Boots not to blame for Rooney injury, say Nike

May 3, 2006

Nike have denied their new `Total 90 Supremacy' boot is in any way responsible for the injury which has threatened to ruin Wayne Rooney's World Cup hopes.

The Manchester United and England striker was wearing the new boots at Stamford Bridge on Saturday when he sustained a metatarsal injury in his club's 3-0 defeat to Chelsea.

The 20-year-old appeared to catch his foot in the turf while jostling with Paulo Ferreira for the ball, and fell to the ground in agony before being stretchered off.

A Nike spokesperson told PA Sport's Football Insider: 'We do not believe the T90 supremacy boot was in any way responsible for or linked to Wayne's injury.

'Both Wayne himself and Manchester United's medical staff have confirmed they do not believe the boot was linked to Wayne's injury.

'Wayne was involved in the testing and development process for the boot. He tested prototypes in the US last year and tested other samples at different stages of the test process.

'Neither he, nor any of the other players who tested the boot, experienced any problems in testing.

'Many other players have been positively involved in the test process for the boot and will continue to wear it, for example Rio Ferdinand, Jose Reyes, Roberto Carlos, Fernando Torres and Alberto Gilardino.'

Rooney told MUTV on Tuesday: 'I don't think my football boots had anything to do with the injury. Before we actually wear the boots they get tested out to make sure they're suitable for playing in. The boots have been checked out and the boots are fine.

'It was an impact injury and there was a lot of pressure on my foot. If you watch the video again you can see that's how it happened.'

The boot itself weighs a mere 10.5 ounces and features air technology specifically designed to cushion and protect the foot.

Boot developer Cedric Collet insisted there was no added risk to the safety of a player by the use of lighter micro-fibres in the boot construction rather than old-style leather.

'Nothing occurred in any of our tests to indicate the player would be at any risk,' said Collet earlier this week.

'The boot was specifically designed for Wayne and has incorporated three different types of protection for his foot.

'Every time we bring a boot out, the safety aspect is improved in some way. The boot is more durable and it keeps the shape around the player's foot. In some ways, I think these injuries are more linked to the speed the game is played at now.'

Meanwhile Nike are looking to the future in terms of their relationship with the England striker, and the company believes he will bounce back stronger from his injury.

'We are partnering with Wayne for the long-term,' the sportswear company's spokesperson added.

'He has already shown that he is one of the best strikers in the world and we look forward to working with him on a continual basis, both with Manchester United and in many tournaments to come.'