Perhaps the superstar footballers depicted striving for World Cup glory in Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu’s genius mini-movie advertisement for Nike should have worn Adidas instead. So far, they’ve all been having mediocre-to-straight-up disastrous tournaments: Brazilian Ronaldinho wasn’t even called up for the World Cup despite a rebound season for AC Milan; Italy’s Fabbio Cannavaro flopped miserably and failed to lead his team to the second round (an achievement not lost on Italy’s colorful media); England’s Wayne Rooney, who is seen battling France’s Franck Ribery in the Nike spot, was a wash for the Brits, squeaking into the second round by sheer luck of the draw only to suffer a terrifically nasty loss to historic rivals Germany. Time to break out the lawn mower for the burly Rooney.
Then there’s France and their star playmaker Ribery, who made an early French exit and possibly had the most atrocious World Cup of all the teams in South Africa, marred by scandal, dismal results, and a near mutiny. Portugal’s Ronaldo, who nutmegs Homer Simpson in the brilliant advertisement, has failed yet again to live up to the massive hype surrounding him, netting a single freak goal in the tournament thus far, and only then in a 7 – 0 drubbing of lowly North Korea. Côte d’Ivoire’s Didier Drogba broke his arm right around the time the spot aired, and was unable to prevent his team from dropping out in the first round. Even players who make brief cameos in the movie, like Spain’s Cesc Fabregas, have had middling tournaments. Now Nike has released more Write the Future spots, including one where Brazilian attacker Robinho is canonized following World Cup glory. Don’t be shocked if he breaks a foot in their upcoming round sixteen match against Chile. So, hey, Go Adidas! They might make a ball that only a Jesus Freak could love – but Adi Dassler’s time honored footballing magic seems to have rubbed off on Adidas-sponsored World Cup stars. But which one was the Nazi Dassler again?