Released date - 2000
Continuing with the theme of superlight boots, the new Nike Match Mercurial weighed in at 230 grams, following the path of the previous Nike Mercurial. This 2nd generation was symptomatic of Nike’s “Alpha Project” from the late 90s - the aim of creating products that made a statement with new technologies (displayed by the five dots on the heel).
The enhanced Match Mercurial kept some of features of the original but was redesigned to provide a new shape. They still had R9’s signature and featured an eye-catching assortment of colours including a metallic copper version with glossy black enhancements.
R9 Mercurial Match
The Alpha Project period featured the Mercurial R9, Air Zoom Italia, Match Mercurial, and Air Zoom Mercurial (a rare piece of the Mercurial story incorporating full-length Nike Zoom Air cushioning) confirmed that fast could get faster – something which has been repeated in more modern times.
The Match Mercurial came in serious of colours including in Black / Hyper Blue (inspired by Ronaldo who endorsed the boot during his time at Inter Milan), Copper / Black, Black / Red, Black / Copper and Silver / Black.
The upper sports a lightweight kng-100 synthetic along with a created frame that moulds to foot for a glove-like fit, while also offering a reliable natural touch through the inclusion of control coating on the vamp.
The soleplate has been engineered with 13 moulded blades for reliable levels of traction on firm ground surfaces.
Whilst you won’t see many players wearing these on the pitch (although you do see some) due to their weight and age, they are a part of the mercurial history and therefore a worthy addition to a collection. Although the MATCH boots do not shine as much as Vapor in the Mercurial series, it can finally be regarded as one of the originators of the series and especially associated with R9 during his Inter Milan days.
Notes: Look out for peel to the inner lining as they materials will be prone to this.