Football and advertising have always had a great tradition. Jersey sponsors, kit suppliers, pitch-side hoardings, stadium names - nothing is impossible.
And of course, with the support of the biggest stars, television has set its own standards. When it comes to the big tournaments, brands are not stingy with budgets.
Some ads may miss the back of the net every now and again, but there are plenty of screamers that hit the spot. Here are some of the greatest football commercials of recent years:
Good versus Evil
An all-star team takes on nasty and merciless creatures in a game of football to decide the fate of the world. Some of the greatest players of the time including Ian Wright, Patrick Kluivert and Luis Figo take quite a beating before icons like Ronaldo (the original one) and Paulo Maldini turn the game around.
In the end football triumphs thanks to a goal from Manchester United legend Eric Cantona. The final scene, with the collar adjustment and “au Revior” was played out by kids on playgrounds across the globe for months after.
Ronaldo and Co. travel light
In 1998 the Brazilian national team transformed a British airport into a football madhouse. Brilliant dribbling and precise passes as only the South Americans know how make this video so special. And the spot also has a funny ending in store – ‘O Fenomeno’ Ronaldo fails to hold his nerve. Joga bonito – the beautiful game - all to the samba anthem “Mas que nada.”
A disease called Footballitis
Not getting enough football is probably a feeling known all too well to any child crazy about the sport. However, the research in this institute reveals an entirely new state. Stars Alessandro Del Piero, Zinedine Zidane, Fabien Barthez and David Beckham show their funnier sides - and even cult referee Pierluigi Colina makes a guest appearance.
Irish eyes are smiling
Known for their stirring singing, some of the most passionate football fans in the world come from the Emerald Isle – and while the Boys in Green of Ireland have yet to win a major title, at least in this spot there is finally reason to cheer. Maybe one day, the dream can come true.
A flight with friends
High jinks for Manchester United with Turkish Airlines. You can’t leave these guys alone for a minute, and never give them the ball unless they’re on the pitch. Only Paul Scholes wants to quietly read his newspaper. In the end Wayne Rooney saves Edwin van der Sar from facing a lot of trouble.
Imagine your dream squad
Oh how beautiful it would be to assemble your favourite players behind you and compete against your pal from the neighbourhood. But as is so often the case, like here, Mum can be the spoilsport. But not before goalkeeper Oliver Kahn shakes young Franz Beckenbauer’s hand. The commercial was named best advertisement from the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
A cartoon film with the perfect ending
Evil clones have ruined football and the former big stars have given up the game until veteran Ronaldo breathes life into our heroes and creativity returns. The self-irony of stars like Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar in particular make this clip worth seeing. Stunning animation worthy of a Hollywood ending.
Kobe vs Messi
As far as football goes, Lionel Messi is often in a class of his own. The Argentine magician comes up against one of his toughest challenges in this ad though in the shape of Kobe Bryant. The retired basketball star was known for his unbridled competitiveness and the Argentine soccer player is never left alone in this epic battle. Two of the world’s biggest stars brought together spells advertising gold.