the king of boots | sports
The Adidas Copa Mundial is one of the greatest pieces of sporting equipment ever made. A pinnacle of sporting excellence, brilliance manifested into an 11.7oz shoe. Thierry Henry, Franz Beckenbauer, Zinadine Zidane, David Beckham, Diego Maradona, Eric Cantona the list goes on... but simply what does Copa Mundial really mean? The best.
Every football fan has seen a pair. Its Adidas’ oldest boot that’s still in production today and there’s a reason why. Copas have stood the test of time. In a world of laceless, fluorescent, mesh footwear that makes a statement, Copas do the opposite. They ooze class. An understated piece of footwear in the modern game, but they are certainly still in fashion. They are everything a football boot should be - soft leather, firm heel, solid yet slight, with a simple but striking design. Nothing more, nothing less.
Every August I find myself doing the same thing in pre-season. Number 1: telling myself I’m gonna get super fit (and I mean N'Golo Kante fit). Number 2: That I’m going to curve the amount I’m drinking. Number 3: buying a new pair of boots. Normally I manage just one of those. Between the two runs, I go on and being convinced to go for ‘just one’ in the local I normally end up in a branch of Sports Direct. I saunter over to the wall of lime green, red, green blue yellow every colour under the fucking rainbow.
Designed and worn by the top professionals in the modern game with billions of pounds worth of sponsorship and advertising. But that's not what footballs about. Sitting there quietly and understated, she calls to me, and I’m drawn like a moth to a flame every time. A constant in my life. As the new Mercurials, Hypervenoms, Predators and evoSPEEDS come and go year on year, they always remain. “Size 10 and a half please."
40 years ago the boot was released. The boot that was originally designed in preparation for the 1982 World Cup (hence the name). With Adidas’ iconic three-stripe design, premium K leather completed with a folding tongue. It was a distinctive look. The vamp pad (base plate of the boot) made of 3mm foam, covered with self-adhesive nylon fabric. A knitted mesh heel, coated with PVC.
With a tongue made of foam and charmeuse fabric, the boots have a light and sturdy feel, and after wearing them for a few weeks they feel like putting on your slippers every Sunday morning. The iconic design has become a benchmark for Adidas. The simple three stripes and it still looks just as mega today as it did in 1979.
The thing that really sets apart the Copas from other boots is the players who wore them. For years they were the weapon of choice for every top player that have become true icons today. Oliver Kahn, Gary Neville, Franco Baresi, Franz Beckenbauer, Andreas Brehme, David Beckham, Lothar Matthaus, Frank Lampard, Zinedine Zidane, and Eric Cantona just to name a few. A ridiculous list of ridiculous players. The main reason they chose to wear them? Because kicking a football in them feels fucking beautiful.