Top 10 Soccer Commercials Ever Made


"Pub Team"
Saatchi & Saatchi, 2006
Click to view. Most soccer spots celebrate the speed and power of youth. This one headed brilliantly in the opposite direction. It showed a Sunday pub team that happens to include some of England greatest-ever players—Peter Shilton, Des Walker, Bryan Robson, Stuart Pearce, Chris Waddle, Peter Beardsley, Peter Reid, Terry Butcher, Alan Ball, Jack Charlton and Bobby Charlton, with the late Sir Bobby Robson as the manager. The run-of-the-mill premise—that if Carlsberg ran a pub team, it would be the best in the world—is elevated by the spot's aging stars, who bring the sport gloriously down to earth by playing, long past their prime, for love of the game.


Wieden + Kennedy, 1998
Click to view. The Brazilian team passes the time in an airport by playing a jubilant pickup game in this spot, directed by John Woo for the 1998 World Cup. Features a comical appearance by Eric Cantona (as the passenger on the airplane) and a brilliant ending, with Ronaldo just falling short of glory. That turned out to be prophetic, as Brazil lost to France in the final that year.


"Good vs. Evil"
Wieden + Kennedy, 1996
Click to view. Created for the Euro 96 tournament, this epic spot featured a team of European all-stars against a team of horrendous evil monsters. At first, the humans get knocked around, but soon, of course, they begin to run rings around their otherworldy opponents—and this time, the ending is emphatic, with Eric Cantona blasting a free kick right through the midsection of the evil winged monster goalie. The spot was so good, it was banned from Danish cinemas and criticized by FIFA and the International Olympic Committee.


"Take It to the Next Level"
72andSunny, 2008
Click to view. Guy Ritchie directed this manic masterpiece for Euro 2008, in which we get a dizzying first-person view of a young player recruited to play at London club Arsenal and then for the Dutch national team. Includes blood, vomit, the signing of breasts, lots of superstars and some remarkable camerawork that captures the pace and fury of a match at the top level. And, of course, showing all this from the viewer's perspective literally embodies the fantasy of every young boy in Europe—to rise through the ranks and become a global soccer star.


"Write the Future"
Wieden + Kennedy, 2010
Click to view. Yes, this year's spot outdid them all—a cinematic marvel executed from a fun and flexible premise. Add in some inspired cameos (Kobe Bryant, Roger Federer, Homer Simpson), and director Alejandro Iñárritu's three-minute extravaganza had just about everything—including, it turned out, an unexpected ability to put a hex on its featured players, most of whom left the 2010 World Cup early (or, like Ronaldinho, never made it in the first place). Whether the ad was actually cursed, there's no denying it was half-obsessed with the fear of failure—and maybe it just got into the players heads. They'll want to write a different future next time—while Wieden and Nike will just want to keep a good thing going.

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