The World Cup
is an excessive affair. Thirty-two nations taking part in 64 games over just four weeks. Billions of TV viewers and vast riches for the companies plastering their names over every aspect of the tournament. Approximately 20 million English people getting far too excited, then crying into their beer when the team gets eliminated on penalties, in the quarter-finals, probably by Germany. But at its core the World Cup is football in its purest form: the best players in the world competing for national pride, rather than massively inflated wages. With the same spirit of altruism, at this year’s tournament in South Africa Nike
is kitting out nine teams with uniquely sustainable shirts made from recycled bottles. Brazil, USA and Australia are among the nations that will be wearing the revolutionary kits, created with polyester made out of discarded plastic from Japanese and Taiwanese landfills. Today’s photo series includes stars such as Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Wesley Sneijder of the Netherlands showing off the environmentally friendly shirts, which promise to keep players dry and cool during games. Each contains up to eight plastic bottles, but it’s probably going to take bottle of a different and non-recycled kind to become world champions this July.