Team Nike or Team adidas?
It’s a question dating back to 750 BC, when the Maya civilisation inscribed three stripes or a tick into balls depending on which brand they were feeling loyal to at the time.
We might have moved on from using human heads as footballs, but the battle between Nike and adidas remains as fierce as ever.
And what better modern battleground than the World Cup for some point scoring? So who’s on top after the opening round of World Cup games?
Adidas kits outscored Nike jerseys by 15 to 12 in the opening round of World Cup fixtures.
Team adidas got off to a good start with Russia hammering Nike sponsored Saudi Arabia 5-0 in the first game, and from there the Three Stripes never looked back.
The game of the round, between Nike’s Portugal and adidas’ Spain, ended in a dead heat thanks to Cristiano Ronaldo’s 88th minute free-kick.
That’s a man earning every last penny of his multi-million pound endorsement deal.
Nike strike back in emphatic style.
Nike boots accounted for 24 goals in the opening round compared to six goals from adidas boots.
Ronaldo netted a hat-trick while Harry Kane and Denis Cheryshev scored doubles to power Team Nike ahead.
You won’t be surprised to hear that Diego Costa was the only player really fighting for Team adidas’ cause, scoring a third of their goals.
It’s worth pointing out that two of Team Nike’s strikes were own goals, but they all count.
Goal of the round
Ronaldo, Cheryshev, Philippe Coutinho and Dries Mertens all put down impressive markers with a varied collection of goals.
But, for technique bordering on incognito browser levels of filth, the goal of the round has to go to Spain defender Nacho.
Any time you feel stressed simply watch Nacho’s lazy right-footed drive and all will be right with the world again.
Nacho was wearing adidas boots and adidas kit when he scored, so that’s a double win for the Three Stripes.
There are early baths, then there are early baths.
Carlos Sanchez’s red card after just three minutes of Colombia’s 2-1 defeat at the hands of Japan was the second fastest in World Cup history.
It didn’t save a goal, it didn’t get him a place in the World Cup record books, but it did prove that he bloody loves his country.
Sanchez was wearing Nike boots and adidas kit, so that’s an L for both brands.
Politics dictated that Nike- a US company- couldn’t supply Iran’s squad with boots.
Whatever your feelings towards the situation, it’s never nice to see a player forced to trot out in pink boots.
Adidas don’t escape scot-free either.
France v Australia and Argentina v Iceland both saw adidas’ World Cup ball pop, with David Warner forced to come out and deny he had any role in the debacle.
New balls please.