Erling Haaland has signed a deal with Nike to be his boot manufacturer for the rest of his career.
The extraordinary 10-year plus contract for the 22-year-old is therefore likely to be the most lucrative in the history of football although the figures involved are set to remain confidential.
Haaland will be marketed by Nike as the centre forward to succeed the iconic Brazilian striker Ronaldo who retired in 2011 and had been such an influence. The Manchester City forward will be the “new face of number nine”, according to sources.
Haaland tweeted confirmation of the deal, with Nike facing fierce competition from Adidas and Puma as he was out of contract.
Haaland joins City team-mate Kevin de Bruyne and Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe on Nike’s roster having previously worked with the American kit supplier before his deal expired in January 2022.
That sparked a fierce bidding war for Haaland with Nike holding talks over several months with the player and his agent Rafaela Pimenta over a new contract.
Haaland has been keen to discuss how a footballer can explore his image rather than simply go to the highest bidder and this has been paramount in his decision. Nike are claiming an innovative approach.
Interestingly the collaboration promises more “creative” experiences with Haaland understood to be excited by Nike’s plans for him.
The scale of the commitment, from both sides, shows how much faith there is in Haaland with Nike convinced he will be the dominant force in world football, with Mbappe, over the next decade. The pair appear to be the natural successors to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Nike have proven in the past that they are willing to sign mega-deals with iconic sportspeople such as the basketball player LeBron James and tennis star Rafael Nadal.
Haaland’s deal is likely to rival the biggest previous contracts such as the £23 million a year Neymar is understood to have earned from Puma and the £18 million a year Messi earned from Adidas as well as the £15 million a year Ronaldo was paid by Nike.