Since they made the excellent Brazil airport advert for France 98, Nike have set the bar fairly high for pre-World Cup commercials. Their latest promotional clip — featuring Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, Wayne Rooney, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Andrea Pirlo and many, many more — revolves around the premise of kids imagining themselves transforming into some of football's biggest names. It's a great concept and it doesn't disappoint.
Here are some of the highlights...
-Wayne Rooney appears in his England kit as Nike don't want to be associated with the miserable stench of failure seeping from the current Manchester United one.
-Cristiano Ronaldo scores an absolute Thunderbastard™ of a goal. As the amatuer field turns into a giant stadium, the Portuguese star delivers a powerful WAG burn to his opponent...
-OMG IRINA SHAYK!
-Two players attempt to turn into David Luiz at the same time, giving us the first ever documented footage of the shaggy-haired Brazilian without a huge poop-eating grin on his face or his tongue hanging out like a dehydrated dog.
-"Zlatan thinks that Zlatan should take it," says the mighty Swedish striker as he sizes up a free kick. "Gotze thinks that Zlatan shouldn't be in a World Cup commercial in his PSG kit when Zlatan isn't going to Brazil," replies Mario Gotze in a scene that was cut.
-The Mighty Zlatan smacks his dead ball right into Andrea Pirlo's face, but his beard deflects it around 400 miles into the sky, at which point the ball implodes in a cloud of stubble and shame. Kobe Bryant is impressed.
-The young goalkeeper transforms into Hulk — the comic book one, not the Brazilian one. Nike would have had to change the aspect ratio of the commercial to fit Brazilian hulk's derriere into the shot.
-Ronaldo steps up to take a penalty. It's a chance to face Tim Howard, just as he may in the real World Cup this summer. But what's this? Some kid butting in to take it instead? Ronaldo has the sad. So does Howard, who doesn't even get to win in a commercial.
-Goal!!!! Let's all go out and buy Nike apparel to celebrate!!!