Busy. That's one word to describe Nike Football's past twelve months of work. When they flick back through their 2016 archive in a few years time, there will be many grinning faces of Cristiano Ronaldo looking back at them, sure. But, they'll also see game-changing innovation, a strong limited edition line-up and collaborative successes, as well as CR7. Have we mentioned him already?
Everything fell into place for Nike's main man in 2016. Ronaldo won the Champions League, EURO 2016 and the Ballon d'Or, with Nike singing his praises at every step of the way. With Neymar the king in waiting, Nike Football is in the hands of another typically charismatic performer. Away from their athletes, Nike established the hi-collared movement throughout 2016, along with a number of key products and unpredictable drops. Here, we pick out the best of Nike Football's 2016 accomplishments. A big year for the Swoosh, but did they come out on top? Scroll away, judge away, comment away...
Black History Month - Nike kicked off the year with another take on Black History Month. The Magista Obra was selected to represent and the Swoosh covered the hi-collared boot from heel to toe in well designed and cultured style.
Anti Clog - When Anti-Clog technology was revealed at the Nike Innovation Summit in NYC at the beginning of the year it intrigued players. It wasn't until it was released that players actually realised how much influence this simple concept had. Hands down one of the most underrated and genuine innovations of the year. Solving a problem that had existed since studs found their way onto football boots. Genius.
Nike Camo Pack - Disruption arrived in the form of the Camo Pack in April as Nike dressed each of their four silos in a distinct camouflage print. A military-esque style in limited edition. Jamie Vardy was Nike's man to lace them up in the Premier League. Can't imagine Vardy being the tactical militant. He's more front line with a pen knife, fighting dirty.
Mercurial Superfly V - The Innovation Summit in New York also marked the launch of the next-generation Nike Mercurial Superfly. The Superfly V headlined Nike's 2016 boot line-up and had a huge influence on Nike 2016 success. From limited edition designs, to signature releases to big tournament moments.
Champions League Final - Of course Cristiano Ronaldo had himself down to take the deciding penalty. Of course he scored it. Even when he's not performing well, CR7 has a knack of ending the evening in the spotlight and each time Nike get their moneyshot. Wheeling away in the brand new Superfly as he secures the Champions League. Job done. Script followed.
Nike What The Mercurial - The limited edition boot of the year? While the world of heritage football is often left in the past, Nike embraced it at full throttle pace, with breathtaking style. Taking the Mercurial Superfly and washing it with twelve different boots from its past. Special.
Mercurial Superfly Heritage iD - Nike iD's finest hour. R9 R9 R9. The 1998 Mercurial R9 returned in an unprecedented way. Nike mixed up their 2016 Superfly releases in style. Variety all over from tournament packs, signature lines, on-pitch colourways, disruptive drops and limited editions. Take your pick.
NJR x Jumpman - It wasn't just CR7 who had a big year for Nike as the Swoosh continued to butter up Neymar as their next lead icon. Arguably the collaboration of the season saw Neymar and Michael Jordan link up to launch a collection that included a NJR x Jumpan Hypervenom II.
For The Girls - Nike's focus on the women's game was taken to new levels in 2016. A specific 'Radiant Reveal' pack was better by the 'Striking Brilliance' collection that Nike based around a colour selection of boots to tie in with the USWNT home strip.
NikeLab x Olivier Rousteing - The NikeLab x Olivier Rousteing collection featured iconic football silhouettes reimagined through modern and luxury finishing. Blending performance pieces with high-end threads, the footwear collection included luxury takes on the Free Mercurial Flyknit, Air Footscape Magista and Roshe Tiempo VI, and was complemented by apparel pieces including the NikeLab N98 Jacket x OR and NikeLab Top x OR.
Euro 2016 - "Spark Brilliance" was the message from Nike at EURO 2016. A boot collection and film built to leave Nike's mark on the summer tournament in France. And leave thier mark they did. The all Nike final was contested between Portugal and France, and Portugal's Eder scored the winning goal in the Mercurial Superfly V, building on the success of Mario Gotze's 2014 World Cup winning goal two years previous in the Magista.
Magista Obra II - Two years on from Nike shaking up the market with the hi-collared Magista Obra, the Swoosh dropped a second generation of the boot. Tweaked with a alternative Dynamic Fit Collar and upper, the Magista II is an obvious contender for best newcomer of the year.
Mercurial Superfly EA Sports - Another strong entry for limited edition boot of the year. Helped by the fact it came out of absolutely nowhere. Animated with 16-bit style, the EA Sports Mercurial Superfly demonstrated the unpredictable versatilty of the Swoosh throughout 2016.
Pirlo Edition Tiempo - Credit where it's due. Long overdue credit, in fact. Beautiful elegance was the hot topic of September as Nike delivered a glass of fine footballing wine in the shape of the Pirlo Tiempo Legend 6. Limited editions aren't just saved for the Superfly and the Pirlo Tiempo was the perfect representation of the player himself.
Soccer To Sneaker - The football inspired sneaker movement projected into 2016 on a wave of momentum from the previous year. Tiempo Roshe, Magista II Lunar and Zoom Mercurial being the picks of the bunch.
CR7 Signatures - Here he is. Nike rolled out Cristiano Ronaldo's second and third chapters of his signature Superfly series this year. The second 'Natural Diamond' was a tribute to his move away from his childhood home in madeira to Lisbon. The third, paying homage to when he was spotted by Manchester United.
CR7 Signs Lifetime Contract - November saw Cristiano Ronaldo sign a lifetime contract with the Swoosh. The first footballer to do such a thing with Nike, following legendary basketball duo Michael Jordan and LeBron James. A loyal servant to the Mercurial line and a global superstar in his own right. It was a deal that was always in the pipeline.
Neymar Rejoins Vapor Line - After months of wearing a disguised Mercurial, Neymar finally and officially rejoined the Vapor line. A man that will no doubt carry the Vapor baton once CR7 calls it a day, it made sense for Nike to make the switch sooner rather than later. Expect a leading role in 2017 for Neymar as a new Hypervenom star is sought out.
Tech Craft Creations - The Tech Craft treats kept on coming throughout 2016 as Nike launched two packs of leather layered lashings. The white/black collection brought the monochrome feel while the all black pack was the definition of utter class, wrapping around the Magista II and Superfly V.
Mercurial Superfly CR7 Vitorias - The good times kept coming for Cristiano Ronaldo in 2016. A year to forget for many in the political world but one to remember for CR7. Nike served up a limited edition Vitorias boot to celebrate his four Ballon d'Or in December. 777 pairs will drop in Jan.
Kit Capture - The 2016/17 season sees just Man City wearing the Swoosh on their kits, but Nike have made strides in quality and quantity for next season by securing Chelsea, and close to sealing as partnership with Spurs. An extension of the England kit deal being the icing on the cake for a strong year of apparel progression.
How did you rate Nike Football's 2016? Drop your comments below.