Adidas vs. Nike Super Match: Selecting the Adidas World Football Best XI

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Adidas vs. Nike Super Match: Selecting the Adidas World Football Best XI

Adidas or Nike. Nike or Adidas. 

More than 1,000 of the world's best footballers proudly strap on footwear from one of the two top brands in the game. From Messi to Ronaldo, to Rooney, to Casillas and a host of great players around the world, the conversation of which brand boasts the better talent has been going on for years. 

We've decided to answer it.

There are more than 600 players affiliated with Adidas and nearly 475 under the Nike umbrella. Before we could determine which brand had the better team, we had to figure out the players who would be on each team. Over the last month, a dedicated panel of soccer writers and editors at Bleacher Report paired down the list of over 1,000 names to just under 50.

We selected the Best XI for both Adidas and Nike, then painstakingly filled out a seven-man bench and chose an additional five reserve players to serve as ambassadors because, frankly, we couldn't decide the teams without some of those names.

Today, we will announce our Adidas squad, following that with our Nike squad (update: this is now available).

After both rosters are announced, a worldwide panel of soccer experts has been asked to choose the better player at each position—think Messi vs. Neymar 11 times over—to help determine which brand has the more talented players.

Then we will play the match. 

With the help of EA Sports and FIFA 12, we will simulate the match with our selected rosters to determine, once and for all, which team would win a super-match between Adidas and Nike. 

We can (and will) debate this forever, but this project is as close as we may ever come to determining which brand has the best stable of talent.

Remember, this is not a list of all the best talent in the world. There's a good chance that Puma's roster could beat either of these teams (more on that down the road). This was also created without participation from either brand. The goal is not to figure out which brand has the better products, rather, the better talent using those products.

With this many players to choose from, there are no wrong answers, which is to say every answer can be wrong. We did not come by these decisions lightly. To see just how detailed our selections are, please click the subsequent pages to read our debate at each position. Obviously, your opinion on our selections is welcome in the comments.

For a full list of the Adidas and Nike players, compiled via Wikipedia and independently verified when applicable, click here

Without further adieu, here is the Adidas Best XI on the "field" with the subs listed at the bottom.

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