Much to the chagrin of Roy Keane, swapping shirts with a player is an accepted practise in professional football, with players often relishing the chance to grab a souvenir from playing a game against a revered opponent.
However, that tradition was taken to new extremes last night in the semi-finals of the FIFA Club World Cup as Atletico Mineiro took on Moroccan Champions Raja Casablanca – with Mineiro boasting Ronaldinho in their ranks.
After the game – which was an upset in the favour of' Raja – many of the Moroccan team’s players attempted to snag a moment with Ronaldinho after the final whistle had blown, and whilst only one could get his shirt, the rest improvised asking for the Brazil international’s shorts, socks and brand new Nike Tiempo Legend V football boots.
And, naturally, the Barcelona, AC Milan & PSG legend accepted. What a guy.
Which leads us to ask, has there ever been a more hotly-desired pair of football boots in the history of the game?
It’s the sort of story that gives Nike PR they couldn’t have paid for as their latest boot reaches store shelves, especially after the attacker put away an absolute worldie of a free kick earlier in the game.
It seems churlish to think that, almost four years ago, there was plenty of stick thrown Nike’s way for including Ronaldinho in their ‘Write the Future’ World Cup 2010 ad. Still doing the business today, Nike’s faith in the Brazilian star is clearly well placed.
An outside shot of being in Brazil’s World Cup squad for next summer, it’s clear that there are at least a few die-hard fans of the ‘Dinho (and not just in Morocco).
And with goals like that, there’s good reason.