Was the Ronaldinho crossbar challenge real? Nike ad, Tiempo boots & classic commercial explained

As significant as he was on the pitch, Ronadinho’s influence off the pitch was undeniable, expressing his playful style of football and subsequently inspiring a generation of players who followed.

Recognising this, his chief sponsors, Nike, sought to make the World Cup winner a main feature of a number of adverts, but one particular commercial video stood out above the rest: the crossbar challenge.

So what made it so special and was it real? GOAL takes a look.

What was the Ronaldinho crossbar challenge Nike advert?

The advert featured Ronaldinho receiving a gold briefcase which Eric Cantona had dispatched to him. Inside the briefcase contained a pair of Nike's new-at-the-time football boots, which came in a white and gold colorway.

The 2005 Ballon d'Or winner subsequently laced the boots and began to the test by casually performing kick-ups with the ball from the sideline of the pitch all the way through to just outside the box, and it was there that he proceeded to do something that captured the attention of millions.

While standing outside the box, and still doing kick-ups, Ronaldinho appeared to launch the ball onto the crossbar of the goal, at just the right angle, so that the ball would come right back to him where he then kept it under his control.

He did this not once, not twice, not even three times, but four times, and did so without the ball ever touching the floor.

Ronaldinho Nike ad crossbar challenge screenyoutube.com/goal

When was the Ronaldinho crossbar Nike advert first aired?

The advertisement was first aired by Nike's Joga TV on October 20, 2005.

Nike later uploaded the video onto their Nike Soccer YouTube channel, where they titled the video ‘Brazilian Ping Pong’.

Was the Ronaldinho crossbar Nike advert real?

While many fans of the Brazilian magician would prefer not to believe it, the advertisement was not entirely genuine; it had been edited.

It was initially implied that the video was real, which naturally split opinions. Fans had their own theories and debates were sparked. Given the beauty of Ronaldinho's football on the pitch, many believed, and perhaps still believe, that he was more than capable of doing it.

In many ways, these disputes that were being had, played a big part in the advert's success. In order for fans to have their opinions on whether or not it was real, they had to first watch the clip.

What boots was Ronaldinho wearing in the advert?

Ronaldinho crossbar challenge Nike adyoutube.com/goal

The boots in the video were the first ever Tiempo Air Legend 1’s, they were specifically made for Ronaldinho, and had the number 10 written on the tongue.

At the time of the advert release, rumours circulated that the Nike swoosh and tongue of those specific boots were made of real 24 karat gold, although never confirmed by Nike.

In 2018, Nike did create a remodelled version of the boots, which were 80 per cent identical to the original 2005 version, and released 1000 of them for sale.

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