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✈️ [AOF] GOES INTERNATIONAL - the late 90's, R9 and King Zizou.

✈️ [AOF] GOES INTERNATIONAL - the late 90's, R9 and King Zizou.

The 90’s. What a decade. In popular culture it was Space Jam, Harry Potter and Britney and Justin in matching denim. In football it was the dazzling Brazilians, King Zizou and England losing on penalties. The final World Cup of the century certainly lived up to expectation.

France ’98 was no ordinary World Cup tournament. It was a footballing festival packed with drama, controversy, colour and world class talent. It was a tournament that impacted French culture and captivated the world. It was a month in history in which the love capital of the world made a generation fall in love with the beautiful game.

Some of the more memorable tournament moments include Owen’s solo wonder goal for England, Romania’s blonde barnets and the Dutch commentator losing his mind over the excellence of Dennis Bergkamp.

A large part of the glitz and glamour surrounding the tournament was found in Brazil. The 90s, for the Brazilian national team, was an era of magnificence and flair. The dancers of world football boasted a lineup that included the likes of Romario, Emerson, Denilson, Juninho, Leonardo, Roberto Carlos and of course, an already crowned 2x Player of the Year, 21 year old Ronaldo.

In a word.. drip.

Around the same time, Nike had set their sights on pioneering the way football was filtered into worldwide advertisement. Having lost out on official World Cup sponsorship to Adidas, Nike needed to up the ante. Prior to France ’98, they decided that the best thing to do would be to take the Brazilian superstars, drop them in an airport and film what happened. Essentially, they wanted to document the mix of the most entertaining footballers in the world with with what is typically, a very boring place. Turned out to be a decent plan. The players turned on their magic for the cameras and Airport 98 was born. What an advert. 

Of course, 1998 wasn’t all about the South Americans. The host nation played some sumptuous football throughout the tournament, no more so than in the final against Ronaldo’s Brazilian boys. If this tournament is remembered by just one player, it’s Zinedine Zidane. Zizou bagged two headers in the final and ran rings around everyone he came up against. Probably the greatest midfielder of the year and, arguably, of all time.

France ’98 will always be remembered for its world class footballing talent. This design is our homage to the late ‘90s. France ’98, R9 tearing the world to shreds and the legendary Nike airport ad. Our, oui.

We’ll leave you with the top 10 nominees for the Ballon d’Or in 1998.

A generation of pure class.

Zinedine Zidane.

Davor Šuker.


Michael Owen.


Gabriel Batistuta.

Lilian Thuram.

Edgar Davids.

Dennis Bergkamp.

Marcel Desailly.

Check out our Autumn/Winter 20 Collection, featuring the '[AOF] Goes International' design, on our website.

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