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Who wore the original 2002 adidas Predator Mania?

Who wore the original 2002 adidas Predator Mania?

Tue, Dec 10, 19

Who wore the original 2002 adidas Predator Mania?

We’ve been pumping up the latest adidas Predator remake this week and we firmly believe it is the best one to date. You only need to look at that fold over tongue in the rare red/silver colourway to work out why.

With all the Mania love in happening now, we thought we might educate our younger Ultras on some of the big names who wore the originals back in 2002.

Predator Mania’s were the boot of choice for many of the world’s best players. Here’s five of our favourites.

zidane

Zinedine Zidane

Zizou was the one. Yeah, the rest of the players on this list were all superstars, but Zizou was next level. His touch, control, vision and overall playmaking ability was breathtaking. You can watch clips of his effortless skill for hours on end and still be mesmerised.

2002 was a massive year for Zizou with the highs and lows of football on show. He scored THAT incredible volley against Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League final in 2002 which gave Real Madrid their ninth European Cup, but then crashed down to earth with a disastrous World Cup campaign with Les Bleus.

France went into the campaign as favourites looking to go back to back after their success on home soil in 1998, in which Zizou played a starring role. What occurred in Korea & Japan though was a shock to the football world, with France losing first up to Senegal which set the tone for a miserable campaign seeing the holders crash out in the Group Stage.

A year full of moments and the best part about looking back at them is seeing the Mania’s on the feet of one of the best players of all time.

beckham

David Beckham

Like Zizou, 2002 was a year of highs and lows for Becks.

Not the best player on our list, but boy could he play, let alone score free kicks. Becks was something different to anyone else on this list because of his marketability. Brand Beckham in a pair of Mania’s whipping balls in for goals and assists from all angles? Huge for adidas.

Becks single-handedly lead the Three Lions into the World Cup in 2002 with THAT free kick against Greece 2001 in the final game of qualifying. England had to win, and Becks got them over the line, wiping away some fans anger towards him post France 98 when he was sent off against Argentina, ruining England’s chances winning in normal time in the round of 16 clash which saw them lose on penalties.

What followed was a bittersweet World Cup campaign in 2002. After the events of four years earlier, Becks achieved a degree of revenge over Argentina by scoring the winning goal with a penalty, causing Argentina to fail to qualify for the knockout stage.

England were eventually knocked out though in the quarter-finals by eventual winners Brazil after Ronaldinho’s winner. David Seaman will still be having nightmares about that day.

In the Premier League it was business as usual for Becks and Man United as they secured yet another Premier League title win. Those strong Man United and England kits, partnered with Becks ever changing haircuts and pair of Predators made 2002 a picture-perfect year for Beckham fans.

ruicosta

Rui Costa

One for the purists. Manuel Rui Costa, like Zizou, had off the charts levels of skill, control and well, everything. Easily one of the greatest players of his generation, Rui Costa wore the red/silver Predator Mania originals the most out of anyone on our list. When we heard they were coming back, his name was the first spoken of in the Ultra HQ office.

Rui Costa laced up Mania at the World Cup in 2002, where Portugal were knocked out buy Gus Hiddink’s co-host nation South Korea. He also wore them for his club side AC Milan on their way to Champions League success against Juventus, and Coppa Italia glory against Roma.

The original red/silver Predator with the AC Milan home kit along with Rui Costa’s class. Not sure you can top it… and boy oh boy what a Milan side that was.

raul

Raúl

 

When you think of Real Madrid in the early 2000’s it’s hard not to see images of their talisman Raúl pop up in your mind. Raúl tearing down on goal with a pair of black, white and red manias combined with a pure white Real Madrid kit is 10/10 peak 2000’s football.

The 2002 World Cup started well for Raúl and La Roja, with Raúl scoring in the first two games helping his side qualify for the knockouts after the first 2 games. What followed was an unfortunate groin injury sustained in the 3rd game against the Republic of Ireland which ruled him out for the rest of the tournament. Spain missed their star man bitterly as they crashed out in the quarter-finals again South Korea in one of the biggest upsets in history.

On September 7 2002, Raúl scored in a 2–0 away win over Greece in Euro 2004 qualifying, putting him on 29 goals in 56 international games, equalling the national goalscoring record set by the recently retired Fernando Hierro

At club level Raúl helped Los Blancos to another La Liga title scoring 16 goals. His levels reached such heights that Real made the move to make him captain in 2003. What a player.

 

del piero 

Del Piero

 

Finally, one of Juventus and Italy’s all-time greats, Alessandro Del Piero. In what is a bit of a recurring theme among our list of Mania legends, Del Piero did well on a personal level at the 2002 World Cup amid Italy eventually being knocked out in controversial fashion against giant killers South Korea in the second round.

Post tournament Ale took part in 6 of Italy's 2004 European Qualifying matches, scoring 5 goals, and was called up for the Italy squad that would participate in UEFA Euro 2004 in Portugal.

Back in Turin 2002 was a much more successful period for Juve compared to the national team. Having won the Serie A in May, 1 point clear over runners up Roma, the rest of the year post World Cup was guiding Juve on their way to a 27th league title in 2003, this time with a bit more breathing space over second placed Inter who finished 7 points behind.  

The Lotto long sleeve striped Juve jersey with the iconic Fastweb logo across the front is on of our all-time favourite kits, especially when you add the boots on his feet to the look.

 

5 of the all-time greats wore Predator Mania. You’ll have a chance to cop a pair for yourself in store at Ultra HQ this Saturday 14/12/19 at 10am. Should any pairs remain they will be put online from 11am. For a full run down of tech specs check out our latest Ultra TV episode below. 

 
 

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