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.
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
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.
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
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’.
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
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.