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Here’s a look at the 15-year history of the Nike Mecurial Vapor boots that have made players into legends

The Mercurial Vapor has been a major part of football for over 10 years now, and with the latest IX model, Nike is just getting started. The one thing that makes the Mercurial Vapor a preferred choice among players is its ‘feather-like’ weight which allows wingers and strikers alike to make those blistering runs - among other state-of-the-art engineering.

In the history of the Mercurial Vapors, only the fastest players have been chosen to helm the coveted Mercurial Vapor boots. Cristiano Ronaldo leads the pack as one of the fastest and best players in the world and he is, without prejudice, the latest in this line of footballers who have proven to possess ‘mercurial’ speed. The way the Portuguese star leaves defenders in awe of his quick feet makes him arguably the best in the world.

Goal.com flips through the history books to find notable football stars that have donned the Mercurial Vapor since its inception in 1998.

#1 Didier Drogba

The Mercurial Vapor IV was released in 2007 and weighed about 210 grams but a special release made almost entirely out of carbon fibre weighed a mere 190 grams. You would remember the commercial in which the Ivory Coast striker was hanging around in a London mansion when Nike representatives introduced the Mercurial Vapor IV to him saying that “they’re fast.” The former Chelsea striker unsurprisingly scored a whopping 100 goals during his eight-year run at the London club.

#2 Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Zlatan Ibrahimovic who now ploughs his trade at PSG was caught wearing the voltage cherry/obsidian/silver Mercurial Vapor VI during his stint at Italian giants AC Milan. This version of the boots was released in 2010 and came with the new Vapor Traction; a multidirectional cleat pattern designed for instant acceleration and quick cuts in any direction. During this time, the Mercurial Vapor Superfly II was also released. Also utilised by the Swedish international, the Superfly incorporated Nike Flywire technology which is basically a thread, composed of Vectran, developed by Nike to minimize weight and maximize support.

#3 Ronaldo (Brazil)

Does ‘R9’ ring any bells? Brazil’s Ronaldo, during his hay days, was arguably the best striker in the world. In the 1998 World Cup, the Brazilian put on the original Nike Air Mercurial boots which were made using synthetic materials - lightweight and designed for speed. The boots were originally released in black, but a version in silver/blue/yellow was released for the 1998 World Cup and a blue/black version followed soon after.

#4 Clint Dempsey

Clint Dempsey was a prolific goal scorer at Fulham and used the third edition of the Mercurial Vapors. Released in 2006, the 196-gram boot featured Teijin microfibers which conform to the foot contours and are lightweight and durable.

#5 Cristiano Ronaldo

Last but not least, the current poster boy for the Nike Mercurial Vapor line, Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese star has donned the Vapors since its fourth edition and is now on the cover of the latest Mercurial Vapor IX. With his own personalized CR7 edition, the ninth version of the boot is made of a lightweight Teijin upper surface featuring both a golf ball dimpled synthetic and a leather finish for control at all speeds. The Real Madrid talisman is arguably the best player in the world after helping the Los Blancos to progress to the quarter-finals of the Champions League beating his former team, Manchester United.

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