Nike GSII Squad. Where are they now?
It’s November 2012. The London Olympics has been and gone, Chelsea are the reigning European champions, and a 21-year-old Eden Hazard has just stepped onto the Stamford Bridge turf with an air of confidence befitting the world’s most in-demand young player.
There’s something different about him on this occasion though: his footwear. He’s wearing the new Green Speed II, Nike’s second iteration of their environmentally friendly concept boot, and also their lightest boot to date. That’s because he’s been selected to be part of the Nike GS2 Squad, an elite band of next-generation talent deemed worthy of wearing such a groundbreaking boot.
Hazard was joined by Theo Walcott, aged 23; Stephan El Shaarawy, Christian Eriksen, and Mario Gotze, all 20; and Raheem Sterling, who was just 17 years old. Most of the time with groups like that, when a brand tries to predict the success of young athletes, they’re lucky to get one, maybe two who go on to have careers right at the top of the game. To get all six is frankly outrageous. Clearly the GS2 was a good luck charm.