Diadora Golden Boy Ballon d'Or Collection
Now, there aren't many brands still out there today that can lay claim to having had multiple Ballon d'Or winners wearing their mark on the pitch. Sure; adidas, Nike, well that's to be expected. But, for a significant spell during the 1990s, the Italian footwear maker Diadora was the brand of choice for three of the games' true legends and Ballon d'Or champions. Marco Van Basten, Roberto Baggio and George Weah all plied their trade in THE division of the decade - Serie A - and as such dominated the Ballon d'Or awards between 1992 and 1995 (only Stoichkov muscled his way into proceedings in 1994, preventing Baggio from recording back-to-back awards). The recognition and success of these players whilst wearing Diadora is now cemented in history but brought right up to date with the Golden Boy trio release.
The Golden Boy trio take inspiration from each of the players to produce three familiar but iconic editions. All three take a premium, leather upper and apply this to a grippy, rugged and versatile outsole. Neat touches include a plush padded oversized tongue, complete with 'Made in Italy' wording; classic Diadora branding on the heel with a subtle il Tricolore flag on the collar. Enhancing the pick up and play motto behind the release are additional suede vamps across the toe box and instep, an inspired look that gives the Golden Boy shoe a real retro modern feel.
Finishing touches across the board is perhaps our favourite part - the illustrated removeable sockliner, tailored to each player with iconic numbered shirts. A neat touch that adds that adds to the distinction between each colour and because it's essential on the inside, keeps the overall look as classy and stylish as the three players the shoe references.
It shouldn't take to much deciphering to work out which colourway is which player; but for the avoidance of doubt here goes: the classic Black/Hi Vis colourway is reimagined for Roberto Baggio, the Black/Orange is obviously the total football homage to Marco Van Basten and finally the 'Ferrari Red' and white edition represents George Weah's triumph. No matter which you opt for, you get the same premium quality execution and materials with that timeless made in Italy construction.
If statement making is your thing, Diadora have also thoughtfully including a set of 'alternative' laces to really pop the colour accents on your chosen shoe. Swap out the black for hi vis yellow with the Baggio pair, add a dose of Oranje to the Van Basten edition or compliement the cleanliness of the Weah edition with some crisp white laces. A nice touch from the brand.
With the upper being inspired by the original boots the trio wore, it is left to the outsole to provide the street cred. Equally suited to turf play or cafe lounging, the EVA midsole is combined with a (genuinely rugged) rubber outsole which gives plenty of responsive grip.
Should you need it of course, most likely these are the perfect accompaniment for sitting unquestionably stylishly on a street side cafe, perusing through (or is that reminiscing) La Gazette dello Sport with a timely espresso.
The Diadora Golden Boy collection is available from 3rd December 2018 exclusively at prodirectsoccer.com