Make them dazzle! Barca superstar Messi wants fans to design his next pair of boots
10:22 GMT, 25 October 2012
Lionel Messi has challenged football fans to come up with the design for his latest pair of boots.
The Barcelona superstar wears the F50 'boot with a brain' – the studs Sportsmail exclusively revealed last November – which records the forward's every move from a small data chip inserted in the sole.
The 25-year-old, who is rumoured to be launching his own brand of boots next year, will wear the custom made pair in December but wants them to dazzle – just like he does on the pitch.
Boot room: Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi wants fans to design his next pair of F50s
'In football you express yourself with your feet,' said Argentina international Messi.
'Knowing that your boots are unique makes you feel special and makes you play with more confidence.
'I’m excited to see the designs that my fans create for me and I look forward to playing in them.'
But boot makers adidas might want to keep the news from Martin O'Neill.
The Sunderland boss recently became the latest manager to speak out against brightly coloured boots and urged players to return to the old-style black boots.
He said: 'When they were introduced, I remember Alan Ball wore a pair of white boots. Of course, he thought he was a great player and, to be fair, he was.
Make the dazzle: Messi wants his next design to shine like his performances on the pitch
'But to wear really luminous boots you had to be a really good player, but nowadays you don’t have to be a good one to wear them.
'I would love if it came back to just wearing black boots. It would be great. I wore black boots. I certainly wouldn’t have worn orange!
'Under Cloughie, we were allowed two pairs of boots every season and then you had to buy your own after that. Honestly.
'We had to go down to a place in Nottingham called Redmayne & Todd with a chit and buy your boots. And if the boots you wanted were more expensive, you had to put some extra money to it. And we’d only won the European Cup — twice.’
Other Premier League managers share O'Neill's views, including QPR boss Mark Hughes.
Old school: Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill and QPR manager Mark Hughes (R) prefer traditional black boots
He said: 'When I played you kept the one pair that you broke in and you wanted to last for the season. At the moment it seems if the boot company says you’ve got to wear green ones one week then you have to wear green ones. It comes from the boot company rather than the player.'
Everton boss David Moyes said: ‘I’m a traditionalist, so it is black boots for me. If you are a centre half, you can’t wear anything other than black.'
And Martin Jol, the Fulham manager, said: ‘I don’t like these flashy boots. But I won’t be too critical. I don’t want a big wall between me and the players.
'If they feel they should play in pink then they should. On the other hand I always tell them that I feel they play better with black boots. We always played in black boots.'
Fans can create a unique pair of adidas adizero f50s for Messi by visiting the new miadidas configurator at www.miadidas.com and submitting their designs.