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SOCCER.COM’s Samba Pack Starting XI
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SOCCER.COM’s Samba Pack Starting XI

Posted on November 14, 2013


Bright, bold and bound for Brazil, adidas’ Samba Pack debuted on fields worldwide this weekend with players sporting the latest version of the four stunning soccer shoes: adidas Predator, adipure 11pro, Nitrocharge and F50 adizero.

Of the dozens of athletes to don the cleats already, we take a look at the biggest stars and sensational performances that are standing out already to bring you our Samba Pack Starting XI, which, to mirror the cleats, will play in a bold, beautiful, all in or nothing 3-4-3:


Manuel Neuer, Bayern Munich, Nitrocharge 1.0 TRX, Solar Slime/Black/Solar Zest:

Bayern Muenchen v FC Augsburg - Bundesliga

As dependable as it gets in goal, Manuel Neuer was class personified once more for Der FCB, keeping a clean sheet against Augsburg and helping the club set an impressive record of 37 matches unbeaten on the trot. He even got a chance to get involved in Jerome Boateng’s goalscoring celebration, too.


Phillip Bardsley, Sunderland, Predator LZ TRX, Vivid Berry/Running White/Solar Slime

Sunderland v Manchester City - Premier League

The Scottish international took his goal well to help the Black Cats to a stunning 1-0 upset victory against Manchester United. You can read more about how Bardsley bombed forward sensationally for Sunderland in our weekly EPL goals roundup.

Phil Jones, Manchester United, Nitrocharge 1.0 TRX, Solar Slime/Black/Solar Zest


Fearless and strong on the tackle all day, Phil Jones’s grit and defensive organization helped the Red Devils score a much-needed 1-0 victory against Arsenal on Sunday, allowing him to link up with Roy Hodgson’s Three Lions squad on a high.

Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Newcastle, Predator, Predator LZ TRX, Vivid Berry/Running White/Solar Slime

FBL-ENG-PR-TOTTENHAM-NEWCASTLETim Krul was rightly showered with accolades following his immense performance in the Magpies 1-0 triumph against Tottenham Hotspur, but he would not have kept Spurs scoreless were it not for French defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa. After Krul made a beautiful kick save, Younes Kaboul looked destined to tap home the rebound before, in Krul’s words, his French teammate, “put his life on the line for us,” to clear the danger.



Heung Min Son, F50 Adizero TRX, Solar Blue/Running White/Solar Zest

FBL-GER-BUNDESLIGA--LEVERKUSEN-HAMBURGThe superlative South Korean collected a hat trick and set up Stefan Kiessling, a Nitrocharge player, for a fourth to inspire his new club to beat his old club Hamburg 5-3 at BayArena on Saturday. The jaw-dropping display marked the first time a Korean player has notched a hat trick in one of Europe’s top leagues.

Gareth Bale, Real Madrid, F50 Adizero, Solar Zest/Black/Blast Purple

Real Madrid CF v Real Sociedad de Futbol - La Liga

Finally beginning to settle in Spain after his world-record transfer this summer, the wondrous Welshman was instrumental in Los Blancos’ 5-1 drubbing of Real Sociedad at the Santiago Bernabeu, setting up fellow adizero F50 Samba Pack player Karim Benzema to make it 4-0 on the day.

Central Midfielder:

Kaka, AC Milan, Predator LZ TRX, Vivid Berry/Running White/Solar Slime 

FBL-ITA-SERIEA-CHIEVO-AC MILANThough the Rossoneri drew 0-0 at Chievo Verona this weekend, Kaka continues to look like a new man since returning to the club he loves from Real Madrid. The global star’s return to form has some suggesting he could be part of the Brazil squad next summer.

Holding Midfielder:

Philipp Lahm, Bayern Munich, Adipure 11Pro TRX, Blast Purple/Running White/Vivid Berry


Not to be outshone by a fellow defensive Phil, Jones of Manchester or Bardsley of Sunderland, the Bayern Munich and Germany captain was at his usual selfless and solid best when Pep Guardiola deployed him out of his favored right back position, at which he is the world’s best, and in a holding midfield role. With three teammates injured—Bastian Schweinsteiger, Javi Martinez and Thiago—Lahm  slotted in with ease leading Guardiola to hail his man as one of the “most intelligent” players in the world.


Luis Suarez, Liverpool, F50 Adizero TRX, Solar Blue/Running White/Solar Zest

Liverpool v Fulham - Premier League

After completing his 10-match ban, Luis Suarez has been absolutely on fire in his return to the Liverpool side. His two goals on Saturday against Fulham gave him eight for the season, tied for the league lead with teammate Daniel Sturridge and Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero, despite only playing six matches thus far. He took 10 shots at the weekend, the most in a single game by any EPL player this year.

Ivica Olic, Wolfsburg, Nitrocharge 1.0 TRX, Solar Slime/Black/Solar Zest

VfL Wolfsburg v Borussia Dortmund - Bundesliga

The former Bayern Munich man scored the winner to help Wolfsburg turn around a 1-0 deficit to beat Borussia Dortmund and give his old mates another leg up on their Bundesliga title rivals. Olic proved at 34, he’s still got a bit of magic left on his treads, cutting inside from the right and booming a left-footer off the far post.

Hernane, Flamengo, left foot: F50 Adizero TRX, Solar Blue/Running White/Solar Zest, right foot: F50 Adizero, Solar Zest/Black/Blast Purple

Flamengo v Goias - Brazilian Series A 2013

Full credit to our friends at Soccer Confidential for spotting Harnane, a player who seems to embody the spirit of the Samba Pack. As if one F50 wasn’t eye-catching enough, the on-form Flamengo striker decided to employ one of each colorway, and he backed up his choice by scoring against Goias for the second time in as many games.

Who is your favorite player wearing the Samba Pack? What player should have made our Starting XI but was left out? Let us know in the comments section below. 

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