Messi wears the Adidas F50 adiZero, Ronaldo wears the Vapor VIII, Van Persie wears the adiPower Predator, Aguero wears the evoSpeed……but the best player in Europe currently wears the Nike CTR360 Maestri III.
Andres Iniesta was today named the UEFA Player of the Year and with it, the Nike CTR360 gained one up on the their leading competitors in the market.
Although the fore mentioned Messi and Ronaldo had incredible seasons this past year, Iniesta absolutely deserves full credit for his top level inspirational performances both for club and country. Only last week we got a glimpse of his latest cameo appearance for Nike, where he is the Puppet Master. And for those that point out it is not the boots that make the player, I agree. But the point here is that Iniesta made the decision to wear the CTR360 Maestri over all other boots!
A few weeks back, I finished reviewing the CTR360 III and they worked out really well. Overall, they didn’t have that X-factor that I was looking for to put them at the top of all boots reviewed, but I can see why they would suit Iniesta’s game so well. In a sense, they are the perfect boot for the center midfield creator, especially since he played a role in the boots development! Having the control region on the side suits his ability to trap balls while moving it forward with pace and the ACC (All Conditions Control) means he has a boot that is fully functional in all weather conditions.
For those interested in picking up a pair, the Sonic Yellow colorway currently retails for $199.99.
More about the CTR360 Maestri III:
The Upper – Design and Kanga Lite
One thing that has stayed consistent is the two-tone upper design. On this version, Nike has selected a Black/Yellow that mimics the similar T90 Laser K colorway released last year and the GS released last month. The upper made using Nike’s tried and trusted Kanga-Lite, while they also feature a new All Conditions Control (ACC) technology. Obviously, I’m already to see what this ACC has to offer, with Nike stating it provides the same level of control in either dry or wet conditions. Again, you get off-centered lacing, ensuring you get a large zone for taking the ball down and striking shots with enhances touch sensitivity through the region.
Control – What is Lining the Instep?
The instep features one of the more intriguing parts of this boot, with fins lined along the control region, designed to hug the arch and maximize contact with the ball. This is an area that Nike has really focused on perfecting and the revamped 3D control pad seems to be an important aspect of this boot. Since they are designed for the playmaker, ensuring control is completely optimized obviously plays a role in the success of the range.
Soleplate and Stud Configuration
Again Nike has changed things up with their sole of the boot, from initial images it looks like they have made some positive changes. The inclusion of round studs on the medial and blades on the lateral side of the soleplate seem to make perfect sense for midfielders who need to make sharp turns throughout the game.
Weight – Shaking Things Down
Lightweight seems to be the big thing and as you would expect, Nike has dropped the range down from 10.8oz. We have unconfirmed reports that the new range will weigh in at 9.2oz but nothing official to date – once we get full details from Nike we will update.
Do you think Iniesta deserved to win this years UEFA player of the year, or should Messi/Ronaldo have got it? Leave your comments below.