Since his adidas contract expired after the 2014 World Cup Dani Alves has continued to toy with his footwear as an unbranded free agent.
When footballers' brand contracts expire there's a short period in between sponsorships when they have the freedom to select their own boots and it's in this time when we can see which boots players would choose if they had a the choice, their favourites if you like. Alves was wearing the Battle Pack adidas Nitrocharge throughout the World Cup but since returning to Europe he's chopped and changed between brands and silos.
Dani Alves kicked off the season against Elche wearing the High Energy/White/Electricity launch colourway of the adidas adizeo F50 micoach. The third generation adizero was originally launched in September 2011 and the fact that Alves reverted to them so quickly tells us that they're his preferred boot from the collection.
A couple of games later the Barca full back decided he'd rather not give adidas any free advertising by blacking out the same boot to hide any branding. This is a common tactic used by a number of high profile players to signal their availability to other brands in the hope of new sponsorship deal landing in the changing room locker. And to be honest, it normally works, although Alves is 31 now so he may have to knock a couple of zeros off the cheque he demands.
As well as being able to revert to your favoured boots, being a free agent allows players to test out new boots, rivalled brand boots, that they wouldn't have been able to play in under contract. To find out what he'd been missing Alves, once of Nike's books, slipped into the Mercurial Vapor X for the clasico against Real Madrid. With the whole world watching it could have been interpreted as a shout to Nike that he's willing to come back.
Just like any freshly single man after a long relationship Alves then tried out another option to see what he's been missing out on. We're still talking about boots of course... The Brazilian was back in his archives this weekend to pull out the Mercurial Vapor IV, a boot launched in April 2008 and one of which he wore during in his Nike contracted days.
Which brand do you think Dani Alves will end up putting pen to paper with? Anyone else wearing an older boot this season? Let us know, comment below as always.