Cristiano Ronaldo match worn Nike Mercurial Superfly IV CR7 'Natural Diamond' &  Vapor III football boots

Cristiano Ronaldo match worn Nike Mercurial Superfly IV CR7 'Natural Diamond' & Vapor III football boots


Player name: Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro

Clubs: Sporting CP, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Juventus, Al Nasser

Country: Portugal

Position: Forward

DOB: 05/02/1985

Height: 6 ft 2 in

Cristiano Ronaldo is a Portuguese professional footballer who plays as a forward for and captains both Saudi Pro League club Al Nassr and the Portugal national team. Widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, Ronaldo has won five Ballon d'Or awards, a record three UEFA Men's Player of the Year, and four European Golden Shoes, the most by a European player. He has won 33 trophies in his career, including seven league titles, five UEFA Champions Leagues, the UEFA European Championship and the UEFA Nations League. Ronaldo holds the records for most appearances (183), goals (140) and assists (42) in the Champions League, goals in the European Championship (14), international goals (128) and international appearences (206). He is one of the few players to have made over 1,200 professional career appearances, the most by an outfield player, and has scored over 890 official senior career for club and country, making him the top goalscorer of all time.


In this blog we will be delving into the details of not one, but two pairs of Nike Mercurial's which were match worn by one of the greatest players of all time, Cristiano Ronaldo, at differing stages of his illustrious, star starstudded career. As is to be expected, any match worn piece of CR7 is the equivalent of absolute gold dust, being neigh-on impossible to acquire. This does of course in turn mean that collectors across the globe are searching for pieces to add to their collection which may take years to find and acquire, but it's certainly worth it to get your hands on a match worn piece from the career of a true GOAT.

The first pair in which we are going to discuss are those in the picture above, namely the Nike Mercurial Superfly IV. However this isn't any regular Mercurial, this is the 'Natural Diamond' colour way which was a CR7 signature release model, and as this pair here were worn by the man himself they have been specially bespoke made by Nike to Ronaldo's exact specifications & requirements, with them having numerous modifications and differences over the standard version of this model which was mass produced and sold commercially on the retail market. Nike released this model back in March of 2016, with Ronaldo wearing them from then until the end of the 2015/16 season, before changing into the next model of the Superfly for the UEFA Euro 2016 tournament.

The Mercurial Superfly CR7 'Natural Diamond' was the 2nd of 7 football boot models launched over the neighbouring seasons. The 'Natural Diamond' model seen here, represents CR7’s journey from Madeira to Lisbon as he progressed from a diamond in the rough to a polished performer. Ronaldo moved away from home as a child to pursue his dream of becoming a professional footballer, something Ronaldo referred to as “most difficult part of my career so far.” Nike’s design team drew upon this story when creating the Mercurial Superfly CR7 Natural Diamond, channeling how Ronaldo has forged his game through hard work over the years. The boot’s name acknowledges Ronaldo’s natural ability but also how he crafted his game under pressure. The diamond aspect is further highlighted by the sparkle visible in the Swoosh and the CR7 logo.

 The 2015-16 season was a very special one for Ronaldo, with him scoring 16 goals in 12 appearences for Real Madrid during that seasons UEFA Champions League campaign, pioneering Los Blancos to their 11th Champions League triumph beating Atletico Madrid in the Final. CR7 would later go on to lead Portugal to victory at the UEFA European Championships that summer, getting his first international trophy. He was later crowned best player in the world when he was awarded the Ballon d'Or later that year, collecting the 4th of his career at that point.



Due to their bespoke nature, CR7's custom football boots do not feature any internal size labels. Instead, they feature a number hand written inside each boot, this number refers to Ronaldo's custom foot last (or mould) inside the factory in which they were manufactured. As with many of Nike's top elite sponsored athletes, Ronaldo's footwear are handmade inside their 'Athlete Services' factory which is located in Montebelluna, Italy, a factory in which they have produced the custom equipment for some of the very best stars of the beautiful game since 1996. Each pair of football boots made inside this factory are made with such precision and specificity in order for the athlete to get optimal performance. 

Cristiano Ronaldo became iconic in the footballing world for wearing a modified version of the Mercurial Superfly on the IV & V models which Nike manufactured for him only. Specifically, the main modification which was the talk of the town at the time was to the Dynamic Fit Collar which Nike introduced on the Superfly IV. The reasoning behind this technology innovation decision was to provide the wearer with a "sock like fit & feel" with the Flyknit upper combining with the DFC to create a full one-piece upper construction. CR7 was the highest profile athlete endorser of this model as he was, and still is, the face of the Mercurial silo so Nike had to make it absolutely paramount that Cristiano was comfortable and happy with the design of the boots.
The Dynamic Fit Collar construction on the retail specification Nike Mercurial Superfly IV featured a thick double layer Flying with ventilation holes on either side of the ball of the ankle, the top area featured a thick coloured accent around the edge as a cosmetic design piece. It had little elasticity and did, through its thickness, provide some support to the ankles of the wearer. The Mercurial branding featured at the wax coated heel strip in the centre, along with a line of stitching which ran around the edge of the strip. On CR7's version however, it was entirely different. 
The version in which Ronaldo actually wore on his pairs consisted of a completely different Flyknit construction, with it being fully elasticated and very stretchy in all angles - the polar opposite to that of the retail version. It is also much thinner due to it being a single layer construction as opposed to double layer, and does not feature the ventilation holes where the ball of the ankle sits - it instead has ventilation holes all over, naturally, due to the way in which the knitted material has been constructed. Ronaldo's version does not feature the line of stitching running around the edge of the blue strip on the heel, and the Mercurial logo is instead at the top of the collar as opposed to the centre, this is due to the fact that CR7's Dynamic Fit Collar was around half the height of the retail, which leads us to the conclusion that this is essentially just a cosmetic design and does not have any performance benefits. Nike needed CR7 as their highest profile sponsored athlete to be endorsing their top level product, the Superfly, rather than the Vapor, however what we see here is essentially the exact opposite of what the Superfly IV Dynamic Fit Collar was designed to do. This leads us to the point we mentioned above, of Nike needing to ensure that Cristiano was happy wearing this model of boot. To do this, it appears they had to design an entirely bespoke version just for him - a little deceiving to the general consumer, who was lead to believe, by the marketing, that Ronaldo was wearing retail specification boots on the pitch, when as we can see up close here, he was not...
The custom Dynamic Fit Collar is combined with a bespoke heel construction, too. Here, in Cristiano's match worn pair, the heel counter has been reinforced, and when I say reinforced, I mean it is completely solid to the point where there is absolutely zero flex whatsoever. We have seen this same bespoke heel contraction in CR7's Nike Mercurial Superfly III, so it would appear that this is a recurring detail in his boots, namely, within his Superfly model pairs. The custom internal heel counter also rises much higher than the retail version does, it actually comes right up to the base of the Dynamic Fit Collar.
From the lateral & medial side view angles we can see just how drastic the custom heel shape of Cristiano's version is in comparison to the generic retail model. It protrudes out at the top due to the internal heel counter coming up so high, we can also see here just how much lower his version of the Dynamic Fit Collar was in a side-by-side comparison to the retail. You may be shocked to know that CR7's boots measure to be, in length, around a UK size 8 - or 9 in US sizing. It is rumoured within the football boot world that Ronaldo wears his boots around 1.5 sizes smaller than his feet actually are, and this is so that he can get the barefoot feel on the ball when playing on the pitch. This detail alone just goes to show how dedicated Cristiano is in getting as many advantages as he possibly can, even sacrificing the general health of his feet. In the above comparisons, we can also see that CR7's toe box is noticeably shorter than the retail version, it is also raised with a higher profile, which is a frequently seen detail within CR7 match worn & match issued boots.
On this model of Mercurial Superfly, Cristiano actually used the same soleplate as the retail version. It is a full length carbon fibre construction, which provides a high energy return but is also rigid which aids in responsiveness when pushing off to sprint and when changing direction. The only difference here between the two soles, and it is actually rather hard to see on the picture above due to lighting, is that the Nike Swoosh on the retail pair is a silver colour to match the Swoosh on the upper, whereas Ronaldo's pair feature a white Swoosh on the plate. A small detail, but still a difference. We can also see there that there are still specs of grass from the pitch from the last time in which Ronaldo used this pair. 
The second pair we are going to show you here, is a pair which are from the early period of Cristiano Ronaldo's wonderful career. The pair above are a pair of Nike Mercurial Vapor III which CR7 wore during the 2007-08 season whilst playing for Manchester United in the Barclays Premier League. Now, whilst this pair feature much less modifications to them in comparison to the Superfly IV pair we have just discussed, they do represent a different era of Ronaldo's success. 
Even at this early stage of CR7's career, Nike were producing his footwear inside the Athlete Services factory in Montebelluna, Italy, all by hand to his exact specifications & measurements. We can see above that, due to this, there are no internal size labels, this pair however, measure to be around a UK7.5 in size, which is a US8.5 if you are American, so around half a size smaller than the other pair in this blog, which Ronaldo wore some 8 years later.
In the 2007/08 season, CR7 scored a staggering 31 goals and made 6 assists in just 34 appearances in the Barclays Premier League. These stats, combined with some absolutely staggering performances for Manchester United, lead to Cristiano winning the first Ballon d'Or of his career in 2008 at age 23, off the back of the 2007/08 season. Cristiano signed for Manchester United in 2003, winning the FA Cup in his first season. He would also go on to win three consecutive Premier League titles, the Champions League and the FIFA World Cup. Ronaldo subject of the then-most expensive transfer when he signed for Real Madrid in 2009 in a transfer worth €94 million (£80 million). He became a key contributor and formed an attacking trio with Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale which was integral to the team winning four Champions Leagues from 2014 to 2018, including La Décima. During this period, he won back-to-back Ballon d'Or in 2013 and 2014, and again in 2016 and 2017, and was runner-up three times behind Lionel Messi, his perceived career rival. He also became the club's all-time top scorer and the all-time top scorer in the Champions League, and finished as the competition's top scorer for six consecutive seasons between 2012 and 2018.
This pair of Nike Mercurial Vapor III worn by the man himself feature the same style raised & shortened toe boxes we find on the Superfly IV, which shows just how unique and bespoke Ronaldo's boots are. This pair also feature embroidered personalisation, rather than heat applied, of his iconic 'CR7' into the lateral side of the upper on each boot. Lastly, this pair have player issue only, solid aluminium, screw in studs. These are actually a very similar shape style to what was sold on the retail SG Nike pairs from around 2013 onwards. The studs here do however differ slightly, with them being a higher quality of aluminium, no size number embossed on the tip, and a small washer plate running around the base. 
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