On the Set of Straight Down the Middle with Rooney & Rory

By now, you’ve probably seen the latest ace Nike viral, ‘Straight Down the Middle‘ starring Rory McIlroy & Wayne Rooney.

The two stars spend their time getting to grips with the new Nike Ordem football in a game of foot-golf – but as it happens, that wasn’t the only way the new match ball was put to the test on-set, as the two stars had time to discuss the virtues of each other’s game in a crossbar challenge.

In their ‘behind the scenes’ video from their time on set, Nike didn’t capture much of the ‘making of’ the ad, but thankfully they did get some top interview time with the ad’s two stars – and (even better) they snagged some of the crossbar challenge contest!

Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy gets to grips with the new Nike Ordem ball

Rory, you're a Manchester United fan. How did that start

Becoming a Man United fan was because all my mum's side of the family supported United. My dad is actually a City fan so obviously there's a bit of rivalry in the house, but I started at a young age and obviously have continued to do so.

What are Wayne Rooney's best attributes as a footballer?

The thing that strikes me about Wayne is just how hard he works on the pitch and how involved he wants to be in every single play. He's an attacking player but he doesn't mind defending and he's really turned into a talisman for United and for England. It seems he loves the game, he loves to play football and it's really good to see.

Final putt for a major or a penalty shoot out in a Champions League final. What's the most pressurised and why?

I think the most pressure would be the Champions League final. Trying to hole a winning putt for a major is very pressurised as well but I'm not part of a team, I'm not letting down other people if I don't score that penalty. I think having the last penalty in the Champions League final to win, not just for yourself but for your team-mates brings a little more pressure.

Rory, crossbar challenge later. Who's going to win?

It depends. If there is a golf club and golf ball involved I'll be ok but if I have to kick a football, I'm definitely at a disadvantage. It should be a lot of fun and hopefully Wayne can give me some tips on how to kick a football better.

Wayne Rooney and Rory McIlroy

On the Set of Straight Down the Middle with Wayne Rooney & Rory McIlroy

Wayne what do you think of Rory's footballing skills?

WR: Not bad, he's good. He's obviously better now he's got the boots on and he's scored a couple of good goals as well so not bad.

Better than you thought he'd be?

WR: I don't know. I spoke to him before and he said that he plays a bit of football, a bit of five-a-side so I expected him to know a bit about football and a bit about what he was doing.

Rory, what did you think about Wayne at golf?

RM: I haven't seen much today but we're going to go out and hit a few now but he's obviously very keen and tries to play as much as he can so I wouldn't mind going out there and playing a few holes and giving him a couple of tips to make him that wee bit better.

Who's going to win?

RM: Depends on how many shots he's getting.

WR: He's not giving me enough by the way; he's trying to cheat me. ' No, obviously he'll win but it will be great to go and play with him and watch him up close and see how the best do it. I'm really looking forward to it.

Wayne Rooney

Wayne Rooney gets to grips with the new Nike Ordem ball

Wayne, you're a big golf fan. What do you love about the game?

What I love about golf is playing it when we have the time. With football, we don't always get the time but when you do get out, it is a great sport. For the likes of myself it is so difficult to be consistent. By playing a little bit you appreciate what the players at the top are doing because it's such a hard thing to do. It's great to see that.

Are you as competitive on a golf course as you are on a football pitch?

I don't know. I'm obviously competitive and you want to win no matter whether it's football, golf, playing on computers or whatever you're doing, you want to win. I've calmed down a bit. I used to be quite bad on the golf course. ' I have calmed down and I know I'm not going to hit every ball great. I've come to terms with that now I think.

What do you love about the way Rory plays his game?

From what I've seen of Rory's game, he's aggressive. He takes the pin on when maybe some players don't and I think there the players you want to watch. He's still a young lad and to be so successful at such a young age is incredible. The thing about golf is you need a lot of concentration and so to do that at a young age is great to see and hopefully he continues.

What's more pressurised? Rory going for a putt to win a major or you stepping up to take a penalty in a shoot out in a Champions League final?

Ooof. I think they're both up there. It depends. For me it would be the Champions League final and for Rory it would be the putt. They're both tough but it would be great to be in that position and to have that opportunity. They're both high- pressured events and hopefully one day we'll be able to see that happen.

What are the similarities between football and golf?

In golf obviously you have to keep yourself in good shape as well because there's a lot of core exercise, which helps you keep your balance. In football we do a lot of that as well. Football's obviously more intense but golf is probably more high-skilled.

Crossbar challenge later. Who's going to win?

Is Rory kicking a ball or is he hitting a golf shot?

Kicking a ball.

He's kicking a ball? Then I think I'll win. I hope so anyway.

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