15. says: sam

    u guys are weird. after 5 people put ronnie, I think the message is clear. stop clogging up the comments with the same thing.
    also, kluivert was in adidas whilst in barca and newcastle ( i think). and seedorf is in adidas. was he ever in nike?

  16. says: yaR

    Good choices otherwise especially FIGO d boss. Class player. Pure Quality. LEGEND. Btw whos better L. Figo or Zidane? Really cant decide……….

  17. says: Leo

    I can kind of understand the omission of Henry, as he’s been included in the “Other brands All Time Greatest XI”, even though like most, I see Henry being at his best in Vapors.

    However the exclusion of Ronaldinho is outrageous. During his Barcelona years, he was unplayable, he brought joy to everyone that watched him, even the Real Madrid fans that gave him a standing ovation in the 0-3 win at the Bernabeu in 2005-2006 season. He’s better than Kluivert, Cristiano Ronaldo, Figo and Cantona.

    Sorry Footy Boots, but I think you’ve made a big mistake there. It would be nice to see an amended list to account for the readers comments or maybe just let the readers vote on their Greatest XI? Please???

  18. says: Joel N

    I cant believe i even saw someone disagree with Ronaldo! Possibly the best all time! But yeah why no Pitbul write!
    Finally besides how Ronaldinho fell off a bit from his two year in a row World Player, HOW he doesnt make this squad is UNACCEPTABLE!
    He made the Tiempo a huge boot and Nike gave him his own boot.
    Both Ronaldos didnt get theirs, just a different colorway!
    Oh well!

  19. says: Splinter09

    I don’t agree with that list. Cristiano Ronaldo and no Ronaldinho on that list. Correct me if I’m wrong but Romario use to wear Nike Football Boots, so out Kluivert and in Romario please.

    I’m sorry guys but that midfield can be improved with at least another two or three players as well.

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