ICONS / Puma King, the sneakers with which Pelé and Maradona triumphed in Mexico

Mexico saw the two great soccer stars, Pelé and Diego Armando Maradona, consecrate themselves in 1970 and 1986. Two legendary World Cups that featured the South Americans in their prime. The great coincidence? They both wore the Puma King sneakers.

Recall that Puma was born as a brand in 1948, product of the competition between Adolf “Adi” Dassler and his brother Rudolf. Both had shared the Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik since 1919, separating 29 years later.

While Adolf promoted the Adidas brand, Rudolf patented the Puma, which was originally called Sportschuhfabrik Rudolf Dassler.

The first Puma soccer shoe was the Atom, created in 1950. Two years later it was the turn of the Super Atom. However, Adidas was always ahead of him, especially because of his link with the German national team.

From Eusebio to Maradona, passing through Cruyff and Pelé

For 1966, Puma wanted take another step in football, and focused on the individual figures, the great stars of soccer. For this type of personages, the Puma King would be born, being the first great legend to use it Eusebio, the Portuguese scorer for Benfica.

“La Pantera de Mozambique” achieved the title of top scorer at the 1966 World Cup using Puma boots: there he scored nine goals, taking the Portuguese team to third place.

Four years later it was the turn of another legend, perhaps the great King of world football: Pelé. The Brazilian was crowned in the 1970 World Cup in Mexico with the Puma King sneakers. He even had the luxury of advertising in the middle of the game, kneeling and tying his boots in the duel against Peru so that the camera could focus on him in the middle of the field.

Everything was in sync.

After Pelé, Johan Cruyff wore the Puma King for the 1974 World Cup in Germany. He lacked the luck to win the cup, which Franz Beckenbauer raised at the head of the local team … using Adidas shoes.

Diego Armando Maradona, in Mexico 1986, wore the Puma King. With them he not only scored the goal of the century against the English, but also led his national team to glory, 3-2 in the final against Germany … dressed by Adidas.

Maradona’s bond with Puma lasted until his death, on November 25, 2020. The Argentine legend always wore and wore the cat’s clothing and shoes.

The characteristics of the Puma King

What made the Puma King sneakers special? It has natural leather, with a padded upper and a dual-density sole with conical studs. Its internal foam on the instep protects the player when hitting, as well as the classic tongue.

Beyond the technical characteristics, which have been maintained over the years, the design also fell in love with footballers. The predominant black color with the curved lines in white was maintained for each legend, from Eusebio to Maradona, passing through Pelé and Cruyff.

Neymar, Puma’s most important ambassador today, has little appeal for classic colors, so the brand adapts to his tastes. However, the Brazilian from PSG knows that his predecessors enjoyed the traditional combination, and at some point he posed with them.

So, crack to crack, Puma King continues to dazzle the football world. Will Qatar 2022 be the opportunity of the consecration of Neymar in the final, using Puma shoes? We’ll see.

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