The Daily Planet: 2010-2011 PFA Team of the Year, Player, and Young Player of the Year

Premier League Team of the Year: Van der Sar (Man Utd); Sagna (Arsenal), Vidic (Man Utd), Kompany (Man City), Cole (Chelsea); Nani (Man Utd), Nasri (Arsenal), Wilshere (Arsenal), Bale (Tottenham); Tevez (Man City), Berbatov (Man Utd).

There were no shocking decisions this year as 4 United players made the list of the top players in the Premier League. Meanwhile, Arsenal had 3 chosen while the judge panel only picked 2 from Manchester City. Chelsea and Tottenham were both on the list with one player each; Ashley Cole and Gareth Bale respectively. Everton’s Leighton Baines and Blackpool’s Charlie Adam will feel hard done after not being chosen.

Jack Wilshere Has Been One Of Arsenal's Top Performers This Season

PFA Young Player of the Year: Jack Wilshere (Arsenal)

In an interview following the awards ceremony, Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere explained to the press why he feels this is his greatest achievement to date and how he believes his hard work has truly paid off.

“It is my first full season and it is a massive award, especially from my fellow players,” Wilshere said after having been presented with the award.

“It is amazing. I am very proud to be the fifth recipient from Arsenal, it is good to keep this history going.

“Arsenal is a good club for bringing youngsters through and they keep proving it so I would like to thank the manager as well.

“I am a bit surprised. I always knew I could do but still it was a surprise how early it came.

“I am delighted just to be in the team to win an award, so I have to keep it up now and hopefully we can win something this year.”

Gareth Bale Has Been Chosen As The PFA Player Of The Year

PFA Player of the Year: Gareth Bale (Tottenham)

“I am more than delighted really,” said Bale. “It is a massive award and it is a great honour to receive, especially from other fellow professionals.

“It is a honour really when you look at the names that have won it before and it just makes you go ‘wow’ really.

“There haven’t been too many Welshman to have won the trophy but it is great and it is great for me personally.

“And it is not just for me, it is for all my team-mates that have helped me through the season and it is kind of for everyone really.”

Gareth Bale began his career with Tottenham by losing every game he played in during his first year, but his latest season with the club has been very successful, with Bale playing a direct part in Tottenham’s recent rise in performances. However, the 21 year old doesn’t know why this sudden increase in his ability happened, or what caused it.

“I think it is due to a bit of everything really,” he added.

“At the beginning I wasn’t really playing much and I always believed in myself that if I did get a run in the team – which I eventually did – that I would be able to prove what I can do.

“That did happen and I kind of never really looked back from there.

“Playing in a good team with good players definitely helped me a lot and all the boys have been fantastic, the manager has been fantastic, giving me my chance, and it is something I want to improve on.”

Bootspotting: 19th April

A huge weekend of football saw a good old El Clasico, two FA Cup semi-finals and loads of boot spots, let’s get into it:

Pepe (Real Madrid) – Umbro Stealth Pro

A bit of an unorthodox choice for a player in Spain, Pepe was seen in this weekend’s El Clasico wearing this White/Black/Red Umbro Stealth Pro, a bit of an older colourway in the Stealth range.

Dani Alves (Barcelona) – F50 Adizero (leather)

Perhaps someone forgot to tell Alves that there is a new range of Adizeros that have been released, but Dani Alves stuck to his old pair of leather Cyan/White/Radiant Pink Adizeros.

Saloman Kalou (Chelsea) –  F50 Adizero (leather)

Fantastic colour coordination here by Kalou, Kalou decided to pull out his Green/Pink/Black F50 Adizeros to match his away kit in Chelsea’s match against West Brom on the weekend.

Neil Danns (Crystal Palace) – Concave PT+ Classic

Despite Concave recently filing bankrupcy, they’ve still got one or two contracted players who are wearing their cleats. Crystal Palace’s Neil Danns was wearing these white Concaves on the weekend, a cleat that we’ve found out actually add power to your shots.

Mauricio Pinilla (Palermo) – Umbro GT Pro-A

A bit of a unique boot spot, how come I’ve never seen these cleats before? I have to admit, they actually look like a very decent boot on Pinilla’s feet here. Another bonus boot spot here, with team mate Abel Hernandez wearing the yellow colourway of the first reincartion of the Superfly series.

Francesco Modesto (Parma FC) – Diadora Kobra K-Pro

It’s fair to say that Diadora seems to have a stronger following in mainland Europe than in England. The Kobra K-Pro worn by Modesto have a k-leather upper and are said to be water resistant, something some leather boots can’t claim.

Paul Lambert (Norwich City) – Nike Tiempo 94

I know he’s not a player, but Sir Paul Lambert is wearing one of the first pairs of Nike Tiempos when they were first released in 1994. These aren’t the commemorative versions as they don’t have a gold lining on the base. Lambert has done well to keep these boots in such great condition and expect to see him wearing these in the EPL next season.

Massimo Volta (Sampdoria) – Mizuno Wave Ignitus

Before the World Cup, the Mizuno Wave Ignitus was rarely seen in the European leagues. Now players are starting to appreciate it’s qualities as more and more players wear the Japanese boots. Volta wore these boots as Sampdoria took on AC Milan on the weekend.

Fernando Torres (Chelsea) – T90 Laser

Torres scored! Well at least he put a ball in the back of the net, albeit he was offside. Torres switched into an old pair of T90s in a desperate attempt to try and turn his luck around.

Otar Martsvaladze (Volga) – Mercurial Superfly I

A classic boot spot here from the Russian League, Volga’s Otar Martsvaladze wore these classic Orion Blue/Black/White Mercurial Superfly Is, the last boot that Nike released where it had absolute control over the speed boot market.

That’s it for this week’s boot spotting. Did you see any interesting boot spots on the weekend?

In Profile: Dimitar Berbatov

Dimitar Berbatov isn’t the fastest player on the pitch; nor is he the loudest, but the Bulgarian hitman possesses a majestic touch like no one else. From a sensational over-head kick to 5 great goals in one match, the 30 year old striker has done it all. He even told the Bulgarian Football Association not to consider him for future awards- the only player to ever reject decoration in sport.  The class and composure he exhibits during games allows him the perfect strike partner to anyone at Manchester and an invaluable asset to the club; however old he may be.

Dimitar Berbatov As A Young Child

He was raised in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria, by his father, a footballer with Pirin Blagoevgrad at the time, and mother, a professional hand ball player throughout the first 10 years of Dimitar’s life. After starting out playing with Blagoevgrad, his father’s old club, Berbatov was spotted at the age of 17 by the world-renowned talent scout Dimitar Penev who helped land a contract for the young Bulgarian striker with CSKA Sofia, a massive club in Bulgaria at the time.

Dimitar Berbatov At 20 Years Old

Dimitar’s rough relationship with fans began during his first season with the new club. The supporters of Sofia viewed the 18 year old as lazy and stupid, particularly after he caused CSKA to lose a derby match against their rivals Levski with a poor performance- a loss which ultimately ended Sofia’s title hopes for that season.

The following season saw Berbatov net 9 goals in 11 appearances, helping redeem his status among the club’s fans, but soon after regaining supporters’ trust, the 20 year old completed an unexpected switch to Bayer Leverkusen for €1.3 million. He started off playing with Leverkusen’s second team, though he was soon promoted to their first team squad after bagging 6 goals in 7 appearances for the reserve squad. Berbatov then scored during Bayer’s 4-1 win over Liverpool in the Champions League which sent them to the final where they would play Real Madrid. Though Bayer Leverkusen lost the match 2-1, manager Berti Vogts allowed the Bulgarian to play a part in the Champions League final by subbing him on in the 38th minute, allowing the youngster to receive more publicity.

Dimitar Berbatov Scores For Bayer Leverkusen

Berbatov scored 16 goals in 24 appearances in the 2003–04 season, and soon became a well known player in the German Bundesliga. English outfit Tottenham F.C. heard of the talented player and submitted an offer for the forward in May 2006. The two clubs reached an agreement for Berbatov’s signature in May 2006 for €16 million, making the 25 year old the most expensive Bulgarian ever.

A successful debut season with Hotspur saw Dimitar Berbatov score seven goals during Tottenham’s European campaign helping the Spurs top their group and qualify for the next stage in the competition. He also managed 12 goals in 33 appearances during Tottenham’s 2006-07 Premier League season, helping establish himself as a regular goal scorer. That season, Berbatov was nominated and awarded the Tottenham Player of the Year following a series of fantastic performances.

Dimitar Berbatov During His Last Season With Tottenham

His next season with Tottenham was even more successful. The Bulgarian bagged 15 goals that season, causing other managers and clubs to take notice. Manchester United’s Sir Alex Ferguson was the first to swoop in for the deadly striker, immediately putting forward a £30.75 million bid for Dimitar Berbatov.
While Tottenham weren’t keen on the idea of losing their top forward, the London club couldn’t turn down such an immense offer.

Dimitar finalized his move to Old Trafford on 1 September 2008, and that same year United were crowned Premier League champions. While the club’s fans didn’t back him 100%, Berbatov had the support of his teammates and manager, who regularly came out and defender the misfiring forward. The 29 year old had an unconvincing first two seasons with the club, and it seemed Ferguson had made yet another poor purchase until the 2010-11 season.

His latest season with the club was by far his most successful. Three hat-tricks before January, including one against rivals Liverpool FC, made Berbatov the most popular striker in Europe. Although he wasn’t a regular starter for Manchester, Dimitar still managed to net 21 goals by mid-April, cementing his place as the league’s top scorer.

Dimitar Berbatov Has Had A Sensational Season With Manchester

Over the course of one season, the world watched as one troubled striker became a hero and icon to millions. Many Idolize him and many more despise him, but one fact remains: Dimitar Berbatov is one of Europe’s greatest strikers in recent times. His superb touch and lethal ability to finish will continue to make him a constant threat to any opposition for years to come.

SR Exclusive: Adrian Leijer Interview

At the launch of the Adidas All In event in Melbourne, Soccer Reviews was fortunate enough to sit down with Mebourne Victory centre back and captain Adrian Leijer. Adrian talked about becoming captain, the national team and of course, football boots.

Soccer Reviews: You’ve recently taken over from (former captain) Kevin Muscat as captain of Melbourne Victory. That must have been a special moment for you.

Adrian Leijer: Yeah it was, but at only this stage it’s only for the Asian Champions League and, depending on who the new coach is depends on who get’s the permanent gig. It’s always a proud moment to captain a side and to follow in a guy like Musky’s (Kevin Muscat’s) footsteps, its big shoes to fill and I’m looking forward to it!

SR: You played in England a few years ago with Fulham. It must have been very special training with stars like Clint Dempsey and Andy Johnson.

AJ: Guys like that, you know, I suppose over there it’s a different standard and a different level. You come face to face with EPL stars and once you get there, you realise they are normal blokes and just like everyone else and it was a fantastic experience.

SR: As a centre back, you’ve probably played against some talented strikers. Who was the toughest opponent you’ve ever come up against?

AJ: Hmm. You’ve put me on the spot here! (Laugh) We’ve played against Argentina in the U17 World Cup and in the Olympics (Beijing 2008). I mean, they’re full of stars and at the Olympics, Lionel Messi was there. And in the U17’s, they had players like Angel di Maria (Real Madrid) and he too was at the Olympics and players like that. You always come up against good strikers all the time and in the Asian Champions League there’s some top strikers in that and it always keeps it interesting.

SR: Especially some of the Brazilians that are in the Asian Champions League.

AJ: Oh yeah. Incredible!

SR: Being a defender can sometimes be a bit of a thankless job. Were you always a defender or did you play further up the pitch in your early years?

AJ: (Laughs) Nah (in) juniors I was always up the field either as midfield or striker. But as I got older and as I got bigger, my body shape started to suit being a central defender more than anything. So I converted into that role and it was probably the best thing I’ve done.

SR: Kevin Muscat doesn’t have the best reputation in Australia or around the world. Is he different in person once you get to know him?

AJ: Yeah he’s a top bloke! What you see off the field is completely different to what you see on it. On the field, you want him to be on your team, but if he’s not on your team you probably won’t like him! He does have white line fever (SR edit: let’s hope it’s not like Robbie Fowler). But off the field, he’s a completely different bloke, a family man, enjoys a good time and the respect he has in the change room in incredible. But yeah he’s a very good friend of mine and I can’t speak highly enough of him.

SR: How often do you change your boots? Do you prefer certain colours whenever you pick your next boots?

AJ: I’m an Adidas man and they’ve probably looked after me for nearly 10 years now. I used to like the black boots and I used to wear nothing but black, but as the times are changing and when sponsorship becomes more important, the kids want to see the brighter colours and stuff. Lately I’ve been wearing some white ones and some yellow ones, but at the moment my favorite colour is white.

SR: It seems that there is a little ‘fashion parade’ amongst the players now a days with the boot colours. Are you into it or do you just laugh at it?

AJ: Yeah I see it and the boys cop a lot of stick for it! But I suppose that’s the way the world’s game is going and I suppose the marketing power in football is incredible. When people see guys like Lionel Messi or Archie Thompson or people like that with bright colour boots, I suppose it makes them want to go and get them. That’s the world of football and the world of business and I suppose it adds a bit of intrigue to the game.

SR: Socceroo, Melbourne Victory captain, what’s the future going to bring for Adrian Leijer?

AJ: I’m 25 now so a lot has happened. But I think there is a lot that could still happen. My main focus is Melbourne Victory and getting it back to where it should be. We’ve lost our coach and it’s going to be a pretty important few years for us to come so hopefully we can get back to winning ways at the top of the table. I came back from England for a championship, I just missed out the first year and that’s all I really want and that’s the main goal.

SR: We’ve all had players we’ve been inspired by or we idolized in our younger years. Any standouts for you?

AJ: When I was younger, I always looked up to Harry Kewell just because he was so young and he went over to England and made such an impact. But as I grew up, as a defender you look up to Craig Moore and when Muscat did sign with us (Melbourne Victory), for me to have a Socceroo who has done so much for our country to come back was a pretty special moment. I think to have learnt off him for the past few years has been great for me.

SR: Finally, what’s the best bit of advice you’ve received in your career?

AJ: I think just to enjoy it. Sometimes you can get a bit caught up in it and there is a lot of pressure in football and sometimes you forget it’s a game. So just enjoy it, work hard and make the most of your ability and enjoy the ride!

SR: Adrian Leijer, thanks a lot for your time.

AJ: No worries, thanks mate.

A huge thanks to Adrian Leijer for sitting down with us and bringing his strong Aussie accent and personality to the interview. We wish him the best of luck for his Asian Champions League game on Wednesday against Tianjin Teda and for the rest of the ACL campaign, I’ll be watching! Of course, this couldn’t happen without Jeremy Drake of ESP and thank you for arranging everything on the day.

Wiki(Kit)Leaks: Massive 2011/2012 Edition

We have a massive Wiki(Kit)Leak for all of you today that includes the Manchester United, Arsenal, Real Madrid, Barcelona kits and a few more!

Manchester United 2011/2012 Away

Manchester United 2011/12 Away Kit

This is what we think United’s away kit next year will look like. The kit is definitely different from their current one and it will be interesting to see fans reactions to this shirt. I for one think it is quite nice and am excited to see what it will look like on the players. The jersey looks very legitimate so I would not be surprised if that is the kit the Man United boys wear next season.

Arsenal Home and Away

Arsenal’s leaked home kit looks very much like this current season’s with only a few minor changes. No more red accent on the sleeve, a red round collar replacing the white round collar, and a little addition to the Arsenal logo to commemorate the clubs 125th anniversary . Overall, I think it is a great looking classy kit and if it is the actual kit for the 11/12 season I’m sure Arsenal fans will be very pleased.

What seems to be Arsenal’s 125 Anniversary away kit is quite different to previous Arsenal away kits. This two toned blue has not been featured in an Arsenal jersey for quite some time and I believe that Nike have made the right decision this time with a great looking away kit, much better than the yellow and maroon kit they had this year.

Everton Home and Away

Le Coq Sportif have gone with a more classic and retro looking home kit for the 11/12 season and I think it has paid off. It is a great looking kit and much better looking than their current home kit.

Unfortunately, Le Coq Sportif have made another shocking away kit for Everton, and it’s not the first time either. The yellow just does not seem to fit in, and I’m sure a lot of Everton Fans will be disappointed with this one.

Newcastle United Home

 

The last of our Premier League Team Kit leaks is Newcastle United’s Home Kit for 11/12. Looks like we left it as ‘last but least’ as I believe it is quite a bad looking kit, especially compared to the previous Newcastle kits. It seems that Puma tried to switch up the classic Newcastle home kit by giving it their own spin on it and I do not think that it has paid off. Hopefully this is not Newcastle’s home kit for next year!

Barcelona Home and Away

Barcelona Home Kit 11/12

You may have seen pictures on SER of this kit but with the Unicef branding, but Barcelona are changing sponsors next year to the Qatar Foundation and so this is most likely what the kit will end up looking like. The stripes aren’t uniform, instead they change widths as they go down the shirt. When we received the first image of this kit at SER, I thought it looked quite good but now, I am fairly disappointed with the turn out. This current season’s home kit is miles better looking!

Barcelona Away Kit 11/12

The Barca away kit suprisingly is black, and it looks more like a goalkeeper’s kit but due to the UNICEF sponsor on the front we are split between it being fake or real. The contrast between the black and bright yellow make this a very neat shirt that I believe will look fantastic on the pitch. At first glance I was disappointed as it looked very plain, but after a good long look at it, it grew on me very quickly.

Real Madrid Away and Goal Keeper

 

One of the nicest looking kits of our Wiki(Kit)Leaks article goes to Real Madrid’s Away Kit. We hope that this is what the Galacticos will be wearing at their away games as it truly is a great looking kit! The template and the colors go together perfectly which make a striking kit.

This looks like it is going to be the kit Casillas will be wearing at the Bernabeu. Over all, it is quite a nice kit for a goal keeper and the bright yellow will definitely stand out on the hallowed Madrid pitch.

Juventus Away

Juventus’ new away kit may be the most talked about kit of the 11/12 season if it is actually released. We have already seen how pink kits have not gone down well in the Premier League as Everton mainly use their white kit for away games, but how will this kit be seen in the eyes of the Italians? I think it is quite a cool looking kit, even though the huge star looks childish and quite random, it some how fits in with the bright pink. If you’d ask me if I would ever wear it though, my answer will most probably be no.

Would you wear it?

Ajax Home and Away Kit

Ajax’s leaked home kit looks like it has gone back in time. This current season’s Ajax kit was/is fantastic with interesting X graphics printed on the front and now it seems to be gone. Not only that but they have added an old school collar to it too. Looks like Adidas are going for a more classy approach for the 11/12 season as Ajax attempt to reclaim the elusive title in the Eridivisie.

After a very cool glow in the dark away kit for Ajax, this year’s away kit is quite a disappointment and very bland in comparison. Although it is still quite a nice looking kit, you would expect Adidas to top it with some more exciting colors.

Lyon Home

Our last kit leak is what seems to be Lyon’s new home kit for the 11/12 season. Quite a bit has changed on this kit as the red and blue strips are now horizontal along with red and blue accents on the sleeve and collar. We are almost 100% sure that this kit is real as it is the techfit version that usually only players have access too.

Do you think all of these kits are real? Which one do you like the most? Leave a comment in the section below!

Credit: FootballShirts.com, Footballshirtculture.com, Maillotfoot10.11.over-blog.com

 

Joe Cole Spotted In Tiempo Legend IV

In a practice session before Liverpool’s big game against Arsenal, Joe Cole was spotted testing out Nike’s new Tiempo Legend IV.

 

 

Despite not making an appearance in the mammoth clash, the former England international was spotted wearing the unreleased Nike Tiempo Legend IV. For more details on the boots, head over and check out the boots we’ve found listed on eBay.

Soccer Reviews at the Adidas All In Challenge + Support the Soccer Boys!

Soccer Reviews was on hand to go behind the scenes at the world first Adidas All In challenge. Melbourne was at the centre of a world first competition as 6 teams competed for an opportunity to win a holiday of a lifetime. Soccer Reviews was there to watch the start of the challenge.

On a typically cold Melbourne morning, the scene was set at Queensbridge square for the 60 hour sporting marathon. A huge cordoned off area in the busy Southbank area of Melbourne attracted plenty of interest, from suits on the way to work to people wondering what the commotion is on the passing trams. It’s fair to say that Adidas have managed to cause quite a scene in the middle of rush hour on a Monday morning!

Six teams of three people chosen from around the country will be competing in their specialiast ‘code’ and are attempting to last 60 hours doing what their code is best known for in the ultimate test of skill, endurance and teamwork. The teams of three will compete across the three categories of skating, dancing, Aussie Rules, basketball and football over the 60 hour period.

During the challenge, two people from each team will be competing at all times, allowing one person to rest to recover, prepare video diaries, conduct media activities and chat to fans on Facebook.

So what can the teams win? The team of three left standing will win AUD$10,000 and a trip to LA to see Katy Perry live in concert, watch David Beckham play for LA Galaxy and win a Los Angeles tour featuring a visit to Rodeo Drive and a walk down Venice beach. It’s an incredible prize and probably worth the gruelling 60 hour sporting marathon! But if more than one team is left standing after the 60 hours, then the team with the most ‘likes’ on their Facebook page will win!

When the Soccer Reviews team arrived, the event had only just kicked off. Soccer Reviews managed to have a chat with a few of the boys who were representing soccer. Soccer boys Darren Hewitt, Chris Duncan and Elias Rallis have to continually shoot on goal for the next 2 and a half days to win the trip of a lifetime to LA. When asked why they entered the All In challenge, Chris told us that fellow teammate Darren was a huge fan of David Beckham and it was a great oppurtunity to see him play live. It’s fair to say that after having a chat with the team that they will try their best to win this amazing experience and seem really passionate to win the challenge.

Darren tries his best to stop Elias' shot

Darren, Chris and Elias weren’t the only ones in the challenge though. Nearby, we watched Briony, Ben and Katellin ripping up the dance floor to the tunes of Katy Perry and Taio Cruz pumping from a nearby stereo. At the top of the adidas ‘stage’, Adam, Geordie and Michael were decorating the huge adidas logo in their art challenge. Next to the soccer boys, basketballers Simon, Justin and Jason effortlessly shot hoops in their basketball challenge. In the lower level of the adidas stage, Jared, Kane and Lachlan represented the popular Australian Rules football, while skaters Chip, Leigh and Corey pulled off some awesome tricks in their small skateboarding area.

Dancers Ben and Briony show off their moves

Just as the challengers were half an hour into the challenge, some well known Australian sports stars and atheletes turned up to motivate the challengers and to lend support. AFL stars and Richmond players Brett Deledio and Trent Cotchin had a chat with the AFL boys (admittedly most of our audience won’t know who they are), international Rugby League star Billy Slater came in for a chat, while Mebourne Victory striker Danny Allsopp, midfielder Leigh Broxham and Melbourne Victory captain Adrian Leijer revved up the soccer boys for their challenge.

From left, Elias, striker Danny Allsopp, Chris, midfielder Leigh Broxham, Darren and defender and captain Adrian Leijer

After posing for a few photos, Soccer Reviews was lucky enough to sit down and chat to Adrian Leijer as we talked about captaincy, some of the opposition he’s come up against, colourful boots and what he’s achieved in his short career. Check back on Soccer Reviews in the next few days for our full interview with the Socceroo and captain of Melbourne Victory FC!

At the end of the interview, the Soccer Reviews team was fortunate to leave the event with a momento signed by Leijer and Broxham, something we’ll definitely cherish for years to come!  The challenge will run until 7 pm on Wednesday night, so if you’re in Melbourne, head down to Queensbridge Square at Southbank to support the teams. The Soccer Reviews team would like to thank Jeremy Drake for arranging our access at the event. Soccer Reviews left the event to leave the teams to battle it out over their marathon challenge.

As we’re obliged to help out our fellow footballers, head over to http://apps.facebook.com/adidas_all_in/ to help out Chris, Darren and Elias. So far, they’ve got the least amount of ‘likes’ so head over and help your fellow footballer! This is the first of many Adidas All In challenges around the world so check on your local Adidas website to see the one closest to you!

Nike CR7 Safari Superfly III

With arguably the greatest player in the world on their books, Nike have rewarded Cristiano Ronaldo with another bespoke pair of special edition boots, keeping up the ‘Safari’ moniker, but completely altering the design from the previous incarnation of the boots.

Having recently been asked if he is Superfly, the Portuguese starlet is showing the Nike certainly think so due to their creating a special pair of the speed boots for him.

Building on the classic heritage of Nike Safari print featured in Cristiano Ronaldo’s first signature boot and high-performance innovation that is the hallmark of Mercurial, the CR Mercurial Vapor SuperFly III features a striking tonal black-on-black safari print, inspired by the Nike Air Safari running shoe introduced in 1987 and still coveted today.

The print has been reinvigorated on the second evolution of Cristiano Ronaldo’s boot, wrapping the entire boot and laces for a bold blacked-out effect, with a distinctive volt green geometric pattern on the heel and trademark swoosh wrapping the forefoot.

Performance innovation for the CR Mercurial Vapor SuperFly III also features a unique adaptive traction system where designers incorporated adaptive studs in the forefoot that can extend and retract by up to 3mm, based on ground conditions and pressure exerted by the player. As a result, the boot delivers superb 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. Collectively, these design details allow greater speed and quickness in all directions. Nike Flywire technology incorporated into the boot’s streamlined upper provides a lightweight, strong and more dynamic fit.

The CR Mercurial Vapor SuperFly III gives footballers exclusive access to training insights from top players and coaches through Nike Football+. Each pair of boots comes with a unique user code to unlock insider tips and Master Speed training content.

Ball Control Elements No Ball Control Elements
Date Released 2011
External Heel Counter No Counter
How Attached To Upper Injected to Upper
Insole Material PORON
Insole Removable Removable
Lacing Centered Laces
Number of Studs 12 Studs
Primary Upper Material Synthetic
Removable Studs Not Removable
Shoe Classification Speed
Sizing Runs True to Size
Special Outsole Performance Features Has Special Features
Stud Material PU
Stud Shape Bladed Studs, Other Stud Shapes
Suitable For Suitable for Firm Ground
Weight Super Light < 8oz

Stay tuned for our review of the Nike Mercurial Vapor Superfly III, but for now, let us know what you think of the new special edition Safari football boots.

Wiki(Boot)Leaks: Mizuno Wave Ignitus II (Specs and Price) + CTR 360 Maestri Elite

One of the world’s under-rated boots, the Mizuno Wave Ignitus, is about to get a facelift. We’ll tell you the specs you’ll find on the new boot. Plus we’ve also got some CTR 360s that we expect to be released in the future.

Let’s start with the Mizuno Wave Ignitus. The Wave Ignitus has single-handedly taken Mizuno from a so-so football boot producer to one of the world’s best makers of boots. The Wave Ignitus captured the imagination of footballers with the claim that it can help you execute a ‘knuckle shot’. The profile of the boot was further increased thanks to Keisuke Honda’s cracking free kick against the Danish in South Africa, one of my favorite free kicks in the past year. The Osaka based football boot maker have now made the next generation of Wave Ignitus boots.

So what’s different about the Wave Ignitus II? Well the position of the Mukaiten panel (the thing that helps you knuckle the ball) has changed. It has now moved closer to the end of the laces. Mizuno have listened to the feedback on the Mukaiten panel and believe that this new location will make it easier to knuckle the ball. The new Wave Ignitus also has a different heel counter. The new heel is made of tough materials that gives a tighter fit around the heel, which will improve support.

We believe that there will be a k-leather version of the Wave Ignitus II that will be released as well as a synthetic leather version. The new Wave Ignitus weighs in at 245 grams, which is 15 grams lighter than the old Wave Ignitus. The boot will be sold at 14,700 Japanese Yen, which is the equivalent of US$177. This means it might be cheaper than the current Wave Ignitus! This boot will be released next month for general sale.

And finally, we’ve come across a new Black/White/Red CTR 360 II Elite colourway. Expected to be released in June or July, this will be one of two colourways that will be released in the CTR 360 range for the start of next season.

That’s it for this episode of Wiki(Boot)Leaks. What do you think of the new Mizuno Wave Ignitus?

The Daily Planet: Press Walk Out On Mourinho

Mourinho was expected to speak in a press conference full of reporters from some of the biggest sports networks in the world, however hundreds of media personnel were treated to an unwelcome surprise when a silent Jose Mourinho refused to take any questions.

Jose Mourinho Chose To Stay Silent During His Last Press Conference

With their first of four derby matches against Barcelona coming up,  Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid have the world’s eyes upon them to see whether they can redeem themselves after their shocking loss to Barcelona earlier this season.

However, before the conference could start, Mourniho’s assistant manager, Aitor Karanka, announced that his boss would not be taking any questions during the conference and that he (Karanka) would be the one speaking.
This announcement caused more than 100 well respected journalists to walk out of the room, leaving a silent Mourinho to face a virtually empty press room.

Aitor Karanka Faced An Angry Group Of Reporters

Filippo Ricci, one of the few reporters remaining, gave a summary of the events that occurred during the pre-match press conference.
“The press didn’t like this decision and decided to quit the press centre as he was coming in. The surprise was that Mourinho also came into the press centre, but when the press officer said Mourinho wasn’t getting any questions, at that moment around half to three-quarters of the press centre left.”

In normal circumstances, an assistant manager can take control of a press conference with many problems, however this session, held right before Madrid’s La Liga el clasico fixture with Barca, was no normal situation.

It seemed the press were more interested in an explaination as to why Karanka was speaking on behalf of Jose, rather than in the up coming fixture itself. The nervous coach did his best to answer the questions in a peaceful manner.

Real Madrid's Jose Mourinho

“Whenever the coach speaks his words are blown out of proportion. He doesn’t want that, nor does he want to be the one who heats things up before the match. He’s preferred to stay quiet to avoid misunderstandings and it’s not the first time I’ve spoken, it’s a way of working. I’ve already been out (to speak with the press) 11 times, this isn’t something unusual.”

The 37 year old finished the press conference with a reassurance that fans were behind the club completely, regardless of whether the manager chooses to speak at a media conference or not.

“They (the fans) want a coach who works 100% every day and is able to make the team fight for every title. We have the opinion of the fans in the Bernabeu and on the street.

Adidas ALL IN Challenge – Melbourne

As a part of Adidas’  huge ‘ALL IN’ advertising campaign, Adidas has arranged a world first sporting competition that will push footballers, AFL players, basketballers, dancers, skaters and street artists to the edge. Melbourne, the sporting capital of the world, has been picked as the first city to host a world first competition.

Six teams of three people chosen from around the country will be competing in their specialist ‘code’ and will be trying to last for 60 hours non stop doing what their code is best known for. Footballers will be shooting on goal, AFL players will be playing kick to kick to each other, basketballers shooting hoops, artists spray painting non-stop, dancers showing off their best moves on the dance floor and skaters pulling off unbelievable tricks for 60 hours straight in a special, cordoned off area in Queensbridge Square in Melbourne.

Before the athletes start, they will receive a motivational speech from celebrity athletes before they kick off their 60 hour shift. Each team of three will be able to rotate amongst themselves, allowing for one member to take a break at all times to ensure they can last through the challenge. At the end of the 60 hour challenge, the team that gets the most ‘likes’ on the Facebook page at http://www.allinchallenge.com.au/ will win $10,000 and a trip to LA to see Katy Perry in concert and Becks rip it up for LA Galaxy.

Soccer Reviews (well, at least I’m there) will be there to cover the start of the event. We will also get an exclusive interview with the celebrity footballer at the event. While we can’t tell you who he is, we can tell you that he has played in England and is very well-known in Australia.

If you want to see the Adidas ALL IN challenge, it will be featured in cities around the world, with Melbourne being first in a line of cities to host the event, so check your local Adidas site if you want to catch ALL IN challenge.

So if you’re in Melbourne this week, the event kicks off at 7 am on Monday the 18th and will finish at 7 pm on Wednesday the 20th. Soccer reviews will have a full write-up about the event, so keep checking back!

Liverpool 2011-2012 Adidas Away Kit

Much like what they did with the Chelsea home kit earlier this week, Adidas have released pictures of Liverpool’s away kit for the 2011-2012 season. Check the pictures below:

Drifting away from the white kit of the 2010-2011 season, Liverpool have gone for a more subtle look. With an all grey colour and metallic silver detailing running down the shirt, it’s certainly a classy and stylish kit that will be worn by Gerrard, Carragher and Suarez next season. The new jersey also features a V-neck design with a red piping design. This red piping is also seen around the sleeves and also running down the side of the kersey.

The Liverpool jersey is also available to purchase with either ClimaCool technology or the TechFit range. The jersey is available for pre-order now ahead of it’s official release date of the 12th of May. We’ve also come across a video released by Adidas where Carragher, Suarez and Carroll give their thoughts on the new jersey.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QscZQCEPvjM&feature=player_embedded

I personally think that Adidas have released a fantastic kit here that might even look good in the eyes of people who hate Liverpool. What do you think?

View from the Couch Special: Surviving the impending spectre of relegation

Every so often, we might come up with an essential, must read ‘View from the Couch’ article that we have to slap a ‘special’ tag on it. Today is one of them. We take a look at the relegation dog fight at the base of the EPL table. Who’ll survive? Who won’t? And why would relegation be good for a football club?


Who are the managers who could find themselves in the Championship next season?


Obviously, the club at the absolute foot of the table will be seen as the favourite to go down. Unfortunately, I think Wigan won’t be moving far from the relegation group and they will be going down into England’s second tier. They are showing the form of a relegated club with only two wins since the start of the year. While they certainly weren’t embarrassed at Stamford Bridge on the weekend like they were on the last day of last season, they haven’t done enough to warrant survival in the Premier League.

An investigation into why Wigan have become the laughing stock of the league will see fingers pointed at the defence. Wigan have been extremely fortunate for Ali Al Habsi, the Oman keeper has been exceeding expectation since his breakthrough into the Lactics side. With 98 saves this season and an incredible 9 against Chelsea on the weekend, Wigan already would have been relegated had it not been for the efforts of Al Habsi.

An over-reliance on one or two players has also been Wigan’s downfall. Wigan seem to have no bite without Charles N’Zogbia and Hugo Rodallega. N’Zogbia seems to provide the only real spark for the side on a consistent basis. While he has scored 4 goals this season and provided 5 assists, he hasn’t been in outstanding form this season and a lack of goals and assists from their French winger has seen Wigan struggle at the base of the Premier League. The same can be said for Rodallega. He is his side’s top scorer but he’s only scored 7 this season, hardly the return you want from your main striker.

1 point in the last 6 games is definite relegation form. It’s a surprise to see that it’s Sunderland who has been in such horrific form. While the season started so well for them with the signing of Ghanaian gun Asamoah Gyan and the huge scalp of beating Chelsea 3-0 at Stamford Bridge, Sunderland fans won’t believe that this is the same season, from pure ecstasy to the pits of English football. So where did it all go wrong? How can a club go from the top of the world to being the worst team in the Premier League?

Losing your best player really wouldn’t help your cause. Striker Darren Bent became one of England’s best strikers during his short stay at Sunderland and he gained a reputation as a goal poacher in and around the 18 yard box. 24 goals last season was influential for Sunderland’s final position of 8th place. While Asamoah Gyan has been respectable in his first season in the Premier League, with 9 goals and 5 assists, it’s the best return out of all the new players who have played in England for the first time. Bent scored 7 goals this season for Sunderland this season. Over half of the goals scored by Sunderland strikers this season was scored by Bent before he left Sunderland. Goals would always be a struggle when Bent left, and his impact has definitely been felt in the last few games.

Sunderland do, however, have the fixture list on their side. They have 3 home games and 3 away games until the end of the season. The toughest game seems to be this week and that’s Birmingham away. The last two games of the season will prove to be crucial ones against fellow sides who are facing the prospect of relegation. It could be a case of whoever wins, survives. West Ham vs Sunderland on the final day could be an absolute cracking game and the game to watch, considering the EPL title race would probably be decided already. What’s worrying for Sunderland is that there isn’t a single player who seems to be showing any form or if they care about the prospect of relegation. Every club around them has someone who has been in outstanding form of late but Sunderland don’t have someone like that. I’d be very concerned if I was a Sunderland fan.

The last relegation place is a tricky one to decide. For me, it’s between Blackpool and Blackburn. While many will say West Ham or Wolves, I think West Ham is showing plenty of will to make sure they don’t get relegated and do have some form players in the form of Scott Parker and Demba Ba. Wolves have England winger Matt Jarvis and signed Jamie O’Hara on loan, who is proving to be a great signing by the club. In the end, I think it’s going to be Blackburn who will be going down.

This Blackburn fan could be further frustrated with a year in the Championship

With 4 points in the last 6, the last time they won was against West Brom at home near the end of January. They also have a tough run in to the end of the season. With the visits of Manchester City and United at home and games at Everton and West Ham which could prove to be difficult assignments, there are only two games where they could pick up points and that’s against Bolton at home, which could end up being a draw, and Wolves away on the final day, which could be a stunning game to watch. Blackpool have 4 home games in the run home and they have a star in Charlie Adam. DJ Campbell has returned from suspension and could prove vital in the last few games. The only player in form for Blackburn in Junior Hoilett, and you can’t put your relegation hopes on the shoulders of a young 20 year old striker.

It was always going to happen though. Blackburn are very relient on Gamst Pedersen and while he’s had a decent season with 4 goals and 6 assists, they haven’t got a striker you can rely on to score goals week in week out. Roque Santa Cruz was an absolute waste of money, while Benjani Mwaruwari, Ivan Kalinic and Mame Diuof have been too inconsistent. The only player of any decent skill at Blackburn is Gamst Pedersen. David Dunn stared last season but at 31 years old, he isn’t going to produce a 9 goal season every year.

Relegation is never the end though. Believe it or not, I actually believe that relegation is beneficial for a club. I think a club is better off getting relegated than trying it’s hardest to stay up. I’ll lead you to an example. Norwich were relegated from the Championship in the 08/09 season after a long battle with trying to stay up. A arrogant manager in the form of Glenn Roeder really spelled the end for our time in the Championship. I thought it was the end of the world, plus my mates at school loved digging it into me the next day. In preperation for the next season, we purchased Grant Holt from Shrewsbury, a purchase that proved to be influential in our rise back to the Championship. Okay, so we lost 7-1 on opening day thanks to a terrible keeper named Michael Theoklitos. But in the end, we became one of the shrewdest defences in the League, got a new manager who could be the next Sir Alex and our front three of Holt, Chris Martin and playmaker Wes Hoolahan gained a notorious reputation for scoring goals. We got promoted back into the Championship in only one season. We bought one or two more players for this season and now, we’re on the cusp of making it back into the Premier League. Relegation is the best thing that has ever happened to Norwich, and we’re first hand proof that it could work out to be fantastic for any football club.

One also has to remember that relegation from the Premier League also means you gain ‘parachute payments’ from the FA spread out over several seasons. The parachute payments are given to a club to ensure they are still competitive, without them, every club will go down the way of Luton FC. A club can gain a lot of money from getting relegated. A year in the Championship can also be brilliant for the development of young players. Andy Carrol is a prime example. Who would have thought he’d become the 6th most expensive footballer ever when Newcastle got relegated? A year in the Championship meant the big Geordie became a world class striker. A year in the Championship could be the best thing ever for the development of players like Jordan Henderson, Junior Hoilett and Victor Moses. It’s definitely not the end of the world for these clubs, if anything, they’ll come back better than ever.

Who do you think will get relegated from the EPL? Do you think there are any benefits from getting relegated?

Chelsea 2011/12 Adidas Home Kit

Surprisingly with still a few more games to go this Premier League season, Chelsea have unveiled their brand new Adidas Home Kit for the 11/12 season.

This new kit from Adidas is quite different to the previous Adidas Chelsea kit. The red collar must not have gone well with the Chelsea fans as it does not feature on the 11/12 kit. One of the major changes is the white shoulder are;, there hasn’t been this much white featured in a Chelsea jersey for a long time and I personally think it looks great! Another new design feature are the 2 toned blue horizontal stripes going down the kit. Overall, I think Adidas have done a great job with this kit and I am a huge fan of the template. This template is a little special however as it features a round collar instead of a v-neck that you can see on the Spain home kit.

 

 

With this early release from Adidas, we are expecting a couple more Adidas sponsored teams to release their new kits in the coming weeks! Also, notice the new UEFA Champions League ball for the 2011-12 campaign! Rainbow color anyone?

Stay tuned to SoccerReviews for more kit updates, plus a review of Techfit Kits vs ClimaCool Kits!


Dimitar Berbatov Spotted Testing adiPower Predators

A boot spotting for all for you today. Dimitar Berbatov has been spotted testing out the adiPower Predators in training before United’s tie against Chelsea in the Champions League Quarterfinals.

Berbatov adiPower

We expect the adiPowers to be released in June so it’s no surprise that we’ve been seeing a number of players testing the boots in recent times. Berbatov himself has been spotted testing the boots out before,  most recently  with Nani back in March

Berbatov adiPower

In contrast to testing of other boots Adidas have gone with whiting out the adiPowers, but the green studs and the redesigned heel counter give the boots away. A huge number of players have been testing the boots, which makes us think that Adidas have something special in store with the adiPowers.

That’s all for today, are you excited for the release of the adiPowers? Leave a comment in the section below. Also, make sure to like our Facebook fan page (if you haven’t already!) and follow us on twitter. If you have any bootspots that you’d like to share with us just send an email to [email protected] and we’ll be sure to post about it!

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