Vinicius Junior wore black and white boots during the first half of Real Madrid’s game against Valencia on Thursday after ending his contract with Nike.
Vinicius, 22, is the latest high-profile player to leave the Nike stable, after Neymar (Puma), Raheem Sterling (New Balance) and Sergio Ramos (Mizuno) also left the company. American sports.
The Brazilian international player came out in the second half of the game wearing yellow boots and scored Real’s second goal in the 54th minute of the game.
Nike has been Vinicius’ main sponsor since 2013, when he was 13. He signed a 10-year contract with the brand and in 2018 renewed it for another 10 years.
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Vinicius, who made his 200th appearance for Real against Valencia, was handed improved terms when he signed a second contract extension, but the forward has quickly become a key player for both his club and Brazil.
Vinicius’ various social media profiles grew rapidly during this period, while his shirt sales were also strong. His involvement in Real Madrid advertising is also limited, as the team is sponsored by Adidas, a rival company to Nike.
Vinicius quickly felt that the terms of his extension did not reflect his rising status, and decided that he wanted to leave Nike stable. His team of lawyers began working on a severance, but the contract between the brand and the player did not contain a termination clause.
The striker made his feelings clear, however, at the World Cup in Qatar 2022 he played for Brazil wearing an old model of boots instead of the latest Mercurial XV worn by other players of the brand.
In Thursday’s game against Valencia, Vinicius entered the pitch wearing dark boots – with no sign.
“Vini’s contract with Nike has expired,” a source close to the player, who was granted anonymity to protect his job, told him. The player Thursday evening. “We are in no rush to sign with another label.
“The key for us is to find the right company that appreciates and believes in Vini and is willing to invest in his brand through global campaigns and activism.”
The player has reached out to Nike for comment.
There is no real connection between the player and other brands. His team is said to have eased the situation and waited until his contract with Nike was terminated before discussing opportunities with other companies.
Currently, Vinicius has an agreement with eight brands: Pepsi, EA Sports, One Football, Royaltiz, Golden Idea and three from Brazil, Vivo (the main phone company in the country), Zé Delivery and Betnacional.
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(Photo: Getty Images)