Nike's Golden Goal


Considering how much Ronaldo is known for preening, his dream future shown in the spot -- of having a giant gold statue of himself built in Lisbon -- is hilarious. We also see a movie about his heroic life being made, starring Gael García Bernal-which is an inside joke, I guess, since Bernal has a role in all of Inarritu's movies.

But the story that really grabbed me involves Rooney, the English star. (He and Ronaldo, by the way, are friends and former Manchester United teammates, and were famous foes in the England-Portugal quarterfinal at the last World Cup.)

Talk about radically shifting perspectives -- the victorious Rooney is shown getting knighted by the Queen, beating Roger Federer at table tennis, and in a really high-spirited bit of filmmaking, causing all the boy babies born in English hospitals to be named Wayne.

My absolute favorite visuals in the whole spot, however, come when Rooney and England lose. Anyone who fears ending up as a bag lady (or man) can relate. He's shown flabby and shirtless, living in a filthy trailer, with a giant (and probably smelly) ginger beard.

I've never seen Euro trailer trash before. The Brits call a mobile home a caravan, which sounds more elegant, but the scene is so well staged that it really looks grim, and Rooney acts the hell out of it. The details are perfect, right down to the can of baked beans on the counter.

To add insult to injury, Rooney then steps out of the trailer and sees himself replaced by Ribéry, a Frenchman, on a Nike billboard.

At once, the spot manages to be very funny and very current (except for the inclusion of Ronaldinho, who ended up not making the Brazilian team -- whoops). And even with all the amazing layering and filmmaking and focus on global depth, it still conveys a really cool and simple message -- that anything can happen.

Are you ready for some futbol?