It’s an interesting question isn’t it? I mean is a world where players can’t get their hands on a new pair of Copa Mundial’s really a world we want to live in? I know it isn’t one that I want to live in. I mean the Copa Mundial is the daddy of football boots. It had its curtain call back in the heady days of football, when Bristol City were a mid-tier side in England’s top flight; and in the 36 years since it hasn’t changed a bit.
This longevity and simple recipe of combining a K-Leather upper with a polyurethane soleplate is why the Copa Mundial stands heads and shoulders above any other boot as the top selling boot of all time. But could that change? Could the day be coming where you won’t be able to get a pair of Copa’s? And why would Adidas potentially do such a thing?
Here’s a few reasons why the tragic event could occur.
1. The Copa Mundial is technically an Anachronism
It’s what makes the Copa so great in my opinion. It’s a boot which technically shouldn’t be here. It’s not built for speed, nor power, nor control. It’s built for players who want a boot with pedigree, with durability.
It’s the only boot Adidas bother to make in Germany. That’s something which is both awesome and worrying. I mean in the last decade we’ve seen the Copa jump about $50 in price. A big part of that jump comes from the fact that it costs more to make a boot in Germany than it does in say, Indonesia, where the Mundial Team Turf boot happens to be produced.
As it is the only boot Adidas still produce properly in house (read: Herzogenaurach), I’m often left both fearing and wondering when Adidas will move to replace the Copa Mundial with a “Copa Lite” style boot. A boot made outside Germany, which will combine a K-Leather forefoot, with a synthetic heel area, and a soleplate borrowed from a boot like the the 11pro. Welcome in the Adidas Gloro – but is it set to be a perfect replacement?
2. Puma did THIS to the King
A long time ago across the quaint Bavarian town of Herzogenaurch Adidas’ arch rival Puma had a boot called the King (it’s actually older than the Copa). It was built in a similar vein to the Copa Mundial. K-Leather upper, polyurethane soleplate, fold over tongue. But in 2013 the good people at Puma decided to say sod it, they killed off their classic and modernized it the result was something with no soul. We widely regard Puma as the cool company of the big three, but killing off a legendary boot worn by Eusebio, Pele, Cruyff, and Maradona, was certainly as far from cool as you can get.
And it worries me, if Puma could do that to a classic, what could Adidas do to the Mundial? Actually it’s probably best not to think about that!
3. There Will Be Haters, Damned Right There Will
Yep, Adidas’ new campaign has made that point really clear, and you know who’ll be leading the charge of haters against Adidas’ new boots? The grizzled veterans that are keeping the Copa Mundial in business!
They don’t hate your shiny new boots because they wish they were in them. They hate your shiny new boots because they’re shiny new boots and not straight out of 1979. You know what else they hated? They hated these!
They want to know why you did this to their boots! Because the only time they’ve seen a colour like this around their feet it was when they enjoyed a few too many beverages on a Friday night. The problem the haters have keeping the Copa Mundial going is that they’re getting older, and they’re playing footy less, their kids aren’t as receptive to a craftsman quality boot and want to speedy flashy boots which the grizzled veterans do so hate.
4. Blackouts and Whiteouts, Been There Done That
This is the scariest thought for me. In recent times when a boot has been nearing the end of its life cycle, boot manufacturers have been known to created fully blacked out or whited out limited edition releases of their boots. Well Adidas have been there and done that in the last twelve months releasing both. Visually they’re both stunning pieces, as you’d expect; and you can actually still find the white out version in a fair few sizes.
It’s not very often you write a piece hoping that you’re way off the mark, but this is definitely one of those times. I don’t want us to lose the Copa. I don’t want Adidas to retire it, that’s not a world I’d like to be in. The Copa Mundial is a legend of the boot world, and connects us back to a time when the game was purer. They’ve been on the feet of some absolute legends of football like Franz Beckenbauer and Michel Platini (in his life before he became a reviled football administrator). So if you haven’t had a chance to experience them, you definitely should; because one day, it might be too late!