The 'bootiful' game

Top players will be showcasing the new adidas F50+ boot in this week's European fixtures.

By Peter Sanderson

Did you ever hear the one about the footballer who sprinkled magic dust on his boots ahead of every important game?

Urban myth
Legend has it that every time the magic dust was applied, the player would have the game of his life and the ball would stick to his boots like glue. Juventus FC forward Alessandro Del Piero knows all about close control and concedes he would love to believe in these kinds of footballing fairy tales. But even if it turns out to be an urban myth - he knows he has the closest thing to magic dust in his locker ahead of their Matchday 4 meeting with FC Bayern München - the new Adidas F50+ boots.

First touch
"Football is all about the first touch," Del Piero told "But even before you get that first touch you have to get to the ball and these boots are so light they seems to give you that extra bit of pace. The insole of my boot is lighter than anything I have worn before and it gives me a great first touch."

Robben reliant
Del Piero is not the only man to discover football's latest secret weapon. Chelsea FC's Arjen Robben, a man who likes nothing more than to dress appropriately for the big occasion, has also been wooed by his pair of F50+ boots and could be seen clutching a pair ahead of Chelsea's trip to PFC CSKA Moskva.

Big stage
"This is my third Champions League season," said the former PSV Eindhoven star. "There is always a special atmosphere and when the Champions League hymn starts, you know you're competing on the biggest possible stage.

Dress code
"It's great to be stepping out in my new boots, at least I know I'll be perfectly dressed for the occasion," added Robben, who finally overcame an ankle injury to star in Chelsea's 4-1 win over West Bromich Albion FC last weekend.

Radical design
So, what is so special about these boots? If top players such as AS Monaco's Javier Saviola and Juventus's David Trezeguet have also switched to the F50+ there must be something radical about their design.

Simple shoe
Adidas designer Robert Cook, the man responsible for the boots, insisted that his main aim was to create a very clean and simple shoe. "I was able to design a shoe that has a totally smooth 'sock-like' forefoot area for kicking which was lightweight," Cook told "The inspiration for the pattern on the outsole comes from similar patterns in architecture that use cables and grids.

Great fitting
"For the boots, it gave us a minimal way of creating flexible, lightweight and great-fitting support for the players," added Cook, who admitted that Trezeguet described them as the perfect shoes for him because of the revolutionary FusionFrame™ system.

December launch
The good news for football fans is their favourite players are already wearing these boots starting from Matchday 4. The even better news for those people looking to purchase a pair ahead of the Christmas rush is that you can buy them in sports shops from 1 December.

Reversed roles
So, if you fancy a pair of Adidas F50+ boots in your Christmas stocking next month, then maybe you should make some subtle hints as Del Piero and company take to the field for another round of Champions League fixtures. And, if you do not get a pair, maybe someone else will end up getting the boot come the new year. Girlfriends, wives and parents, you have been warned.