Nike has released the Nike5 Gato Street sneaker, designed specifically for small-sided football.

“Football in any form is about space. Finding a teammate in space, creating space for yourself and creating space for others. It was because of space – or rather a lack of it – that players had to take the full-size game and shrink it down to smaller teams and smaller versions of the game. In 1930’s Uruguay and Brazil, locals had started what would become a full-blown love affair with football, but due to a lack of open space in their overpopulated cities, a variant of football that could be played simply requiring less space was created. The world hasn’t looked back.

The global appeal of the small-sided game is truly astonishing. Fly into Rio de Janeiro airport and you’ll see a small pitch adjacent to the runway, walk through the urban sprawl of London of an evening and you’ll hear the deafening crash of man and ball against the fenced pitches that symbolize the uniquely robust English game. In Barcelona the game is about beautiful patterns, in Rio it is all about individual trickery. The differences and nuances of how the game is played in its different locations are evident but so is one key factor, a devotion and infatuation for their version of the sport. After identifying the regional nuances of small-sided football throughout the world, Nike has designed its most versatile small-sided shoe, the Nike5 Gato Street.”

The Nike5 Gato Street will be available worldwide from April 1, 2011.