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FOOTBALL/FOOTBALL BY JAMES REYNOLDS

James Reynolds merges footballs in hist latest project, highlighting the rise and rise of 'soccer' in the US, with more people playing with the spherical ball than ever before.

Since moving to the US, James has observed with a keen eye, the success that soccer is now having in the US. He speaks to Cult Kits about his latest project entitled Football/Football.

 

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Shop the Nike collection here.

 

Football is the global game. But in the States, ‘football’ is a completely different sport, played with very different parts of the anatomy.

But the popularity of soccer football is growing fast. Call it the Messi effect, hosting the World Cup in 2026, or safety issues around the pads and helmets version, more people in the US are playing with the spherical ball than ever.

 

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I moved to the US recently, and the Premier League is everywhere. Games are keenly watched on the multiple TVs in bars, and you always see people wearing Arsenal, Man City and Liverpool shirts on the street.

Equally, the NFL is getting bigger and bigger in the UK, with several games each year played in London and the Super Bowl broadcast on terrestrial British television.

It was this mix of very distinct footballs, and which game means what to different people, that inspired me to create Football/Football.

 

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A big hit of nostalgia also played its part. Some balls just stand the test of time. We all have a ball we played with until the colour faded or sections of the leather peeled off, bringing back memories of playing for hours during the school holidays. You never forget being hit by one on a cold day, or that time you hit a volley that made you think you could actually turn pro.

Certain balls are synonymous with Premier League icons scoring legendary goals. Shearer and the Mitre Ultimax just works. Beckham whipping in a freekick with the Nike Geo Merlin. Or Thierry Henry in the maroon Arsenal kit, nonchalantly side footing the yellow Total90 Aerow into the far corner.

 

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Some of the designs were trickier to paint than others. But after some tweaking of the proportions on Photoshop, a steady hand and a lot of patience is all it took. If these prove popular, I’ll add some more to the list. The original Champions League ball - as thumped by Zidane in the final against Leverkusen - and the gold adidas Fevernova used at the 2002 World Cup are potentials. For the moment though, I’m going to clear up the kitchen table and put the paints away.

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View more of James' work on his website and his Instagram.

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