It is summer and time for football fun. No one mastered the art of playful football more than Ronaldinho, who had his very own boot collection made. We celebrate a legend of the game by taking a look a the iconic boot collection 10R, which was sat on the feet of a true football virtuoso. His cheerful mood and big smile on the pitch inspired a generation and was as big a pleasure to follow as the iconic football boots.
Ronaldinho is without a doubt one of recent times biggest football stars and anyone who followed football in the early years of the millennium, will remember the technical wonders performed by the Brazilian. He made it look so easy, he may as well have been on the beach in Rio de Janeiro. Nike where quick to spot that it was no ordinary footballer they were dealing with and nor was it an ordinary person, because his infectious joy and enthusiasm seemed to affect everyone around him. They quickly signed him and made a special boot series in his honour.
The inspiration for the Ronaldinho-series comes from the iconic Nike Tiempo Legend Gold/White, which is a unique item in any collection. When Ronaldinho then changed to FC Barcelona in 2003, he was quickly a roaring success and seemed unstoppable and invincible. Nike therefore sat down to create a boot worthy of such an immense one-of-a-kind talent, with one colour in mind gold!
And although it at times seemed like football was just fun and play to Ronaldinho, he was incredibly quality conscious, which reflected in his boots. On the underside of the Nike Tiempo Legend I Nike had used a fibreglass-sole, with the Air Zoom-technology, so it was very shock-absorbing without compromising on flexibility. The FG model was made with conical and very soft studs, so he could easily twist and turn, while remaining in complete control of the ball.
With an already impressive boot to base it on, Nike had the chance to continue to develop the boot in a new series, which was called 10R, the numbers naturally being little Ronaldo's number and initial. Ronaldinho sat down with Nike and said that he needed a bigger sweet spot the way he played. Nike therefore gave him a Tiempo Legend he could draw on, so he himself could design and develop a truly unique football boot. This resulted in a cleaner instep and stripe across the toes, which gives a more pure and undisturbed strike on the ball.
The boots quickly turned into an essential part of Nike's boot collection and this resulted in a number of awesome colourways, so the world of football got both the Nike 10R Black/Gold and an equally detail-orintated Gold/White. Worth noting is the the boot tongue, which runs all the way down to the sweet spot and covers the special lasing, which was developed with five stitches. During the whole design process, Nike wanted to make sure this area was made for complete ball control.
It was not just on the football pitch that Ronaldinho strived for perfection. His boots were also filled with small details. This is exemplified by the little embroidering, with Ronaldinho's autograph on the lateral side of the boot, as well as the reoccurring theme, of three red, yellow and orange strings featuring on all his boots. The strings especially are intriguing, as they symbolise strength, inspiration and joy the core values of Ronaldinho's football philosophy.
The equally iconic Nike Ronaldinho 10R Dois was also released, where the most eye-catching feature was the removal of the long boot tongue. The Sweet-spot had been replaced by a large area with a single layer of leather, which had been stitched to have small rectangular pillows, to ensure the best possible control on the ball and control was always the key for the Barcelona and later AC Milan-star, who was never scared to take on defenders.
Also with this model there was made a gold colourway, which really encapsulates the legacy, which Ronaldinho created and built for the world to admire in awe. The cheerful Brazilian, who made his big break for Paris Saint Germain and who is still an active asset for Atletico Mineiro in his homeland, was a unique player. He was the clear winner of the Ballon d'Or in 2004 and 2005, so the gold colours are definitely not out of place. They are in our minds almost synonymous with Ronaldinho and in extension these boots.
Now the extra sharp boot spotter will probably already now have spotted that there is a take-down model among our photographs here. This is simply because we felt we couldn't leave out the classic Black/White colourway, which was the colourway the first 10R boot was launched in.
Here at Unisport we can't help getting nostalgic, when we think back at some of Ronaldinho's best tricks and awesome boots too. What do you think about the 10R-series? Were they worthy of their wearer? As always we would love to hear your comments in the box down below and on Facebook and Twitter.