He may be 51 but the legend of El Diego lives on. The FIFA player of the century and PUMA icon still inspires players and fans alike thanks to the incredible style and swagger with which he played the beautiful game. Just 1.65 metres in height, Maradona made a habit of achieving the impossible in his playing career. Whether it was winning Serie A with Napoli or the World Cup with Argentina, he had a superhuman ability to drag up entire teams with him to incredible heights. The scorer of the FIFA Goal of The Century in the 1986 World Cup finals, he dribbled half the length of the pitch with just 11 touches, taking him past five England players before beating the keeper. The father-in-law of fellow PUMA star Sergio Agüero continues to inspire hero worship to this day and in Rosario, Argentina, locals have even set up a Church of Maradona, which according to its website has tens of thousands of members worldwide.
14. Spectacular Free Kicks
Nobody in football is more magical than the dead ball specialist. Like sporting Harry Potters they conjure incredible tricks with their wand-like boots. Think of Paul Gascoigne’s breath-taking 35 metre drive for Tottenham against Arsenal in the 1991 FA Cup semi-final or Sinisa Mihajlovic’s unrepeatable hat-trick of free kick goals for Lazio against Sampdoria in 1998. But perhaps the most awe-inspiring wizardry of all time was Roberto Carlos’s Banana Kick for Brazil against France in 1997 that appeared to defy the laws of physics due to a phenomenon scientists have named the ‘spinning ball spiral’. Unleashed from Carlos’s left foot, the ball hurtled past the wall towards the corner flag only to change its mind halfway and then bend itself improbably into the top right corner of the goal. To this day, that goal will hurt your brain every time you watch it.
13. Scoring On Your Debut
The true greats don’t mess about. Sign them up and they will score; that’s why they’re paid the big bucks. They can handle the pressure of the transfer fee and the fan expectation. Just ask Sergio Agüero. When Manchester City purchased Kun for €45 million from Atlético Madrid in July 2011, that huge amount of money could have weighed heavily on his 23-year-old shoulders but there was no sign of tension when he made his debut in the 4-0 victory over Swansea City. Within just nine minutes of coming on as a substitute, the Argentine superstar had tapped in his first ever goal for the Citizens. He then went on to set up David Silva with a sublime chip before finishing off the game with a 25-metre wonder strike. Now that’s how to announce your arrival!
12. Talking To Your Heroes on Twitter
Once upon a time it was only select journalists who ever got to speak to football’s biggest names. They would interview our heroes and then we would have to wait days or weeks until the newspaper or magazine article was published before we could read it. That day has passed and now thanks to the Twitter we can find out what our favourite players think every day of the week. Just last week PUMA Football hosted a live Q&A with Falcao (@FALCAO) in which the Atlético Madrid hotshot answered questions sent in by his fans to @pumafootball. The result was an incredible interview in which the star revealed his dreams, what he’d be if he wasn’t a footballer and what he planned to do for his birthday. Thanks to the wonders of Twitter all of us can now reach the stars.
11. El Clasico
You can’t beat the feeling of a victory on derby day. When everything goes well for your team during those most crucial of matches, you get to not only enjoy the thrill of a win but also the pleasure of seeing your rivals distraught. It’s quite simply a win-win situation. Of course, the most famous of all derbies is El Clasico: Real Madrid versus Barcelona. Fuelled by political differences and the controversial transfers of Brian Laudrup and Luis Figo, this game doesn’t just divide Spain it divides the whole world. This season the two giants have met five times with Barcelona winning three and drawing twice with PUMA Football’s Cesc Fabregas scoring with a diving header in Barca’s 3-1 victory in December. According to official records the current all-time scores are Real Madrid 86 – 85 Barcelona, so there will be everything to play for when they meet again at the Camp Nou on April 22.
To find out more about the blue v1.11s go here.
You will be able to buy the new blue v1.11 at the end of March at your nearest participating INTERSPORT store.
Stay tuned for which stores will be selling the new v1.11 as we'll be telling you more soon.