Cristiano Ronaldo's match issued & hand signed custom Nike Mercurial Vapor Superfly iii

Cristiano Ronaldo's match issued & hand signed custom Nike Mercurial Vapor Superfly iii

Cristiano Ronaldo's match issued & hand signed custom Nike Mercurial Vapor Superfly iii

Player name: Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro

Country: Portugal

Clubs: Andorinha, Nacional, Sporting Lisbon, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Juventus

Position: Striker / winger

DOB: 05/02/1985

Height: 6 ft 2 in

Cristiano Ronaldo is a Portuguese professional footballer who plays as a forward for Serie A club Juventus and captains the Portugal national team. Often considered the best player in the world and widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, Ronaldo has won 5 Ballons d'Or's and 4 European Golden Shoes, both of which are records for a European player. He has won 29 major trophies in his career, including 6 league titles, 5 UEFA Champions Leagues, 1 UEFA European Championship, and 1 UEFA Nations League title. A prolific goalscorer, Ronaldo holds the records for the most goals scored in the UEFA Champions League (128) and for the most hat-tricks in recorded history (56). He is one of the few recorded players to have made over 1,000 professional career appearances and has scored over 700 senior career goals for club and country.

Born and raised in Madeira, Ronaldo began his senior club career playing for Sporting CP, before signing with Manchester United in 2003, aged 18. After winning the FA Cup in his first season, he helped United win three successive Premier League titles, the UEFA Champions League, and the FIFA Club World Cup; at age 23, he won his first Ballon d'Or. In 2009, Ronaldo was the subject of the then-most expensive association football transfer when signed for Real Madrid in a transfer worth €94 million (£80 million). There, Ronaldo won 15 trophies, including 2 La Liga titles, 2 Copas del Rey, and 4 UEFA Champions League titles, and became the club's all-time top goalscorer. After joining Madrid, Ronaldo finished runner-up for the Ballon d'Or 3 times, behind Lionel Messi—his perceived career rival—before winning back-to-back Ballons d'Or from 2013–2014 and again from 2016–2017. After winning a third consecutive Champions League title in 2018, Ronaldo became the first player to win the trophy 5 times. In 2018, he signed for Juventus in a transfer worth an initial €100 million (£88 million), the highest ever paid by an Italian club and the highest ever paid for a player over 30 years old. He won the Serie A in his debut season with the club.

Here at BCBootsUK we have managed to get our hands on a very special pair of Cristiano Ronaldo's match issued and completely bespoke Nike Mercurial Vapor Superfly iii football boots. This pair are simply incredible with them being from one of the greatest to ever play the beautiful game. As you would expect, throughout his career only a handful of his boots have ever made it onto the market, making these especially rare. Like gold dust to get hold of.

A Portuguese international, Ronaldo was named the best Portuguese player of all time by the Portuguese Football Federation in 2015. He made his senior debut in 2003 at age 18, and has since earned over 160 caps, including appearing and scoring in ten major tournaments, becoming Portugal's most capped player and his country's all-time top goalscorer. He scored his first international goal at Euro 2004 and helped Portugal reach the final of the competition. He assumed full captaincy in July 2008, leading Portugal to their first-ever triumph in a major tournament by winning Euro 2016, and received the Silver Boot as the second-highest goalscorer of the tournament. He became the highest European international goalscorer of all-time in 2018. 

This pair of completely bespoke made Nike Mercurial Vapor Superfly iii were match issued to CR7 to wear during the 2010-11 La Liga & UEFA Champions League season whilst playing for Real Madrid. They feature a number of modifications and differences that set them apart from the regular retail model variant which Nike sold to the general public.

A versatile attacker, Ronaldo is capable of playing on either wing as well as through the centre of the pitch, and, while ostensibly right-footed, is very strong with both feet. He ranks among the world's fastest footballers, both with and without the ball. Tactically, Ronaldo has undergone several evolutions throughout his career. While at Sporting and during his first season at Manchester United, he was typically deployed as a traditional winger on the right side of midfield, where he regularly looked to deliver crosses into the penalty area. In this position, he was able to use his pace and acceleration, agility, and technical skills to take on opponents in one-on-one situations. Ronaldo became noted for his dribbling and flair, often displaying an array of tricks and feints such as the step overs and so-called 'chops' that became his trademark; he has also been known to use the flip–flap.

 One big mystery among Ronaldo's boots over the years has been the recurring question: what size does he wear? Well, with him being Nike's highest profile sponsored footballer, his boots are of course custom made to measure in their Montebelluna Athlete Services factory in Italy. This pair come with no size labels, as is common with elite stars' bespoke Nike boots from this particular factory, however they measure to be between a size UK8 - 8.5 (US9 - 9.5). I say somewhere between because they don't measure up to be an exact size in length, with the right boot also being slightly longer than the left. 

At Real Madrid, Ronaldo continued to play a more offensive role, while his creative and defensive duties became more limited, although not entirely diminished. Initially deployed as a centre forward by managers Manuel Pellegrini and José Mourinho, he was later moved back onto the left wing, though in a free tactical role; this position allowed him to drift into the centre at will to get onto the end of crosses and score, or draw out defenders with his movement off the ball and leave space for teammates to exploit. Madrid's counter-attacking style of play also allowed him to become a more efficient and consistent player, as evidenced by his record-breaking goal scoring feats. However, while he mainly drew praise in the media for his prolific goal scoring, he also demonstrated his ability as an effective creator in this role. This unique role has been described by pundits as that of a "false," "attacking," or "goalscoring winger," as Ronaldo effectively almost functioned as a striker at times with his central runs into the penalty area, despite actually playing on the left flank. From 2013 onwards, under manager Carlo Ancelotti, he effectively adapted his style to the physical effects of ageing with increasingly reduced off the ball movement and general involvement, completing fewer dribbles and passes per game, and instead focusing on short-distance creating and goalscoring. Since 2017, Ronaldo has adapted his style of play yet again to become more of a free-roaming centre forward under manager Zinedine Zidane, a role in which he continued to excel and maintain a prolific goalscoring record; in this position, he earned praise in the media for his intelligent movement both on and off the ball, his excellent positional sense, link-up play, clinical finishing, and his opportunism, as well as his ability to lose or anticipate his markers, find space in the box, and score from few touches or opportunities

The toe boxes of Cristiano's Superfly iii's feature additional FlyWire cables which were of course not a feature on retail variants. These have been built into his boots to add structure to the upper in that area of the boot, due to the fact that the upper is extremely different. Instead of the rock solid upper found on standard variants of this model, Cristiano's pair have been custom constructed with an extremely soft upper material, which in the toe box areas is butter smooth. It is actually closer in terms of how thin it is, and how if feels in hand to the upper of the Vapor VIII than the actual Superfly iii, staggeringly. 
Did you know, during CR7's Real Madrid career, which spanned across 9 seasons from 2009-2018, he scored an incredible 426 goals and made 101 assists in just 406 matches. 
The soleplate of CR7's Superfly iii's, in his FG pairs, were surprisingly vastly unmodified for the most part. Whilst they do feature the same layout as the retail versions, with the 4 holed studs at the rear, the 2 Sense Studs at the instep area of the forefoot and the holed studs to the outer, they do still feature some cosmetic differences when compared to standard variants. The plate is also still full length carbon fibre, however this is much much more flexible than standard versions from the midfoot area forwards.
Now, you may be sitting there reading this and thinking "hmm, Cristiano Ronaldo and the Sense Stud soleplate, really?", but CR7 was actually one of the players who stuck with this soleplate on both the Superfly ii & iii models along with some of Nike's other high profile players such as his Real Madrid team mate at the time Mesut Ozil. 
The likely reason for him sticking with that soleplate is that he may have not been too bothered by it, unlike some of Nike's other players such as Pedro who had his SF ii & iii's modified to have the Vapor VII stud configuration. But with CR7 being Nike's highest profile sponsored player in the entire world, they would of course urge him to stick with it so that at least his boots to the naked eye seem pretty standard, so in turn, people go out and by the mass produced standard pairs off the shelves in retail stores - which lets remember at the time it was the most expensive boot on the market, so Nike would've wanted their poster boy for that model to appear to be wearing the same as what could be bought by the public.
Over the course of his career, Cristiano Ronaldo has won 5 Ballon d'Or awards, the most for an European player. Widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, Ronaldo holds the record for most goals in the UEFA Champions League (128, plus 1 in qualification matches), the UEFA European Championship, its qualification stage, the FIFA Club World Cup and the UEFA Nations League Finals, as well as most goals scored in a UEFA Champions League season. He is also the top assist provider of the UEFA Champions League (46 for Transfermarkt, only 40 for Finally, he has scored 732 senior career goals and provided 263 assists, according to Transfermarkt, for club and country. Collectively, Ronaldo has won between 28 and 31 trophies in his career,[b] including six league titles, five European Cups and one European Championship. He has also attained 16 titles from friendly competitions. All in all he had won over 300 trophies and medals by May 2019, with some of them dating back to his childhood.
The soleplate of the retail version of the Nike Mercurial Vapor Superfly iii featured this purple tint style plastic which ran around the edge of the carbon fibre and housed the moulded studs, whereas on CR7's pair this is transparent with no colouring. This will be due to the fact that no one was ever supposed to see his boots up this close, and from a distance this difference wouldn't be noticeable. The other change is the white Nike Swoosh in the centre of the soleplate in the midfoot area has not been applied to Ronaldo's pair, so the soleplate is visually the same as the Superfly ii instead of the iii.
With custom bespoke boots from elite professionals, there are usually some small parts that, on retail pairs, would probably be classed as imperfections as they would have to meet cosmetic thresholds to be able to be sold to the public, and as they are such an expensive and high end product, Nike wouldn't allow things like this on retail pairs. At the edge of the soleplate at the heel, we can see stitching lines through the transparent part where the carbon fibre ends meets the upper material. Now, due to these being made to Ronaldo's exact specifications, the heels actually slightly overhang the rear of the soleplate - so those visible lines stitching will be there to compensate for that. The heels have also been reinforced for extra support, and are practically rock solid.

Ronaldo is widely regarded as one of the two best players of his generation, alongside Lionel Messi. After winning his first Ballon d'Or by a record-high vote count at age 23, the public debate regarding his qualities as a player moved beyond his status in contemporary football to the possibility that he was one of the greatest players of all time. Acclaimed for his prolific and consistent goal-scoring, he is considered a decisive player who is also a game changer, especially in important and high-pressured situations. Ronaldo is noted for his work ethic, elite body conditioning, and dedication to improvement on the training pitch, as well being regarded as a natural leader.

Another modification on CR7's pair is that he requested his Superfly iii's to not have the extra FlyWire cables coming off of the additional lace hole either side of the boot, unlike retail versions. This is not something that can just be removed once the boots are built either, Nike have actually had to make a special upper just for Ronaldo in order to get the butter soft feel, meet his requests of no rear FlyWire and to also incorporate the toe box FlyWire cables.
One of the most marketable and famous athletes in the world, Ronaldo was ranked the world's highest-paid athlete by Forbes in 2016 and 2017 and the world's most famous athlete by ESPN from 2016 to 2019. Time included him on their list of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2014. As of April 2020, Ronaldo is also the most followed user on both Instagram and Facebook. With earnings of €720 million (£615 million) from 2010 to 2019, he was ranked second in Forbes list of highest-paid athletes of the decade, and according to the same publication, he is the first footballer, as well as only the third sportsman, to earn $1 billion in their career.
It's more of the same inside the boots in terms of customisations. His special thin upper has been lined inside with a thin black nylon material, which has additional lines of stitching either side in certain areas for additional lateral support - something similar to Sane's Superfly V and Pedros Superfly iii which we reviewed previously. 
His Montebelluna Factory ID number has been written in the heel area by the Italian craftsmen who constructed this pair for Ronaldo, this number relates to his foot last (mould). The boots are made around that last so they are a perfect fit for the player.
The original insoles which Ronaldo would've used are still in this pair, which is uncommon as most players like to keep their insoles. They are a seemingly standard pair, however, from the midfoot area of the insoles forwards they have been made practically paper thin - emphasising further that Cristiano likes a bare foot feel. It has been rumoured that during the early stages of his career at Sporting Lisbon and Manchester United, he wore his boots with no insoles at all. 
It is not quite obvious in pictures just how different the shape of Ronaldo's boots are in comparison to retail pairs. Whilst they are extremely narrow, they are actually very tall even in the toe box areas. Although, due to the fact that the material is so soft and that during this era Cristiano was known for using the hot water trick prior to every use of his boots, this shape of the upper would mould around his feet even further. 
Truly incredible boots from one of the greatest players of all time, it is for sure between Cristiano and Messi for the crown of the GOAT. We are blessed to have both play in the same generation, with them constantly pushing each other to be the best.
If you had to choose, who is your GOAT - CR7 or Messi? Let us known in the comments below!
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