THE CAGE

How well do you remember the Nike ‘Secret Tournament’ Scorpion advert?

Has there ever been a better football advert than Nike's 'Secret Tournament' in 2002? (The answer is no)

What do you get when you mix Denilson, Ronaldinho and Seol Ki-hyeon?

The Funk Seoul Brothers, obviously.

So put on Junkie XL’s version of ‘A Little Less Conversation’, get your tracksuit on and let’s talk about the Nike ‘Secret Tournament’ Scorpion advert.


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TV gold

The teams

The tournament, hosted by Eric Cantona on a ship (because why not?), consisted of eight teams.

Seol ki-hyeon’s inclusion alongside Denilson and Ronaldinho might have seemed random at first but when it meant his team were named the Funk Seoul Brothers everything made sense.

The Onetouchables could call upon the brute force of Patrick Vieira, the genius of Paul Scholes and Ruud van Nisterlooy, who we imagine spent the entire tournament goal-hanging.

Thierry Henry, Francesco Totti and Hidetoshi Nakata made up the most stylish team, called Triple Espresso, while the all-Real Madrid cast of Luis Figo, Roberto Carlos and Ronaldo lined up for Os Tornados.

Inspired by Rene Higuita?

Cerberus saw Edgar Davids, Lilian Thuram and Sylvain Wiltord combine, Toros Locos featured Freddie Ljunberg, Javier Saviola and Luis Enrique while Equipo Del Fuego was made up of Claudio Lopez, Gaizka Mendieta and Hernan Crespo.

The final trio, named Tutto Bene, consisted of Fabio Cannavaro, Rio Ferdinand and, in a rare period of fitness, Tomas Rosicky.

Eight teams, 24 players. Who you got?

Os Tornados’ very own

First round

A simple game of first goal wins decided who went through to the next round.

Mendieta put Equipo Del Fuego through against Tutto Bene after baffling Ferdinand with a couple of stepovers, leaving Crespo delightedly climbing the cage.

Then came the battle of the showboats as Ronaldo, Figo and Carlos came out on top against Ronaldinho, Ki-hyeon and Denilson, thanks to this bit of improvisation.

Davids and co made short work of Ljunberg’s Toros Locos before a Totti masterclass knocked out early favourites The Onetouchables.

Keeping up?

Keeping up?

Second round

Semi-final time.

The first place in the final was between Figo, Carlos and Ronaldo’s Os Tornados and the rank outsiders Lopez, Mendieta and Crespo of Equipo Del Fuego.

Game over via the backside of Ronaldo and heel of Figo.

Then it came down to Henry, Totti and Nakata against Davids, Thuram and Wiltord.

What three-a-side dreams are made of.

Lo and behold it was the least heralded of the six, Nakata, who popped up with the winner. Cue mass celebrations in Japan.

Two remain

Final

Are you ready? First off, let’s see how hard you’ve been concentrating.

Davids, Thuram and Wiltord face to face with Ronaldo, Figo and Carlos. Brain versus brawn. Style versus substance.

We’ll let you watch the winning goal for yourself, just for Carlos’ reaction.

Set yourself aside six minutes and watch the full tournament here


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