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10.10.2018 13:40
n Friday at the teams training base south of Paris.Pepe has been on excellent form in France, reining in his famed hot temper an Antworten

By now its a weekly routine: Big NFL stars like Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown, Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and Panthers quarterback Cam Newton take the field wearing custom-designed cleats.But the big names arent the only ones wearing the custom footwear. A growing number of players are wearing one-of-a-kind cleats -- usually just in pregame warm-ups but sometimes in games -- and many of them are getting the customized gear from an unlikely source: a sneaker shop in Buffalo, whose co-owner and cleat artist have ridden their custom designs all the way to a partnership with Nike.The shop, which is called Fabes Sole High, opened in 2014. Were big on exclusivity -- things that are expensive and rare, things you wouldnt find at Foot Locker, said the shops co-owner, Napoleon Polo Kerber, whos 26. Athletes would come to our store for that, so we already had that customer base.Shortly after the shop opened, Kerber met up with a 31-year-old local artist named Nicholas Avery, who got into customized footwear by painting his own sneakers for fun. A couple of designs that Id done were displayed at a different shop in Buffalo, he said. I wasnt really affiliated with them, but they just thought it would be cool to showcase those designs. Then, I started getting requests, and I ran into the guys at Fabes Sole High and we talked about working together.Things started slowly. The first athlete to request customized cleats from them was a college player -- Mississippi quarterback Chad Kelly, whos from Buffalo and requested a custom pair last year. But their big break came when Bills running back LeSean McCoy asked for a pair. Then, other Bills players saw what he was wearing and wanted their own pairs, and then theyd tell their friends on other teams, guys they went to college with, and it kind of took off from there, Kerber said.Things have picked up this season, as word of Fabes Sole High has spread. Players whove worn the shops custom designs have included the following:? Dolphins cornerback Bobby McCain. Avery turned the Nike swoosh on McCains cleats into a stylized dolphin.? Colts wide receiver Donte Moncrief. Avery again modified the Nike logo, this time taking the subtle approach of adding white dots to the swoosh to mimic the similar markings on the Colts horseshoe logo.? Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. Hopkins got a pair of NASA-themed cleats, complete the NASA logo on the insole and moon craters on the exterior. ? Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard. Wheres Waldo? Right on Shepards cleats. ? Bills cornerback Kevon Seymour. Seymour went with a Sonic the Hedgehog theme for his custom cleats.Other Fabes Sole High customers have included Titans tight end Delanie Walker and Bills quarterback Cardale Jones, among others. The NFL often frowns on custom footwear being worn in games, so most of these players have worn their Fabes Sole High cleats only for pregame activities. But some have managed to get them into games. The guys who police this stuff for the league, theyll tell the players during pregame, You cant wear that during the game, but they usually dont check after that, Kerber said. So some guys, like Cardale Jones, have switched to regular cleats for the first half and then worn their custom designs during the second half.Kerber handles most of the communication with the players, but Avery executes the designs. Ill start by roughing the shoe up with a sanding pen, so itll hold the paint better, Avery said. Then I use whats called an adhesion promoter, which is usually used for automotive paint jobs, which also helps the paint to adhere. I use Angelus paint, which is designed for leather. Its made to flex without cracking. I mostly use an airbrush, but Ill use do small details by hand. And then I use a heat gun to cook the paint onto the shoe. The whole process takes about 20 hours. The player usually provides the cleats, and the price for the paint job is generally in the $400 range.Avery said the players usually leave the designs up to him. They might specify what color they want, but otherwise they leave it pretty wide open for me to do whatever I think looks good, so theres a surprise factor, he said. I dont do any mock-ups or preliminary versions for their approval because the designs usually evolve as Im working on them, so the final version would look different anyway.But a few players have taken a more active role in the design concepts for their cleats. Cardinals cornerback Marcus Cooper, for example, requested a pair that celebrated the upcoming birth of his daughter, so he provided Avery with photos to use, including a sonogram image.Players arent the only ones whove taken notice of Fabes Sole Highs work. With the NFL allowing players to wear custom cleats to support charitable endeavors during the games played on Dec. 4, Kerber and Avery have temporarily relocated to Oregon, where theyve been working with Nike to create footwear designs for many of the players affiliated with the sportswear giant. ESPN.com will provide previews of those designs soon -- stay tuned.Paul Lukas writes about uniforms for ESPN.com. If you like this column, youll probably like his Uni Watch Blog, plus you can follow him on Twitter and Facebook. Want to learn about his Uni Watch Membership Program, be added to his mailing list so youll always know when a new column has been posted or just ask him a question? Contact him here. 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PARIS -- The Latest on the European Championship (all times local):---5:45 p.m.UEFA leaders do not expect outgoing president Michel Platini to accept their invitation to attend the European Championship final on Sunday.Though Platini is banned from any football duties until 2019 by FIFAs ethics committee, he could go to see France vs. Portugal at the Stade de France without getting involved in official business.UEFA interim general secretary Theodore Theodoridis says Platinis invitation has been open for the whole month-long tournament.Theodoridis says at a UEFA news conference that until now he (Platini) has not shown interest, and according to my knowledge, will not be coming. I hope that he is changing his mind.Platini, who has a holiday home near Marseille, had a central role when France won the title at the last two tournaments its hosted.He lifted the trophy as captain of the Euro 1984 team, which beat Spain 2-0 in the final at the Parc des Princes, and headed the organizing committee of the 1998 World Cup, when France beat Brazil 3-0 at the Stade de France.---5:25 p.m.If TV audiences are anything to go by, the 330,000 people who live in tiny Iceland are clearly soccer-mad.The national teams victory over England in the last 16 on June 27 was watched by no fewer than 99.8 per cent of the countrys TV audience.It meant that only 298 viewers were watching another program, while the soccer team registered the north Atlantic countrys biggest sporting achievement.---5:00 p.m.UEFA expects to make a profit of 830 million euros ($917 million) from the European Championship.UEFAs projected tournament finances published Friday showed total revenue of 1.93 billion euros ($2.13 billion) for the expanded 24-team tournament.That is a rise of 34 percent -- earned from 20 extra matches -- over Euro 2012 which had 16 teams and 31 matches.UEFA says broadcast rights earned just over 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion); sponsorship and licensing deals were worth 480 million euros ($530 million); and sales of tickets and hospitality earned 400 million euros ($441 million).Spending by UEFA on Euro 2016 included 650 million euros ($718 million) on organizing the event; 301 million euros ($333 million) in team prize money;; and 150 million euros ($168 million) to clubs for releasing their players.ddddddddddddUEFA says it will pay 600 million euros ($663 million) of expected tournament profit to its 55 member federations for development projects over the next four years.UEFA will bank 230 million euros ($254 million) to cover its own running costs for the next four years.---2 p.m.Czech Republic goalkeeper Petr Cech says he is retiring from international football.The 34-year-old says he wants to fully focus on his career at Premier League club Arsenal. Cech has been a mainstay on the Czech national team since his 2002 debut, a 2-0 victory over Hungary. He has played a record 124 matches for his country since.The highlight of his international career came at the 2004 European Championship when the Czechs reached the semifinals. He helped the team qualify for every continental championship since and played in the 2006 World Cup in Germany.His last match in the national jersey was a 2-0 loss to Turkey in the final group stage game at Euro 2016 in France on June 21.---12:15 p.m.Pepe trained away from his Portugal teammates during training on Friday before Sundays European Championship final against France.The central defender failed to recover from a thigh muscle injury in time to play in the semifinal against Wales, which Portugal won 2-0.There has been no update from Portugal on the condition of Real Madrids Pepe, who was doing ball work with a member of the Portuguese staff on Friday at the teams training base south of Paris.Pepe has been on excellent form in France, reining in his famed hot temper and organizing Portugals defense.---12:15 p.m.UEFA says English referee Mark Clattenburg will handle the European Championship final.Clattenburg completes a big match hat trick after officiating at the UEFA Champions League final and English FA Cup final in May.He follows Pedro Proenca of Portugal in 2012 in refereeing UEFAs two highest profile matches back to back.Clattenburg has handled three previous matches at Euro 2016, though none involving the two teams playing at Stade de France on Sunday. 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