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The boots of Marcelo Luiz were said to be the lightest and most durable soccer cleats in the world between the 1920’s and the 1960’s. The original soccer cleats were made of thick and hard leather and at the time, had only six rounded studs nailed to the bottom. Leather, although used to make many different clothing pieces and garments, leather was famously produced to the highest degree in Marcelo’s hometown of Cuiaba, Brazil. According to research, Marcelo began to make cleats for the soccer players in Cuiaba so they could move faster thus play at a higher level when they played neighboring cities. It was rumored that Marcelo himself would only used hides from the strongest and fastest bulls in the town because he believed the spirit and strength of the animal would stay with the leather, no matter what form. His father Marcelo Luiz, Senior, once acknowledged that the great Alberto Torres came to Marcelo at a young age asking him to make a pair for him. Marcelo happily accepted. According Marcelo’s close friend Neymar di Santo, he said “Marcelo worked day and night on those cleats and eventually after a year of work he completed his finest pair ever”. The cleats were constructed with the most elaborate detail and finest leathers Marcelo could find. Alberto Torres had so much promise to be a star in Brazil, but he eventually endured injury and never amounted to his potential. For Marcelo the disappointment of Alberto’s career pushed him into a deep depression and Marcelo never made another pair of cleats again.

By James Vargas

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