Before Ronaldo referred to Cristiano, a player who didn’t need more than a single word for the world to know who he was held the mantle. Younger fans who may have only caught the tail end of his career might be unfamiliar with just how dominant the original Ronaldo was at his peak.
Before being ravaged by a devastating pair of knee injuries Ronaldo was the world’s most feared striker. The 1998 UEFA Cup final, where Ronaldo tormented fellow Serie A club Lazio, and an all time great defender in Alessandro Nesta in particular, stands as Il Fenomeno’s signature performance.
The Air Max Mercurial 98 is Nike’s tribute to the cleat that the lethal Brazilian wore while tallying up the majority of his 352 total career goals. The blue and gold colorway matches the iconic Brazilian soccer kit worn by Ronaldo during the 1998 World Cup in France. The Mercurial’s transfer from grass to asphalt sees the cleats replaced by an Air Max sole unit, and a modernized, Hyperfuse upper.
The Nike Air Max Mercurial '98 QS launches Wednesday June 8th in limited quantities.