It's an f50 vs Mercurial race to the finish. Which boot will be crowned top goal scorer at the 2014 World Cup?
The 2014 World Cup has been a goal-fest. The group stage saw more goals per game that any other World Cup since the 1950s and with just eight games to go if the goals continue at their current rate, Brazil 2014 will become the highest-scoring World Cup since Spain '82. But which boots have been banging in the goals? Our SoccerBible Boot League has been keeping chart.
The front two contenders, as expected at the start of the tournament, are the adidas f50 adizero and Nike Mercurial (Superfly & Vapor). Setting the pace from the off, f50 players have found the back of the net a total of 42 times. Hot on its heels though is the Nike Mercurial, sitting just four behind on 38 goals. As the quarter-final stage approaches, we take a look at how each boot is positioned going into the last eight.
The adidas f50 adizero is enjoying its best World Cup campaign yet, having already scored one more goal that it’s 2010 South Africa total of 41. Colombian maestro and star player of the tournament so far, James Rodriguez (5) is currently the number one ranked f50 player. Add to that a combined total of eight goals from Lionel Messi (4) and Tomas Muller (4) and a further six goals from Arjen Robben (3) and Karim Benzema (3), it’s no surprise to see the f50 hitting such numbers with five of the tournaments most in-form players on its books.
Looking ahead to the mouth-watering South American quarter final match between Colombia and Brazil, James Rodriguez will come up against tournament poster boy and Nike superstar Neymar in an added battle of the brands. It'll be a sweet victory for adidas if Colombia knock out the tournament hosts and Nike's HyperVenom headliner in the process.
The Colombian’s performances throughout the World Cup have certainly increased his stock as an adidas athlete, who up to this point has been used minimally by the adidas marketing team. At the moment he’s out-shining adidas global superstars Messi, Muller and Robben, something that adidas wouldn’t have planned for but something they’re sure to welcome.
Nike will be hoping the remaining fixtures sees their last standing Mercurial players deliver the goals, despite top scorers Enner Valencia (3) and Xherdan Shaqiri (3) both being knocked out of the tournament. A bitterly disappointing campaign for Cristiano Ronaldo has dented the Mercurial's expected total and left it trailing the f50 adizero. Nike’s headline silo has been left surprisingly lightweight going into the quarter final stage.
Belgium remain Nike’s best hope for Mercurial success with low-scoring duo Eden Hazard (0) and Romelu Lukaku (1) both taking the Mercurial Vapor X into the quater finals along with midfield team mate Kevin De Bruyne (1). Elsewhere Colombia forward Jackson Martinez (2) could add to his two goals scored against Japan in the group stage.
It will be difficult for the Mercurial to mount much of challenge in the remaining games, with the f50 better positioned to keep up its impressive goal scoring record. No matter which way the quarter finals go, adidas are strongly placed for any outcome with a wide spread of f50 goal scorers across the remaining teams. Although with just four goals separating the two, one player can make an immediate difference. It’s still all up for grabs.
Which boot are you backing to finish the World Cup on top - f50 or Mercurial?