ONE CLUB, ONE BRAND?

An increasingly uncommon feature among footballers is the title of being a “one club man”. This respectable declaration belongs only to a few of today’s superstars in the modern mega-money transfer market, and looks to become even rarer in the coming years.

But, how many players can say they’ve been a ‘One Boot Man’? Well, here’s our top three, one from England, one from Wales and one from Italy.

Steven Gerrard

With club since: 1997 (youth contract at age 17)
Team Awards Include: Champions League, UEFA Cup, FA Cup (2)
Personal Awards Include: Football Writers Assoc. Footballer of the Year (2009), Professional Football Assoc. Fans Player of the Year (2001, 2009), FIFPro World XI (2007, 2008)
Current Boot: adidas Predator PowerSwerve

gerrard adidas predator cl star

Liverpool’s captain is one of the truest examples of a ‘one club man’ currently playing in the English game. Born in Whiston, Merseyside, Steven was a fan of the Reds from a young age and was given the opportunity to play for their academy at 9 years old, eventually signing a youth contract with the club in 1997. Of his near-thirteen year tenure with the Reds, how many years were as an adidas lad?

Almost all of them. Before Stevie G donned his pair of adidas football boots in mid 1999, he was actually a Nike man. That being said, over a decade with one brand speaks highly to Gerrard’s seemingly loyal personality or at least, to adidas’ chequebook and their desire to keep one of their most marketable athletes wearing their Predator series.

Ryan Giggs

With club since: 1990-1991 (youth contract at age 17)
Team Awards Include: Premier League (11), Champions League (2), FA Cup (4)
Personal Awards Include: PFA Player of the Year (2009), PFA Team of the Century (1997)
Current Football Boot: Reebok Instante


giggs reebok instante

One of (if not) the greatest Welsh footballers to ever play the game, Giggs has been with Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United since his teenage years; debuting in March of 1991 at the tender age of 17. What football boots has he worn during this illustrious career, and for how long?

Few are likely to know (or remember) that Giggs initially wore a pair of PUMA football boots. If you pay close attention to photographs of him with United in his early years, you’ll be able to see him wearing PUMA football boots in 1992 and early 1993. However, Giggs switched later in 1993 to Reebok, and has been one of their premier sponsorships ever since. Sixteen years with one football boot manufacturer? I’d say that’s long enough to call him a ‘one boot man’.

Paolo Maldini

With club: 1985-2009 (debut at age 16)
Team Awards Include: Scudetto (7), Champions League (5), Coppa Italia
Personal Awards Include: FIFPro World XI (2005), UEFA Team of the Year (2003, 2005), FIFA World Cup Team of the Tournament (1994)
Last Worn Boot: Nike Air Legend Tiempo II

tiempo ii maldini

Having retired at the end of the 08-09 Serie A season, Paolo completed his career where he played his first professional game – AC Milan. Over his career Maldini earned a legendary status with his surging runs as a fullback and his strength and smarts while at centreback. What football boot did he wear while doing it?

Although his career has spanned over two decades, the majority of it has been in a pair of Nike football boots. Even as far back as World Cup 94, Maldini can be seen sporting a pair of Nike’s; the predecessors to the football boots he wore in his last competitive game, the Tiempo Air Legend II. Maldini was one of the flagbearers for Nike’s football boots, which emerged in the early 90’s, and represented them faithfully for over a decade while playing at the highest levels of the game. ‘Solo Per Te’ indeed.

Let us know your favourite ‘one boot men’ by leaving a comment below.


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29 Comments

  • that article is misleading – yes they have sported a boot for a long period of time, but they are not one brand men.

    maldini wore diadora long before nike and as mentioned giggs choice was puma kings.

    what about players who have wore brands and havent changed becuase of the money but because they where the best fit for them.

    take owen for example. he wore umbros at 15 and it hasnt changed since.

  • i think of 2 more
    alex del piero
    if i right he has been adidas for as long as i can remember
    and raul gonzalez
    he has been in adidas recently though he was a reebok man for awhile
    and totti
    nike and later diadora

  • Maybe an interesting counterpoint to this article would be boot “sluts”, who will wear anything they can get their hands on, although it fails me at this very minute to think of a player like that…..

  • how about most of the german national team. they almost all wear adidas and most of them always have. a little unfair that adidas is german though

    • scott if you read stevies’ book it says his uncle was a everton fan an got him the shirt an took him to games. It also says he an owne used to train in spurs shirts, but he is a liverpool fan!

      • he can say whatever he wants,just like how he said he was supposedly “defending himself” from the DJ…where’s the justice?! YSB!!

  • i agree with eric, the germans have a high nationalism sense.
    beautiful article !!!
    wanna read another of this !!!

  • I always thought of John Terry as a one-brand, one-club man but not now. if this article had been written 2 months ago he might have been included.

  • I’am a adidas man..

    Having tried the others Nike Lasers and Puma v1.08

    I now only play in f50i or predators.. finding them a more snug fit and leather material cant be beaten..

  • Hey, look the author meant that a 1 club player have only played for 1 club or have never moved before. Ronaldo, Owen, Ferdy are all out.

    another good shout will be Scholes. not sure if he have/had a contract with Nike.

  • i would like to see an article about what professional players without boot contracts/sponsorships wear..

    that to me is the best indication of what professional’s preferences are…

  • Oliver Kahn always wore adidas boots throughout his career, Iker Casillas has always worn reebok boots, Steve Harper has always worn adidas. Christian Abbiati always asics. And for those who said Totti he wore Nike air zooms up until abot 5 seasons ago. Also was Shearer always Umbro? Cafu/Luca Toni always lotto?

    • Shearer was Umbro his entire professional career. He was pretty much a NUFC player for that span. The consumate pro and one that played for the shirt.

      Although he was offered $$$ to go to adi and Nike, he stuck with the brand that gave him his start as a younster at Southampton: UMBRO a true football brand.

  • some say functions others say product placement and contracts.

    look if you are stevie g or giggsy, who dedicate yourself serious to football, they will stick to a brand they think it’ll work for them the best- at the same time happened to stay at one club for a longg time.

    one article at a time! this was a good one.

    p.s.
    totti was briefly sponsored by nike during the late 2002 to about 2004 after euro 2004; he bloody hated it.

    and in terms of german national team, it seemed to me they all wear adidas during the WC no matter what brand they are spokesman of, for the team and the result, I think they united with adidas. for example frings wore predators altho he wore total 90s before and after? please correct me if I’m wrong. cheers!

  • Shearer wore Mizuno at Southampton and when you consider he played for them Blackburn and Newcastle not exactly a one club man. German players only wore adi because they had to as part of the national team contract. Lothar Matteus stopped that as he was being restricted from fulfilling his Puma deal and so the rest kicked off. Giggs is by far and away the runaway winner of the one club one boot title wore Puma for one season and nothing else but Reebok.

  • del piero wore nike before adidas, he was in the nike cage commercial with erick cantona, and scholes does have a contract with nike, hes been a one club one boot man.

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