Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Henry Scores in Debut...

The FA Cup is certainly a magical competition and Thierry Henry could hardly have had a more fairytale start to his second stint at Arsenal. The French striker has returned to the Gunners on a two month long loan from MLS club New York Red Bulls and made his second Arsenal debut in their victory over Leeds United in the FA Cup third Round.
Henry came off the bench in 68th minute to a roar of cheers from the Gunner’s faithful who still appreciate what he did for the club before departing to Barcelona in 2007. With the score line still 0-0 Wenger needed a goal and 11 minutes after coming on Henry rolled back the years as he coolly slotted home with his right foot to earn the club a spot in the 4th round.
The lack of a distinct  heelcounter is a huge giveaway.
The goal was Henry’s 227th for the Gunners – most of which were scored wearing Nike Vapor or, late in his career, Reebok boots. Henry recently sign for German brand Puma however and made his debut in the yet to be released Puma King SL – the King Finale’s lighter brother.
Our first thought was that Henry had, like many others, cut the fold-over tongue off his King Finale boots but a closer look revealed they were in face King SL boots. The King SL has been in the pipeline for awhile and are expected to be released in the coming weeks. The SL shares a similar colourway to the current White/Navy/Team Orange King Finale.
It isn’t the first time we have seen the King SL in action as Henry’s Arsenal teammate Mikel Arteta has been in them for a week or two and wore them again against Leeds.

Puma Launches NEW ITALY HOME KIT...

Having successfully released their collection of African nations kit, PUMA have now launched the new official playing home kit of the Italian National Football team. Stefano Caroti, Chief Commercial Officer of PUMA SE presented the shirt to the Azzurri captain Gianluigi Buffon and FIGC Marketing Manager Benedetta Geronzi, at the Centro Sportivo La Borghesiana in Rome.  The Italian National Team will wear the new home kit for the first time against Uruguay tomorrow in Rome, a game that will mark the 150th anniversary of the Unification of Italy, and in the lead up to and during The 2012 UEFA European Football Championship in Poland and Ukraine.
The new Italian Football home kit takes its inspiration from one of the world’s most powerful teams, and is designed for the most powerful of performances.  The shirt boasts four stars, representing the four FIFA World Cup victories the Azzurri have enjoyed in their history, the official FIGC badge and a classic vintage styling.  The slim fit shirt has a 3D graphic embossed print and a welded patch pocket. The 4-way stretch underarm panel, cuffs, and back mesh enhance freedom of movement, fashioned after on-pitch player jerseys. Finally, the flat knit rib collar with contrast tipping and tonal bottomless placket add a bit of retro styling to this modern, fast-forward design. To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy, the collar has been personalized with the “tricolore”, the three colours of the Italian flag.
A full range of replica shirt, shorts and socks were also launched worldwide today, along with a merchandise collection.  For the first time, PUMA has included a QR code woven label in the home replica shirt, which when scanned takes people on a special journey through the history of the Italian national team, exclusively
“Materials, design and graphics change day by day, but the charm of the Italian shirt remains the best expression in the world of football”, said Antonello Valentini, General Director of FIGC. “This new shirt represents the long partnership between PUMA and FIGC, emphasising the common values our brands share, as well as the importance of style and traditions.  It represents a new step in our relationship, not only in a commercial sense, but as the expression of a new vision to encourage charity initiatives, and in particular to promote the Italian national team as the ultimate expression of Italian Football”.
Gianluigi Buffon, Italian National Football Team Captain said, “Modern football is such a powerful game, the performance of playing kits is very important, and we are very happy with the new kit that PUMA has created for Italy.  It is a great looking kit – we are a proud nation, and the design is also very important to us.  In my long international playing career, I can certainly say this is the best kit I have worn for the Azzurri.”
Stefano Caroti, Chief Commercial Officer of PUMA SE commented, “We are very pleased with both the design and performance innovations that have been integrated into the new Italy home kit.  Italy is one of our leading Power assets in world football, and we have worked hard with the FIGC to deliver a playing kit and replica wear that meets the high standards we set ourselves.  We hope the Azzurri go on to achieve great things in it in Poland and Ukraine next year.”
PUMA has partnered with the FIGC for eight years, a period that saw the Italian National Team win the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany.
A wardrobe essential for the bona fide Azzurri fan, the Italy Home Replica Short features an official FIGC badge and sporty styling. The gusset increases freedom of movement, complemented by the side leg panels. And for the finishing patriotic team touches, the tonal waistband panel features Italian flag-colored stitching and an embroidered ‘Italia’ script on the belt.
A match-day essential for the bona fide Azzurri fan, the Italy Home Replica Socks feature a sporty styling. The socks have tonal mesh panels, Italian flag-colored tipping on the reverse, and ‘Italia’ wording on the front.
Along with the new kit Puma have launched a a great new campagn called ‘More Than Football’. As the second most successful team in the world with four World Cup wins in 1934, 1938, 1982 and 2006 the Italy kit possesses a legacy that goes beyond most teams. In a football fanatic country it is the azure blue kit that brings Italians from all over the world together under the common love for their beloved national team. For Italians the Azzurri blue is more than just a color. For Italians the Gli Azzurri kit is so much more than football.

Mercurial Vapor Superfly III CR7 2012

Nike and Cristiano Ronaldo last year set the boot world alive with the release with one of the most iconic signature boots of all time – the Safari. Now Nike have unveiled the Real Madrid and Portugal star’s newest signature boot – and this new colourway will undoubtedly spark the same excitement as the Safari.
The CR Mercurial Vapor Superfly III signature boot mirrors the performance and style Cristiano Ronaldo embodies with a disruptive graphic treatment on the left and right side of the boot.  As CR moves into position or tracks back the left side of his boot reveals a subtle pinstripe effect with a clear screen and pattern treatment.  In contrast, the right side features a bold contemporary stripe of Mach blue and Solar red.
Together, the boot graphics will create a striking flicker effect on pitch to stand out in the heat of game day competition.
CR Mercurial Vapor Superfly III features an adaptive traction system that provides extra grip, traction and responsiveness to ensure one of the fastest players in the world capitalizes on the tightest of scoring opportunities.
Directionally positioned blades maximize cutting and allow for quick changes of direction, while secondary toe traction provides added toe-off power for those first critical steps to generate explosive speed. Collectively, these design details allow greater speed and quickness in all directions. The second generation of Nike Flywire technology incorporated into the boot’s streamlined upper provides a lightweight, strong and more dynamic fit.
The new Blue/Red/Obsidian colourway will makes their on field debut this weekend when Ronaldo and the rest of his Real Madrid teammates face Valencia and will be available from selected stores from 18th November.