Ryan Butler’s Sporting Lists: Footballing Adverts

For anyone who has watched any form of sport across the digital and commercial channels you would have seen a new advert involving a group of very talented footballers. Yes that’s right, the new Qatar Airways advert including Barcelona’s Messi, Pique and others flying to different parts of the world in one of the single worst adverts containing sportsmen that I have ever seen. The quality of the advert has been somewhat sacrificed in order to have to big stars involved. But hey, money will be made from it so fair play to all involved.

So having assessed that advert I decided to analyse the best adverts containing footballers ever…well of my lifetime, and list them in this weeks edition of Ryan Butler’s Sporting Lists. However, I have cheated this week. I have for the FIRST TIME EVER a joint 3rd place, meaning I will show you 4 high quality adverts with (having sat here and watched them all) contains some amazing acting. So let’s head to Italy for the first inclusion, more specifically Turin where Juventus play host to Manchester United.

3rd – Juventus vs Manchester United (Pepsi, approx 1999)

This advert is great for three reasons. 1) It’s for Pepsi. And as we all know Pepsi is better than Coca Cola and is the drink of the gods. 2) It contains Manchester United…and Edgar Davids. Enough said. And finally 3) It’s funny. Not just for what happens but for the whole scenario. Fans will always find it funny but those who aren’t fans will still also like it. It uses a football related scenario that people will find funny because there is always people out there who would ask “What does the ref do if he doesn’t have a coin?” Well take a look below and find out how David Beckham and Filippo Inzaghi determine the kick off.

3rd – Brazil vs Portugal (Nika, approx 2006)

We all remember this advert. Olè. Perry Cuomo filling our ears with his rendition of Papa Loves Mambo. This along with the fact that this advert is filled to the rafters with superstars. For Brazil, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Roberto Carlos, Denilson. For Portugal, Figo, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rui Costa and I think I even saw Deco in there. You also see Luiz Felipe Scolari monitoring the situation as the kick about ensues. There are cameos from of course Eric Cantona (it wouldn’t be Nike without him) as well as a swanky looking Ruud Van Nistelrooy. This advert has a funny advert and it also encouraged everyone to attempt the nutmeg and follow it with an Olè. This advert taught us that Papa really does love Mambo! 

2nd – Manchester United vs Real Madrid in the Wild West (Pepsi, approx 2002)

Narrowly being beaten off the top spot is this beauty. Picture this, Ikar Casillas’ Real Madrid sat there playing cards in a Wild West saloon and in comes David Beckham’s Manchester United (with a tough looking Gary Neville it has to be said) interrupting the ambience and tranquillity of the whole event. Beckham has the absolute audacity to order a Pepsi (in the most intimidating way) only to be stopped by Ikar. As you can see below this advert also includes Rivaldo, as a mutual enemy. A lone stallion. A wanted man. An outlaw. I love this advert just for the sheer stupidity of it, its fun. Beckham ordering a Pepsi is the greatest thing I have ever witnessed in an advert containing footballers.

1st – Eric Cantona’s First Goal Wins Competition (Nike approx 2004)

This is just the best footballing advert I can remember. You can watch it below but let me sum it up for you. A massive 3-a side tournament where anything goes, no out of bounds, no over head height. Just one rule, first goal wins. The stars are out for this one, anyone who is anyone (other than the likes of Owen and Zidane who were signed up with Adidas at the time) were in this advert. Cantona plays the frantic host of this tournament who wants to be entertained in a typically Cantona style of eccentricity. One other reason as to why this advert is so good is the effects it had on the way football was played. This advert kicked off the Joga Bonito phase of Nike advertising and helped make games like Fifa Street become so popular. This advert in a way changed the way people played football so drastically that I would go as far as to say futsal has a lot to owe to the Joga Bonito Nike advertising as everyone suddenly wanted to play the smaller sized teams, the indoor games and we all remember those tiny Joga Bonito goals dished around. People went nuts for it, all because of this advert. 

And there we go for another week. What a bizarre list I have concocted here. It’s a proud moment, it really is. Now for the quick list. How do I exactly go about this to compliment such an amazing list. Easy, footballers who have also tried their hand at music.

3) Andy Cole – Outstanding (1999) “Tell the world my name (who’s that?) Andy Cole I blaze the scene. Score the goal.” OUTSTANDING

2) Glenn Hoddle & Chris Waddle – Diamond Lights (1987) The less said about that the better. For everyone.

1) John Barnes – World In Motion (1990) I know that just reading the words John Barnes has made you sing along.

See you all next week for another edition of Ryan Butler’s Sporting Lists.

Ryan Butler


Don’t forget to check out more posts on SevernSport.co.uk and check out the next episode of the Puncast when it goes up on Friday night.