Nike teases England and France with World Cup themed advert

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The Independent Online

Nike's latest World Cup themed advert has the potential to unite fans of both the England and France national football teams as it both mocks and praises the potential of two of their sponsored athletes - Wayne Rooney and Franck Ribery.

The commercial's TV debut is scheduled for Saturday May 22 but has been made available online as a way of generating buzz.

May 22 is also the date that Franck Ribery's club side, the German league champions Bayern Munich, will tussle with Italian champs Inter Milan in the UEFA Champions League Final, the last of European soccer's grandstand spectacles before the World Cup begins on June 11.

According to the clip's slice of future history, Rooney's disastrous turn of fortune is discussed by two of his new neighbors in a grimy caravan park. A key pass from Rooney to Theo Walcott was intercepted and resulted in a famous French win.

Following that, Ribery himself was elevated so highly that he even became a national icon in England - mimicking Wayne's pose in a Nike campaign for the 2006 World Cup - while Rooney is condemned to obscurity, reliving the moment day after day.

Though Adidas is the only sports apparel manufacturer with official tournament sponsorship, association by means of personal endorsements such as these and through the supply of official team kits is the most prominent way that other sportswear companies such as Nike, Puma, and Lotto can get close to the buzz of the soccer festival.

Should Nike's prediction come true, the earliest opportunity would be at the World Cup semi finals on July 2 or 3, but only if both teams win or come second in their respective groups and make it through the first knock-out round victorious.

If one progresses as winner while the other is group runner up, the prophesied meeting can only occur on July 11 at the World Cup Final itself - or on the day before during the third place playoff.

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