Toni Kroos has long been heralded for his on-field genius, which it seems is owed in-part, to a long-standing loyalty to a discontinued pair of football boots.
In a generation where players opt for boots of varying colours, designs and shapes donning messages and self-promotion, Kroos has stuck by his tried and tested.
And why shouldn’t he? The 33-year-old is among the most decorated players to ever lace up a pair of boots with five Champions League winners medals, three La Liga titles, three Bundesliga triumphs and the World Cup he won with Germany in 2014.
Moulded studs, hybrids, anti-clogs, mixed soleplates are all variations requested by players in search of the perfect boot.
However, Kroos’ secret to his success may well fall in his devotion to a nifty pair of Adidas Adipure 11pro boots.
The midfielder has worn them for a decade when the boot was launched in 2013 and despite them being no longer available for manufacture, Kroos has refused to follow the trend and change to a newer, slicker boot.
Thanks to Adidas, continuing to custom make the discontinued boot for Kroos, the Germany international is able to play to his best level in a pair he feels comfortable in.
Ben Warren, a specialist in providing boots to professional footballers told The Athletic, it is almost unheard of that a high-level professional can continue to wear anything other than a manufacturer’s latest model.
“It’s crazy how he’s done that,” says Warren.
“I’m pretty sure one of the reasons is because he’s German, with Adidas being a German company. But he’s the only player who’s ever been able to do it. Brands are so strict on wearing the latest model.”
Adidas say they are ‘proud’ of their relationship with the player but have kept schtum on its closer dealings with Kroos, something that has intrigued those in the industry.