Rafael Van der Vaart: I could never wear red and white boots no matter how good they are!

Rafael Van der Vaart admits he’s fascinated by modern day football boots but knows where to draw the line.

When the 27-year-old Tottenham and Holland midfielder was asked to endorse a specific brand of boot he made one vital stipulation – change the colour or there’s no deal.

‘I am always excited by new boots – their shape and feel especially – but I really like the colours,’ he said.

Blue for you: Rafael Van der Vaart had his Nike boots changed from red

Blue for you: Rafael Van der Vaart had his Nike boots changed from red

‘But when Nike asked me to wear their brand new CTR 360 I said I would only do so if they got rid of the red!

‘Tottenham fans would be unhappy to see me wearing Arsenal red and white so mine are navy and white. That keeps everyone happy.’

Textbook stuff: Sportsmail's Mark Lawford shows his vision while managing to avoid Nike's instep control fins

Textbook stuff: Sportsmail's Mark Lawford shows his vision while managing to avoid Nike's instep control fins

Van der Vaart has branded the boot as the best he has ever owned, so when Nike offered me and many other journalists the chance to try them out – at Arsenal’s London Colney training ground – it seemed rude to turn them down.

Under the scrutiny of Nike coaches all of whom train Premier League Academy players, we were asked to deliver a verdict on the CTR 360, a boot that claims to make control easier.

Of course, you have to have some tools to work with and the perfect indoor tiger turf arena made life even easier.

We spent around an hour on passing games, concentrating on first touch, lay-off, passing long and short and finding the sort of space playmakers like Van der Vaart create.

The boot, with its unusual instep fins actually cushion the ball on first impact and do give you a split second extra more time.

Sadly that extra time is wasted on a 40-something part-time player whose second touch and drive into space looks like someone wearing diving boots and not top-of-the-range elite footwear.

Great for Rafa: The Nike CTR 360

Great for Rafa: The Nike CTR 360

Incredibly lightweight, it also fits like a glove and is guaranteed not to absorb water, staying dry for the duration.

Nike insist it’s their best creation yet – Van der Vaart likes them so much because they are soft inside and help him do his job better.

And because his don’t have a trace of red in them either…

TAKE CONTROL: Rafael van der Vaart wears the new CTR 360 Maestri II, a boot that helps the playmaker to receive, control and distribute the ball to Take Control of the game.  On-sale now.  Visit www.nikefootball.com 


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