Lionel Messi wore Nike boots in unearthed photos before inking Adidas ‘billionaire’ deal


Lionel Messi is closely associated with Adidas, having worn the famous three stripes virtually his entire career – but things could have been much different for the Paris Saint-Germain megastar

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Lionel Messi’s most recent contract with Adidas will see him earn a reported £25million per-year and could see him enter sport’s ‘billionaire’ club, but things could have been extremely different.

The Argentinian’s first boot endorsement deal was with Nike at the age of 14, but the American brand’s rivals Adidas then reportedly offered £400,000 per year in 2006, more than double Nike’s offer.

While fans will be unable to picture Messi with the famous swoosh on his boots, that was very much the reality when he was first breaking through in the Barca side. Images went viral this week showing Messi’s early days at the Nou Camp wearing classic ‘Total 90’ boots.


Fans were left stunned by the viral images, with one commenting: “Messi with T90s looks wrong,” and another simply writing: “Cursed images.” One supporter had a humorous response, writing: “I always wondered if Messi would of scored more or less goals if he used Nike boots.”

Messi’s switch to Adidas bore him incredibly good fortune, however, and in 2017, Messi was offered a lifetime contract with Adidas, believed to bank him £25m each year. In 2015, the sports manufacturer made him the face of Adidas and he became the first footballer to release a brand of Adidas boots named after himself.
Earlier this year, Messi who took part in Paris Saint-Germain’s latest Nike kit launch, did not ditch his Adidas boots. The French side unveiled their latest Nike x Jordan design, which featured Kylian Mbappe, Sergio Ramos, Messi and other stars.