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Nike stars train in blackout Nike Mercurial prototype

While training in Doha, Bayern Munich players Mario Götze, Mario Mandzukic and Xherdan Shaqiri laced up in a blackout Nike Mercurial prototype which gives a few interesting hints towards what Nike are brewing up for the World Cup.

With the 2014 World Cup approaching, we are getting more and more excited to see what the good folks from the Swoosh have cooking for us. Nike are well known for showcasing the pinnacle of technology at big tournaments, and this year, it's arguably one of the biggest World Cups ever. Oh, and it's hosted in Brazil. As Nike Global Creative Director for Football Martin Lotti has said "if Nike were to be a country, it would be Brazil."

Therefore, we're expecting Nike to have something pretty extraordinary up their sleeve - and now it might look like we'll have a new Nike Mercurial come the World Cup. Previously Nike haven't been afraid of throwing away the conventions with the Superfly and Elite series, and we might see something equally innovative this time. What that is, however, remains to be seen, and your guess is as good as ours.

During their training trip to Doha, Bayern Munich players Götze, Mandzukic and Shaqiri all wore blackout Nike prototype football boots that look to be something out of the ordinary; they appear to have some sort of built-in sock that hugs the ankle and makes the football boot stand out, even though it's a blackout. That's a feat not every blackout football boot has, and it certainly made us look twice when we saw the first images of the prototypes.

We're not surprised though, as the creative gentlemen from the Nike Innovation Kitchen keep coming up with technology and features that we've never seen before, and with the 2014 World Cup being a big one for Nike, everything can happen. We honestly wouldn't be surprised to see a built-in sock come out of the Innovation Kitchen, and would be quite fitting for the tenth generation of the Mercurial Vapor silo - a football boot always known for pushing the technological limits.

Looking into the details of the Nike Mercurial prototype on the feet of the Bayern stars, there appears to be some familiar lines on the side of the upper which instantly leads our thoughts back to the Flywire technology from the Mercurial Vapor Superfly football boots from a few years back. Could we be seeing the return of Flywire to the Mercurial silo? And maybe even - after years of speculation - a new Superfly?

Yeah, we know, the Superfly line was discontinued with the introduction of the Vapor VIII, but since then there's been a lot of people wanting another Superfly, which was the boot most commonly associated with the Flywire technology. Since then, Nike have of course also introduced their Flyknit technology in their footwear, but if it's ready to be incorporated to football boots remains to be seen.

What can we expect for Brazil 2014 from Nike then? Well, the only thing we know for sure is that we expect something grand. What exactly Nike have in store for us only time will tell... Stay tuned - we're just getting started!

What do you think the mystery Nike Mercurial prototype actually is? Will we see a Mercurial Vapor X during the World Cup in Brazil or even a brand new Superfly? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.