Ahhh… the time has come! The moment all of us footy enthusiasts have been waiting for: the new Nike soccer commercial. When it comes to the beautiful game, Nike’s marketing department has never failed to impress us; this time they have really pushed the boundaries of creativity, adapting a unique first-person view.
From their “How badly do you want to be a fooballer” campaign and featuring international superstars such as Arsene Wenger, William Gallas, Cesc Fabregas, Marco Materazzi, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Ruud van Nistelrooy (among others), their newest TV commercial is titled “Take It To The Next Level” and it goes a little something like this:
You open your eyes. You see the referee has just finished booking the defender that brought you down. One of your teammates helps you up, and asks if you’re alright. “Can you take it?” he says. “Yeah yeah don’t worry about it” you reply, and carefully place the ball on the free kick spot.
Not even waiting for the referee to blow his whistle, you slam an inswinging shot past the ball straight into the net. GOAAAAAL!! Your teammates jump all over you, you’ve just won the game for your team!
As you exit the field, you spot Arsène Wenger eyeing you from the sidelines. Looks like he’s scouting for some new talent… could you be the next promising youngster heading to Emirates Stadium?
As you enter the door of the training ground, you can’t contain your excitement at receiving your fully personalized Arsenal jersey. The assistant coach points to your spot in the changing room, between shirts nº32 (Theo Walcott) and nº2 (Abou Diaby).
Time for your first match, Arsène is bringing you on against Manchester United!! William Gallas high fives you as he leaves the pitch; a slap on the cheek from the Gunners captain is all the encouragement you need!
It doesn’t take you very long to get right into the heart of the action! Wayne Rooney chests the ball and volleys it towards Cristiano Ronaldo. You somehow try to stop him but you just get pushed to the ground. Boy that’s gonna leave a mark! Before you can even get back up, you see the Portuguese player making a fool of your keeper and scoring with a slamming volley. After his goal, Ronaldo doesn’t miss taunting you for your incompetence, that was embarassing!
Enraged at your first match performance, you’re boiling with energy at your next training session. Push-ups, sit-ups, jumping, running up the stairs, you’re really pumped and ready for action.
After a long spell on the bench, Wenger has decided it’s time to give you a second chance: you’re a starter in Arsenal’s next league game. No time to waste, kick-off and let’s go!!
You pass the ball to Cesc Fàbregas, he gets by a defender then slides the ball to the right wing. With the cross is coming in towards you, you cannot miss it this time! Waiting for the ball to drop, you arm a powerful volley past the opposing keeper!! GOAAAAL!! Fàbregas kisses you and screams like a little girl with excitement.
From the kisses of Fàbregas to that of your girlfriend. You’re transported into a limousine, ready to attend some big fundraising event. It’s a drag, but you know it’s for a good cause and besides, you love the media attention.
As you make your way on the red carpet hundreds of screaming fans ask for your autograph. One crazy chick even wants you to… autograph her breasts? Don’t mind if I do! You’re glad to oblige, under the perplexed eyes of your girlfriend…
Champions’ League day! Arsenal are playing Inter Milan. You’re facing Marco Materazzi, challenging an aerial ball. The Italian defender doesn’t play subtle however, and shoves you aside before heading the ball to Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
You can only watch helplessly as the Swede strikes a powerful shot into the top corner, leaving your keeper to pick the ball up in the back of net. Zlatan is laughing at you…
Darn, that Materazzi challenge really left some bruises. As you take your shower after the match, you discover you’ve lost a tooth!
Next week, you’re playing Barcelona. The traditional pre-match handshakes see the Blaugrana players pass by before you…Rafael Márquez, Bojan Krkic, Ronaldinho… then game on!
Receiving a pass, you chest it down and flick it over a defender, before attempting to send it down the right wing… but Marquez intercepts it!! He passes to Ronaldinho, and the pesky Brazilian makes your teammates look like fools… two sombreros in quick succession? Cesc is not happy!
Back to more training, even harder this time!! More running up the stairs… but also team spirit building: you pull down the pants of one of your teammates during practice. Everyone bursts out laughing as the joke recipient chases you angrily. It’s all in good fun though.
Then more running… so much in fact that you end up puking your lunch when you’re done. It was worth the effort though, the Dutch national team manager has monitored your progress and called you up for your first international match vs. Portugal!!
Your heart is pacing at 200 beats per minute as you enter the stadium, right behind Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Nani. Boy oh boy are you excited! Some pre-match stretching, Ruud van Nistelrooy does a few juggles & flicks, then hands the ball to the referee. The match can begin!!!
Kick off, your team is taking control. Ruud attempts a long-range drive but it’s parried by the keeper. He apologizes for messing up your good pass. Oh look it’s Ronaldo again, only this time you’re not letting him school you.
Your team gets the ball back, Wesley Sneijder‘s in control. One nutmeg to clear a defender, then Wesley passes the ball to you and the road to the goal is clear! You run at full pace towards the net, but a Portugal defender takes your legs away right on the edge of the box. Your mind goes black…
You open your eyes. You see the referee has just finished booking the defender that brought you down. Ruud helps you up. Wesley brings you the ball and asks if you’re taking it. You nod, carefully place the ball on the free kick spot, and start your run…
Alright I’ll quit teasing you… here’s the video (you can find the high res version at Nikefootball.com).