Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi played a instrumental role in Argentina's World Cup triumph in Qatar last year AFP News/Anne-Christine POUJOULAT

The world of sneakerheads is currently abuzz after a leak came out claiming that Adidas is gearing up to release a new limited-edition pair of themed sneakers in partnership with football superstar Lionel Messi.

The Argentina captain, who led his national team to glory at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar last year, has been sponsored by the globally-renowned brand for over fifteen years. He is believed to have signed a lifetime deal with the brand, and they are said to be preparing to unveil a new "Messi" Samba shoe in January 2024.

The leak was first reported by the website FootyHeadlines.Com, which dropped the bomb exactly a year after Argentina defeated France in the FIFA World Cup final in Doha. However, the actual design of the upcoming "Messi" Samba is still under wraps.

The Samba itself is an iconic shoe, so its primary design will likely remain unchanged. As for the colourway, it won't be difficult to predict that the white and sky blue of Argentina's flag will likely be featured.

This brings to mind the "Messi" Samba that was first released way back in 2012. At that time, Adidas released a special Samba design that was primarily white with sky blue accents on the tongue, ankle rim and stripes.

The back of the shoe featured Messi's own logo that has been used in many other releases by Adidas. It is displayed beside the Adidas Originals logo with a white and blue background. Then, Messi's name is printed in gold across the middle of the iconic three stripes on the side of the shoe, with a football also printed beside it. That model was officially dubbed the "Adidas Samba OG Messi".

Twelve years later, it is unclear if Adidas will bring back the same design or if the 2024 version will be very different from the first Messi Samba.

What are the Adidas Originals Samba Shoes?

To those unfamiliar with the brand, the Samba is one of the staples of the Adidas Originals lineup. It was designed way back in 1949, and the name was coined as a tribute to the Brazilian Samba and Carnaval. The shoes were first released ahead of the 1950 World Cup, which was hosted by Brazil.

The design has since been reimagined countless of times since then, and has continued to be one of the most loved Adidas styles for over 70 years.

According to the Adidas website, Sambas "are beloved by athletes for their reliable traction and tough, reinforced T-toe design".

The rumoured "Messi" shoes will come out just months after Adidas also released a new lifestyle shoe in partnership with the Argentine's club, Inter Miami CF. Following a lengthy career with FC Barcelona and then a short stint with Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain, Messi joined the Major League Soccer (MLS) side this summer.

He has since changed the face of the league and has been making waves since his return to the Americas. The MLS has enjoyed sky-rocketing popularity in recent months, with ticket prices also reaching unprecedented heights.

The interest in football is at an all-time high in the United States, where it is known as soccer. As such, it is a timely move for Adidas to strike while the iron is hot. Apart from winning the World Cup last year, Messi also helped Inter Miami win the first trophy in their history. Just a few weeks after joining the club, he helped them with this year's Leagues Cup.

Then, in November, he was awarded a record eighth Ballon d'Or trophy.

Although Inter Miami failed to qualify for the post season, there is already a lot of anticipation over what could happen next year, when Messi starts his first full season with the club.

For now, the 2023 season is officially over, and Messi and his teammates will be enjoying private time with their families over the holidays. In January, they will be reporting back for pre-season training, and it remains to be seen if this new Messi Samba will actually drop.

Earlier this year, Adidas also collaborated with Inter Miami to release a lifestyle sneaker dubbed the 2getherness shoe.