Who would win in a Nike vs Adidas match? Messi and Salah vs Ronaldo and Mbappe...

In the modern footballing world, every star is tied up to a sponsorship deal, with Nike and Adidas leading the way. But which sporting giant boasts the better XI?

Nike or Adidas? Adidas or Nike? The two sportswear giants are constantly duelling it out at the top of the commercial ladder, but who leads the way when it comes to the footballers endorsing them?

Planet Sport picks the best XI both brands can turn out and takes an educated guess at to who would come out on top in a head to head between Adidas and Nike. Spoiler alert - we still don't get to see Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in the same team…

Nike XI


Alisson Becker, Liverpool

Alisson Becker - Liverpool's shot-stopper gets the spot between the sticks for the Nike XI.

World Cup winner Hugo Lloris was in contention, but Liverpool's Brazilian star has shone in recent seasons, and is arguably the best goalkeeper in the world at the minute.


Ruben Dias, Joao Cancelo

Joao Cancelo - Manchester City's Portuguese full-back is usually deployed on the left flank, but he's had to make do on the right for Nike's all-star XI.

Cancelo has thrived under Pep Guardiola, showing his ability to both defend and create for the Citizens, registering an impressive seven assists from defence this season.

Virgil van Dijk - The best centre-back in the world slots nicely into Nike's defence, and is even a contender to be captain of the side.

The Dutchman has been colossal for Liverpool since signing for them back in 2018, and with a Premier League and Champions League trophy now in his cabinet, he was nailed on to make the starting XI here.

Ruben Dias - Manchester City struck gold when signing Dias in 2020, with the Portuguese centre-back helping to fill the void left by Vincent Kompany at the Etihad Stadium.

Andy Robertson - Rounding off the all-Premier League defence is Liverpool left-back Andy Robertson, who has propelled himself to stardom after moving to Anfield for just £8million back in 2017.

With Liverpool and Manchester City way out in front in the Premier League this season, Nike should feel safe with a backline made solely from these two sides.


Luka Modric, Kevin De Bruyne, Bruno Fernandes

Luka Modric - Four-time Champions League winner. Ballon d'Or winner. Does anything else need to be said? Even at 36 years old Modric runs the heart of midfield.

Kevin De Bruyne - You'll be glad to hear De Bruyne is the final Manchester City player in the XI, but it's hard to leave out the world class Belgian from this line-up.

He's been central to Manchester City's success in recent years, and is widely regarded as one of - if not the best - player in the Premier League.

Bruno Fernandes - Since making the switch to Old Trafford, Bruno Fernandes has often carried a dismal Manchester United side to success.

He's made 15 clearcut chances this season, and boasts 36 goals and 25 assists in 87 Premier League appearances.


Kylian Mbappe, Cristiano Ronaldo, Erling Haaland

Kylian Mbappe - The PSG star could make it into any side in the world at the moment, and is the first part of a star-studded Nike attack.

At just 23 years old, it only seems a matter of time until he becomes the main face of the Nike brand, he just needs a certain Portuguese star to retire first.

Cristiano Ronaldo - Speaking of that certain Portuguese star, Cristiano Ronaldo spearheads the Nike XI, not only as the brand's biggest ambassador, but also as one of the greatest players of all time.

Of course, he's not quite as good as he used to be, and leaving Harry Kane on the bench was a hard decision, but Ronaldo just about holds on to the striker position for now.

Erling Haaland - We may not get to see Messi and Ronaldo in the same line-up, but we do get to see Mbappe and Haaland together.

With three world class strikers all likely wanting to play through the centre, they may have to take turns, but we're sure there's enough talent out there to get the job done.

Adidas XI


Manuel Neuer, Bayern Munich

Manuel Neuer - Despite being past his prime, Manuel Neuer will go into the history books as one of the all-time best goalkeepers, and the German shot-stopper revolutionised the position with his positioning and sweeping outside the box.

Both David de Gea and Marc-Andre ter Stegen were other options for the Adidas XI, but the legendary German takes the No.1 shirt.


Achraf Hakimi, David Alaba

Achraf Hakimi - After impressing at Borussia Dortmund and Inter Milan, Hakimi made a switch to PSG and has developed into one of the best offensive right-backs in world football.

With bundles of pace and creativity, the 23-year-old is a strong addition to the Adidas side.

Aymeric Laporte - Coming up against Manchester City teammate Dias is fellow centre-back Laporte, who has been a crucial part of the champions' stalwart defence this season, conceding just 23 goals in his 33 league appearances.

David Alaba - Alongside Laporte is Real Madrid centre-back David Alaba, who has helped transform a struggling Los Blancos side into La Liga champions.

Two Champions League successes at Bayern Munich bolster an already impressive trophy cabinet, and at 29 years old, Alaba is ready to enjoy his prime years.

Luke Shaw - Where Adidas fall short a little is in the left-back spot, with England's Luke Shaw filling the role.

He's having to battle with Alex Telles for his starting position at Manchester United, but Shaw has still shown himself to be an impressive full-back with some outstanding performances last season. Plus, with an impressive goal in the Euro 2020 final, he has a knack for scoring in the big games.


Toni Kroos, Paul Pogba, N'golo Kante

N'golo Kante - Wherever Kante goes, he improves the side. He helped Leicester City to the most unlikely Premier League title, then went and won the league and Champions League with Chelsea, as well as a World Cup medal with France.

Paul Pogba - Okay, hear me out. Manchester United's Paul Pogba would struggle to make the side, but alongside France teammate Kante he seems to fulfil his potential.

The World Cup-winning duo have formed a formidable partnership, and they'll be responsible for running the heart of Adidas' midfield.

Toni Kroos - While Nike may have Modric, Adidas have a Real Madrid veteran of their own. Kroos too has four Champions League titles, and while he may not have a Ballon d'Or to his name, the 32-year-old has won the World Cup with Germany.


Mohamed Salah, Karim Benzema, Lionel Messi

Mohamed Salah - Liverpool's Egyptian star has become one of Adidas' biggest ambassadors in recent years, and he'll line up at his favoured right wing spot for their all-star XI.

Salah is a goal machine, having scored 120 for Liverpool in just 193 matches. We're sure he'd love to put a few past Liverpool team-mate Alisson too.

Karim Benzema - Real Madrid's French striker is enjoying his most productive season yet, having scored 44 goals in 45 appearances for Los Blancos across all competitions.

Having lived in the shadow of Ronaldo during his time at Madrid, Benzema would relish the chance to outshine him in this Adidas vs Nike clash.

Lionel Messi - Adidas' biggest star of course makes the starting XI. Seven Ballon d'Ors speaks for itself, and despite flopping at PSG this season, there's no denying Messi's superhuman talents.

Who would win?

There's no denying that both teams are absolutely stacked with world class talent, but we're leaning towards Nike's well-rounded line-up to take the win, with every position covered by superstars.

Nike's defence is made up of Manchester City and Liverpool stars, and while they'd have some issues trying to contain Adidas' attacking trio, they'd have a better time of it than Alaba and Laporte.

It's set up to be a blockbuster goalfest, so typically in reality it'd play out to be a 0-0...

READ MORE: Who is Julian Alvarez, and why he could steal Erling Haaland’s thunder at Manchester City

Latest news