By David Owen
June 29 – Nike turned the tables on arch-rivals Adidas in the latest round of Insideworldfootball’s World Cup Battle of Brands; but the swoosh brand was unable to overhaul Puma at the top of the increasingly congested cumulative table.
Headed by South Korea’s shock win over mighty and perennially Adidas-shirted Germany, five of the ten Nike teams notched victories in their third Russia 2018 encounters. This carried Nike clear of the three-stripe brand in the overall table with three-quarters of World Cup matches now completed (see below).
Even so, no fewer than eight of the twelve Adidas teams have made it through to the knockout stages, which begin with a heavyweight Nike versus Adidas clash – Paul Pogba’s France against Lionel Messi’s Argentina – in Kazan on Saturday.
This means 50% of survivors sport Adidas uniforms, up from 33% of the teams which started the tournament.
The Round of 16 will feature two all-Adidas clashes – Spain v hosts Russia and Belgium v Japan. Remaining survivors comprise five Nike teams, two supplied by Puma and Hummel’s Denmark, who have to take on an impressive-looking Croatian side in Nizhny Novgorod.
Nike’s third round score of 56.77% was bettered only by the single-team suppliers Umbro and Uhlsport, both of whose representatives – Peru and Tunisia – managed farewell victories, to send their supporters home happy. Costa Rica’s eventful draw with Switzerland meant that all suppliers represented at Russia 2018 saw their teams claim at least one point.
The four brands with teams still in the competition have all so far amassed 50% or more of the points their sides have contested. Any one of them could yet end up winning this World Cup battle.
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