NIKE & ROBINHO IN COURT BATTLE OVER FOOTBALL BOOTS

Being a professional footballer is the good life, right? Play the sport you love, travel the world and get free football boots from the best brands on Earth – it’s definitely ‘living the dream’, but for Robinho, it looks like things have turned into a bit of a nightmare!

Robinho plays in a pair of adidas F50 adiZero football boots

Samba superstar Ronbinho has always been a keen wearer of Nike’s football boots – in particular Nike Mercurial Vapor range.

But many keen-eyed football boots fans spotted Robinho wearing a multitude of football boots, seemingly switching at random between his Nike Vapors, Superfly II’s, adiZeros and the Mizuno SuperSonic Wave.

The Manchester City star, on loan at AC Milan, was apparently under the impression that his contract with Nike expired on December 1st 2010 (Robinho blacked-out his Superfly on December 8th in the UCl, then played in the adiZero the following weekend in Serie A), when in actual fact Robinho’s contract with Nike had an ‘Opt-out’ clause.

This essentially means that rather than Robinho’s contract with Nike expiring, it would automatically renew unless the Brazilian gave a period of notice and asked for the contract to be cancelled at the end of it’s current term.

Earlier this month, Nike took Robinho to criminal court in Amsterdam claiming that Robinho was made aware of this clause when he signed his contract, which was written in both English and Portuguese.


New Brazil Home Shirt 2011

Rather than Robinho being allowed to drop his contract with Nike, the judge ruled that not only was Nike’s contract upstanding (tying Robinho into Nike football boots until November 30th, 2014) but every time the 27-year-old takes to the pitch wearing another brand of football boots that isn’t Nike, he must pay the American sportswear giant a staggering 300,000!

Since then, Robinho has appeared in campaigns for the new Brazil Home shirt and the Superfly III (though he isn’t currently part of the ‘Who is Superfly’ contest on Facebook) and things looked to be returning to normal between the two parties.

However, today the story took another dramatic turn today as Robinho filed a lawsuit to end his contract with Nike, this time in a Civil Court in his home district of Sao Paolo.

It seems that Robinho is looking to end his association with the big N, and we’d have to guess that it’s to do with the threat of a 300,000 fine hanging over his head!

There’s no doubt that Robinho’s deal with Nike is lucrative and is rumoured to be in the region of millions of pounds over the 3 and a half years remaining on his contract – if you were in Robinho’s shoes (or indeed – football boots), what would you do?

Let us know in the comments!


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24 Comments

  • Hope and pray that I can get off the hook via the civil court.

    I don’t get how someone like Robinho, who can afford the best agents and lawyers, could overlook something as important and potentially expensive as this in his boot contract.

    He liked the cash and the deal when he signed the contract, he should live up to it.

  • Robinho has always been an idiot, so i can understand Nike very well. Robinho is not the “new Pele”, so even if the contract will be ended its not a big loss for Nike,

  • Without realizing that you must give a period of notice to cancel the contract, even though the contract period had already expired, Robinho was just under the assumption that he started playing in different boots to show the intention to end his ties with Nike. But I guess that wasn’t enough of a sign, so a proper notice must be sent to Nike. These fine prints are becoming a problem, it is only a boot contract!! Nike should respect Robinho’s decision here since he made them millions of boots sales over the years.

  • How can Robinho be so stupid? Oh wait, go it! Despite the skills the majority of Brazilian players seem to have no brains at all. I don’t blame them, the vast majority come from poor backgrounds and have little to none education and they are manipulated by rouge agents, who say are looking after the players but what they are really looking after is their own bank account.

    Even so no excuse to be sponsored by one boot company and play in so many different pair of football boots lately. It looks likes he seeking a new pair of boots to improve his degrading skills.

  • i personally dont see the problem. If he wants out it must mean that his boots arent right for him now and wants something new. I cant see why wanting to wear more comfortable or more functional boots as a problem.

    He might prefer the new adizeros and feels as a result would improve his game. fair play to him

  • degrading skills? you have to be joking yeah maybe playing in england didn’t work for him but it doesn’t for a lot of brazilian players it doesn’t mean they suck they tough style of play is different in serie a he shreds people and for brazil in the world cup he made some of the best defenders look completely stupid so don’t talk about skills this article is about his boot contract

  • @marce10 your joking right? It’s a contract and he has to complete the terms and follow the rules of the contract. He should have known that his contact would automatically renew itself if he didn’t optout. Instead of being grateful that Nike didn’t charge him for the boot changes while still having the contract with them he wants to take them to court? Wow haha.

  • it was stupid -both from robinho and nike.

    robinho: okay, so some of our favorite heroes came from poorer part of the world, living the dream, couldn’t get a grip of simplest thing like some terms in a contract, and make stupid mistakes.
    but it’s in the contract, robinho should honor that. if he can’t do that in the name of the law, at least he should do that in the name of the money that he received.

    nike: suing the poor bastard just make things worse. i know that they’re trying to make money, but pressing charges on robinho only proves that robinho hates the boots and nike hates him. adidas makes far better move: we see players willingly switches to adizero. it shows us that they love the boots and we should too.

    poor robinho, he just wanted to wear quality boots and now he’s stuck with that crap on his feet until 2014; it’s just like wearing an arrest ankle bracelet doesn’t it?

    i don’t want to be in robinho’s boots :p

  • He had agents that he pays to organize all this. He will get off. Civil Procedure Rules and Human Rights Act would see that in England. Lol 300k per game for wearing a certain type of shoe. Either that or he’ll have to just wear blackouts for the duration. Either way I brt he ain’t happy!!!

  • a contract is a contract and he must honour the contract he signed, but Nike are looking silly right now, yet another player who doesn’t want to wear their product…..

  • It’s a very tough situation to be in and I sympathize for the guy. Robinho may not be the most loved player in the world but he still is a player and every person who plays football knows how important it is to wear a boot that fits and supports your game. Apparently Robinho wasn’t finding it with the Mercurial Vapors and wanted to try something new.

  • I think that Robinho is an idiot and that Nike is justified in taking him to court. But if I was Nike, I would be glad that a$$ clown isn’t wearing my boots any more. He is a sh*tty player.

  • CJ has it perfectly right, Robinho is no longer interested in wearing nike footwear. It is important to wear a boot that suits your game at all times. The boots don’t make the player and he could perform well in any boot but some boots are more suitable to each individual person than another pair would be. And none of nike’s boots are “that boot” for robinho. Very simple really.

    Too bad it had to get ugly. Unfortunately who is the biggest loser? Nike. This all casts a very negative light on Nike. Not only are they losing former vapor wearers to the adizero; now because of this court battle it looks like they have to pay players to wear their products. No mystery but this sheds more light upon it for those who might not have cared to be informed otherwise.

    Even worse, a player is prepare to go to court, fight a legal battle, pay all that money, just so he doesn’t get PAID TO WEAR THEIR PRODUCTS. What does this say about the quality of the product?! If someone (an international professional high-profile player) is not only refusing to be paid to wear them; but is even spending money to stop you from paying him to wear them? Wow.

  • not sure what the argument is about here. he signed a contract and thats it. i wonder if my bank will drop my mortgage without penalty so i can go with another bank ha yea right. and it has nothing to do with the quality of a product its all preference and stupidity here.

  • It was very mean for Nike to take him to criminal courts though. I would have been very insulted, when it may have been worked out outside of court but Nike wanted to try to strongarm me anyway.

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