And now, a boot inspired by Barcelona | sports | Hindustan Times
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And now, a boot inspired by Barcelona

From Bethlehem to Bangkok, spreading the message of peace to promotional activity, there are things a professional footballer has to do these days to justify his multi-million dollar billing and even bigger transfer fees. Dhiman Sarkar reports.

sports Updated: Aug 07, 2013 02:10 IST
Dhiman Sarkar
Dhiman Sarkar
Hindustan Times

From Bethlehem to Bangkok, spreading the message of peace to promotional activity, there are things a professional footballer has to do these days to justify his multi-million dollar billing and even bigger transfer fees. Ask Neymar da Silva Santos Junior.

Before the world gets to see how much he complements Lionel Messi, Neymar sure is beginning to realise why Barcelona are “more than just a club”. No sooner his pictures had become in yesterday’s news in Jerusalem, Neymar was launching Nike’s latest football boot, the Hypervenom Phantom, in Asia.

By the time you read this, the boots, priced at Rs 11,995, would be available in India. For the weekend warrior, the version will be available at Rs 7795.

Neymar arrived fashionably late or maybe he was held up in the traffic this city is notorious for. He was attired in black with a grey short coat buttoned at the neck and wearing a watch on his right hand that, clockwise from left, had four dials green, pink, black and blue. The gelled locks hung out just a little from a cap turned around in true American style. And the silver pendant bearing his name accentuated the impression that this 21-year-old’s flashy not just on the pitch.

Perfect Show
Speaking through a translator, Neymar smiled a lot and avoided eye contact with the audience. But in a little show choreographed to perfection, he used words such as “marvellous” and “beautiful” to describe the boot which fetched him the Golden Ball at the Confederations Cup.

And when he said he was proud to be part of the team, Neymar wasn’t talking about Barca — that came later. Neym-ar was mentioning that he felt proud to be part of a group that has Wayne Rooney, Zlatan Ibrahi-movic and Cristiano Ronaldo. They all endorse the brand.

It wasn’t as if he didn’t speak about Barcelona. “I have high expectations from myself and from the whole team. I hope to have a good performance,” said Neymar before turning out in the blue and claret of Barcelona with teammates Alexis Sanchez and Adriano on a little artificial turf to show his considerable ball skills.

Thailand will hope Neymar’s words come true when Barcelona run out against their national team on Wednesday evening.

The writer’s trip was sponsored by Nike India