With El Clásico coming up this weekend, a big tip of the cap to the folks over at Soloporteros for the above image profiling the boots of El Clásico, which will occur on Sunday at the Bernabéu. Personally I’d love to see more images profiling who’ll be wearing what in the big matches, and I am a fan of the statistical breakdown. So what I wanted to do was throw together a few quick words on some of the interesting numbers and the interesting boots which will be worn in the big match.
First and foremost I spied that FIFA Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo will be debuting Nike’s brand new “Fast Forward 2010” edition of the Mercurial Vapor IX, these boots are white hot, they’re so hot that they were literally just release today! And who better to sport them for their first run out than Nike’s main man? Also while looking at Real Madrid, after Gareth Bale’s successful debut in the Adidas F50 Crazylight, he’ll be hoping that they put in another sterling performance. Barcelona will be countering of course with Lionel Messi wearing his own customized pair of F50’s.
There’s also an interesting look into what style of boot each team sports, the possession based passing heavy style of Barca sees 70% of their outfield X wearing either Control or Heritage releases, where Real’s game is based more around speed with 50% of their starters in boots either F50’s or Vapor IX’s. Despite often pointing out the difference in styles I had never actually taken a statistical look at what each player was wearing on their feet during matches.
Speaking of statistics, I noted that Nike sponsored Barca see 50% of their outfield X in Nike branded shoes, and 50% of Adidas sponsored Real’s outfield X are sporting Adidas, the major outliers being the two star draws of each side who wear a pair of boots contrary to their clubs kit sponsor. Barca man Cesc Fabregas is also the only player not to wear a pair of boots offered by either kit supplier as of course he’s a Puma man and will be sporting the control based Puma evoPOWER.
Also nice to see was the number of heritage releases being worn, 75% of the Real backline will be sporting the Nike Tiempo Legend V, and if you were to add Gerard Pique into the mix exactly half of the rear guard of both sides will be sporting Nike’s latest heritage boot, which seems to be a wee bit more popular among players than the Adidas Adipure 11pro, which only finds the feet of defensive midfielder Xabi.
Finally, I did pick up one small error in the above chart where it comes to boot lines among midfielders, where the graph lists 0% of midfielders sporting heritage releases, however, that should be switched up as Xabi will be patrolling the midfield for Real in his Adipure’s, I can forgive them the one error as the entire graph is brilliant!
So there you go a little football boot sabermetrics to mull over in the run up to what should be an absolute cracker of a match on Sunday!