words // Brennan Hiro Williams

Nike launched the first Mercurial boot in 1998, inspired by a young Brazilian football phenom named Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima, more commonly known as Ronaldo. El Fenómino debuted his classic silver, yellow and blue boot at the 1998 World Cup, helping Brazil reach the final with four goals and three assists. 15 years later, Nike has created a Mercurial Vapor IX colorway celebrating the 1998 design, updating the original with a more streamlined approach and Nike's distinctive Volt hue. 

“Ronaldo’s impact on the game 15 years ago was immense, and in the run up to 2014, we wanted to celebrate that boot and the man himself," said Phil McCartney, VP of Football Footwear for Nike. "We thought a modern construction of his 1998 boot would be a great commemoration of that moment.”

1,998 pairs of the Nike Mercurial Vapor IX Special Edition will release on Wednesday, May 8 at select global retailers, including online at Nike.com.