29th September, 2011
Lionel Messi is the face behind footballâ€™s latest revolutionary masterpiece: the boot with a brain.
Sportsmail can reveal that the Barcelona superstar has spent months developing the worldâ€™s first intelligent football boot with manufacturers adidas, which could now take the game by storm.
The boots record player-specific data with an innovative miCoach Speed Cell chip placed in the cavity of the outsole, which captures 360 degree movements and measures key performance metrics such as speed and distance.
Leading Premier League players, including Luis Suarez, David Silva, Samir Nasri , Ashley Young, Emmanuel Adebayor, Stewart Downing and Gareth Bale, have put the smart boot to the test during training sessions in recent weeks before wearing them competitively for the first time next month.
Sportsmail travelled to Germany two weeks ago to sample the boot at the home of Bundesliga club FC Nuremburg.
Top-flight club performance directors, who often rely on Pro Zone analysis to track player movement using video systems, will be able to download digital information within a matter of moments.
The boots â€“ which store data including: speed, average speed, maximum speed, number of sprints, distance, distance at high intensity levels and active time for up to seven hours after a match or training â€“ transmit on-pitch information to tablets, PCs and Macs using a wireless link.
Most clubs operate Pro Zone to analyse and track the movements of their players during games, with eight cameras deployed around four corners of the stadium to capture and provide information every 10th of a second.
But the service is said to be expensive and only available to professional clubs, paving the way for the new f50 boot – which is the worldâ€™s lightest, weighing 165 grammes – to become a competitive rival by offering smart in-play technology to the masses.
Despite costing Â£245 â€“ including the chip â€“ the boots are set to prove to be popular with amateur players who will be able compare their stats to professional stars like Messi for the first time.
The internet platform will allow players to upload and share their miCoach data on an internet platform, that will also provide coaching feedback.
Adidas will also be releasing a free app to coincide with the boot launch that allows consumers to see their abilities in an Avatar-form in a football video game environment.
â€˜We have been working to develop a boot with a brain for some time and what we have produced will revolutionise the football industry,â€™ said adidas vice president of global football, Markus Baumann.
â€˜What makes the boot unique is that for the first time you will be able to compare yourself to some of the best players in the world.â€™
Messi teased the new bright red and yellow f50 boot for the first time during Argentinaâ€™s friendly against Nigeria earlier this month but will officially unveil them in the 2014 World Cup qualifier in Colombia on November 15, when they hit the shop shelves in time for Christmas.