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So what, exactly, is being sold here? Not so much a simple piece of athletic equipment, I would argue, as a reverie: an aspiration, an imagined lifestyle essentially indistinguishable from the one watchmakers and sports car manufacturers and highend fashion labels are trying to sell you. Whereas the matchday experience mens nike kobe xii 12 has long been commodified and repackaged for the moneyed crowd, now even something as simple and universal as the football boot has been incorporated into the spiel. It is the logical culmination of a process that has seen football metamorphose from an everyday workingclass pursuit to a highend luxury good.
Witness the inexorable rise of “boot porn” in recent years, fuelled and enabled by new media websites, boutique fanzines, Instagram accounts that are more willing to blur the line between advertising and editorial. The aim is not to stir the pure, organic passion of sport, mens basketball sneakers but to tickle the unquenchable gills of consumer envy. Not just to generate desire, but to render that desire unrequited. To create a tornado of “want” so powerful and irresistible that you will willingly indebt yourself in an attempt to satisfy it.
Or, to put it another way: the point of the Messi boots is not to sell you the Messi boots so you can wear them and play better football. The point is to make you crave the Messi boots. It is why they decided to make only100 of them. And if that seems a bit farfetched, then substitute football boots for houses. Selling dewyeyed Nike Basketball Shoes firsttime buyers an impossible dream is pretty much the cornerstone of the property market in this country.
Of course, you could argue that this is just capitalism. And you would be right: as of Tuesdayafternoon, the price of the Messi 10/10 boots had soared to almost 3,000 on online auction sites. They may not do much for your game, those boots, but they sure make a hell of an investment. I might even be tempted to invest in a pair myself, if only they did them in black.