Almost a third of the players in the starting lineups for European football's showpiece match were wearing the ACE or X as the two revolutionary new designs from adidas were given a first on-pitch outing in Saturday's Champions League final.
Ivan Rakitić stuck away a fourth-minute opener for Barcelona with unshakeable composure in his ACEs, only for Álvaro Morata to hit back for Juventus with a sidefoot swipe of his X. At one-one, the tie was in the balance, setting the stage for a classic showdown between control and chaos – ACE, and X. Anticipation grew amongst engrossed spectators; players began to tire as the battle wore on. Finally, just as Juve appeared to be exerting tactical superiority for the first time in the match, Messi – of course Messi – intervened with the kind of otherworldly solo run that only the magical Argentinian can produce. After Messi's shot was saved, Suárez followed in, showing the type of unpredictable movement you'd expect from a wearer of the X as he beat surrounding defenders to the ball and rifled a right-footed strike into the roof of the net.
So, while the X topped the ACE in their debut match-up in terms of goals, once again it was the brilliant boots of Lionel Messi that stole the show. Even such potent forces as chaos and control fade into the background when you're on the pitch with a player from another planet.