After Neymar, Nike worries about likely loss of Vini Jr

Nike is concerned about the likely loss of Vini Jr. The Real Madrid (ESP) and Brazilian national team striker is dissatisfied with the treatment of the United States company and called lawyers to try to break the contract.

Unlike Neymar, Nike did not expect to lose Vini and thought they had the situation under control. Losing Neymar and Vini in two years would be damaging to the brand’s image and could spur further losses of key players.

Neymar broke up with Nike in 2020 after being accused by the company itself of sexual harassment against an employee. The alleged incident would have occurred in 2016 and was reported in 2018 in a forum created by the company itself. Nike alleges that the star player refused to cooperate with the investigation, which was considered “inconclusive”. Neymar claimed he was betrayed.

The imminent loss of Vini Jr, on the other hand, was not expected by Nike and executives are trying to end the litigation. People close to Vini Jr, however, told the UOL Sport that “there is no going back”. In a press conference yesterday (7), the striker said:

“I can’t talk. We have a contract, we’re partners, we can’t talk about our relationship. Since I don’t talk about my relationship with my father, I can’t talk about our relationship with you.”

Nike offers more money and protagonism, but Vini seems to have his mind set. Giants like Adidas and Puma are keeping an eye on the athlete’s situation and polls can yield a payment 10 times higher.

Vini Jr’s contract with Nike runs until 2028 and lawyers were called in to try to break it. In order not to constitute harassment, Adidas and Puma only made initial contacts and are awaiting termination.

People close to Vini assure that the dissatisfaction with Nike is not of a financial nature, but a proposal with high amounts can be a differential. The 22-year-old believes he receives unfair treatment from the brand.

Vinicius Jr has been sponsored by Nike since he was 13 years old. Discontent has existed for months and he has already stopped wearing the latest boots in the final stages of the European Champions League.

Nike’s main asset in the Brazilian national team, Vini is currently using an old model from the Mercurial line in the Qatar Cup. ‘Malvadez’ did not participate in the sponsor’s latest events, not even in the launch film for the new national team uniform – in which, in theory, he should have been the star given the convergence of interests: Nike sponsors Brazil and also the Real striker Madrid.

Vini had a meteoric mediatic rise in this World Cup and featured in several commercials, appearing to the Brazilian public even more than Neymar did during breaks between matches for the national team. In his social network, the player has a “highlight” for each brand that closed a partnership, but not for Nike. The action to organize partnerships in highlights was made after the litigation with the sporting goods giant, so Nike was never there.

Nike was contacted by the report of the UOL Sportbut did not respond on the matter.

Vini Jr.  celebrates Brazil's goal against South Korea at the Qatar World Cup - Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images - Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Vini Jr. celebrates Brazil’s goal against South Korea at the Qatar World Cup

Image: Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

still in the lead

Among the 26 players on the Brazilian national team in the Qatar Cup, Nike is the supplier of sporting goods with the greatest presence in Tite’s team. The score for the North American company is 10 to 9 in the clash with Adidas. Puma has seven other players.

The scenario of the boots of the Brazilian team for the 2022 World Cup looks like this:

  • Nike (10): Vini Jr, Richarlison, Rodrygo, Danilo, Marquinhos, Casemiro, Fred, Lucas Paquetá, Alisson and Éverton Ribeiro.
  • Adidas (9): Dani Alves, Alex Telles, Éder Militão, Fabinho, Bruno Guimarães, Raphinha, Gabriel Jesus, Gabriel Martinelli and Pedro
  • Puma (7): Neymar, Antony, Alex Sandro, Thiago Silva, Bremer, Ederson and Weverton.

In the event of losing Vini Jr, Nike could see a talent slipping out of their hands that has prospects of being part of the national team in the long term, even though the fact of being a CBF partner already ensures, by itself, a privileged position in the company’s commitments. selection.

Litigation with Vini Jr is far from Nike’s plans, since the player is a relevant example of the company’s projects for football: a player in the attack sector, young, who plays for a big team (Real Madrid) and already present on the highest shelf in football. Vini was eighth in the election of the best in the world last season, made by the magazine France Football🇧🇷

In addition to Vini Jr, Nike sees in Rodrygo, also from Real Madrid, a similar profile with potential for future brilliance and a chance to be relevant even in this Qatar Cup.

Vini Jr doesn't use the newest Nike boots - Lucas Figueiredo/CBF - Lucas Figueiredo/CBF

Vini Jr no longer wears new Nike boots

Image: Lucas Figueiredo/CBF

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