The Norweigan international joins the likes of Kylian Mbappé, Marcus Rashford, and Megan Rapinoe as official Nike athletes.
Erling Haaland officially has a new boot sponsor. On Friday, Nike announced that the Manchester City striker inked an exclusive deal with the sportswear brand. Currently the Premier League’s leading scorer with 28 goals, this puts behind months of speculation the Norwegian superstar would instead enlist Adidas or Puma to help craft the perfect goal-scoring shoe.
Haaland is in elite company. Other A-list footballers on the Swoosh’s roster include PSG’s Kylian Mbappé, Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford, fellow City teammate Kevin De Bruyne, USWNT legend Megan Rapinoe, and Chelsea Women’s forward Sam Kerr.
“Haaland’s commitment to holistic fitness — honored in his famed celebrations — boost his strengths on the pitch: goal-scoring instinct, power, positioning, pace and precision,” Nike wrote in the announcement.
The right boots are essential for proper performance, and Haaland’s always kept fans guessing about what’s on his feet come match day. Nike silhouettes are commonly seen on the pitch from the 22-year-old from the Mercurial line, specifically the Dream Speed and Vapor 14. For the 2022 Community Shield match, however, he opted for the Adidas Speedportal.
What’s arguably surprising about Haaland’s decision is to abandon Puma. Considering their City’s kit sponsor, perhaps he’d follow suit and dress head-to-toe in the German corporation’s products. Not to mention, City winger Jack Grealish reached a long-term deal with Puma earlier this month.
Currently in second on the Premier League table, City sits eight points behind leaders Arsenal and hosts sixth-place Liverpool Saturday in a Big Six showdown. After picking up a groin sprain in City’s FA Cup win against Burnley before the international break, Haaland was forced to withdraw from Norway’s Euro 2024 qualifying squad. He was also absent from training on Thursday, but manager Pep Guardiola has not ruled the No. 9 out from suiting up against the 2019 domestic champions. Instead, the Spaniard teased a decision will be made Friday afternoon following the squad’s final session.
“We’ll see today and at the end, the doctors and especially the players will decide how does he feel. I spoke with him and he feels good. We will see what happens,” Guardiola said. “Life is risky in these stages. You have to take it and we scored a lot of goals this season, he’s scored an incredible amount of goals.”
Though loaded with talent as starters and on the bench, City will be without another key player against Liverpool this weekend. Midfielder Phil Foden recently had surgery in London to remove his appendix.
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