At its centre is the idea of what might go through a footballer’s mind when playing for their country. Will they succeed and bring glory to the nation, or return home a dismal failure? Will statues be unveiled in their honour, their story played out in a biopic; or will they disappear in a haze of tabloid fury and end up heavily bearded and living in a dirty caravan? Such is the metaphorical way of the footballer, their fate entirely dependent on how well they perform on the pitch.
Of course, all the big guns are here in director Alejandro G Iñarritu’s fantastical display: Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo, Didier Drogba, to name but a few. The cameo-laden spot even features cheeky appearances from Kobe Bryant and Roger Federer, but the highlight surely is Homer Simpson falling for a rather sweet animated ‘nutmeg’ manoeuvre, courtesy of, yes, one “Ronal…’doh!”
The sheer wealth of footballing talent on show also served to highlight the danger inherent in having sporting figures acting as the face of a brand: Ronaldinho gets some serious air time but never ended up playing in the World Cup itself, while Rooney had a dismal time in what was generally deemed a disappointing tournament. That said, the epic ad certainly got a whole load of football fans geared up – it had 7.8m views online in its first week. If only the World Cup itself had proved as exciting.