I’ll always remember my first pair as a youngster. They were the green and black Diadora boots Roy Keane used to wear.
I took the spirit of Keane into my next game and wasn’t allowed to play for that club again. To be fair I was only seven.
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But the first time I can really remember seeing a pair of boots on TV and taking note was the 1998 World Cup final.
Zizou’s Adidas Predator Accelerator were a thing of pure beauty.
It got me thinking back on other World Cup goalscorers and the boots they were wearing when they found the back of the net.
(I couldn’t really remember any of them so I had to Google it all).
1998 World Cup: Brazil 0-3 France
Although it was Zizou’s head that did the talking with two goals in the ’98 World Cup final it was his feet that caught the eye.
The three flashes of white against the black and red looked like an angry shark engaging in a boot of footballing ballet, via Zidane’s feet.
Emmanuel Petit, scorer of the third goal, kept it classy in some Adidas Copa Mundials.
2002 World Cup: Germany 0-2 Brazil
Ronaldo finally got his hands on a World Cup medal four years later when he beat an irate Oliver Khan twice to give Brazil a 2-0 win.
He was wearing a silver pair of Nike Mercurial Vapors- a classic silhouette in its own right.
You can only pull off chrome boots if you’re a bit special.
2006 World Cup: Italy 1-1 France (Italy won on penalties)
Another World Cup final, another chance for Zizou to score in a pair of Adidas Predators.
This time his Panenka penalty was scored wearing a pair of Predator Absolutes, although Marco Materazzi equalised wearing a pair of Nike Mercurial Vapor III.
Ironically both boots would get plenty of airtime in arguably the most iconic World Cup picture since the Hand of God.
What’s the French for ‘forehead to chest’?
2010 World Cup: Netherlands 0-1 Spain (AET)
With a flash of his right foot Andres Iniesta won Spain a first ever World Cup.
He did so wearing a pair of NikeCTR 360 Maestri Elite boots which were part of the Elite series rolled out by Nike ahead of the tournament.
Iniesta would have made any boot look good the way he took the goal. Apart from Sondicos. No one makes them look good.
2014 World Cup: Germany 1-0 Argentina (AET)
After 113 minutes of dreadful football every neutral in the world was willing the final to go to penalties.
But Mario Gotze, who came on as a substitute in the 88th minute, spoiled the party.
He volleyed home with underrated ease wearing Nike Magista Obra boots to hand Germany the trophy.
Gotze hasn’t done much since, and didn’t make Germany’s 2018 World Cup squad, but who cares?