Some of the best players on the planet will turn out in World Cup qualifiers this weekend wearing the new Nike CTR360 Maestri football boot in international competition for the first time.
And having examined a number of training sessions in the days leading up to Saturday and Sunday’s action, it looks like Germany and Spain are leading the way in CTR360 clad squad members.
The German’s, who are away to Russia in Group 4, have at least three players who look like they are planning on wearing the new Nike footwear. Stuttgart’s Cacau, youngster Marko Marin of Werder Bremen along with the highly experienced Miroslav Klose have all worn the new boot in training for what is sure to be a crunch game. Germany currently leads the group with 22 points, just one ahead of the Russian’s. The winners will almost certainly progress while the losers will doubtless face the play-offs.
There are no such concerns for Spain who have already qualified for the tournament in South Africa next year. But, like Germany, they have three players in their squad who have taken to wearing the CTR360 ahead of the match against Group 5 basement boys Armenia.
Andres Iniesta is of course one of Nike’s biggest names and has already worn the boot playing for Barcelona. He’s joined by Barca team mate Sergio and the man of the moment, Arsenal’s Cesc Fabregas who made such a spectacular debut in the boot, inspiring the Gunners to their 6 – 2 win over Blackburn Rovers on Sunday.
Like Fabregas, Florent Malouda has already hit the back of the next in the CTR360 and will be hoping to do so again for France as they look to wrack up the goals against the Faroe Islands in Group 7. The French still have a chance of winning the group but they need Serbia to slip up at home to Romania then away to Lithuania next week.
Outside of the European action, many eyes will be on Diego Maradona’s Argentina who have slipped to 5th place in the South Americam group. But they’ll be relatively confident of overcoming bottom side Peru in Buenos Aires. Javier Mascherano is expected to play in the CTR360 having given them a try in Liverpool’s 2 – 0 loss to Chelsea last weekend.
And keep an eye out for Lucas on Sunday as Brazil play at altitude against Bolivia. Lucas was another to use the CTR360 in Liverpool’s game at Stamford Bridge.
Have you see any other international players training in the CTR360? If so, leave us a comment below.