FIFA boss Gianni Infantino flies to Sydney in a luxurious private jet with custom sneakers that made him the butt of jokes during the World Cup in Qatar.
- The soccer supremo arrived in the port city on Wednesday
- Came from a meeting with the Australian Prime Minister in Canberra
- The choice of footwear drew attention last December
FIFA President Gianni Infantino spared no expense on his trip from the Australian capital to Sydney during what he had just called “the best Women’s World Cup ever”, but his choice of footwear turned heads when he disembarked from a private plane on Wednesday afternoon.
The 53-year-old arrived in the port city from Canberra, where he visited Parliament House earlier in the day and praised the host countries’ handling of the tournament while meeting Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.
He was photographed getting off a Gulfstream G650 jet in Sydney before climbing into a limousine, dressed in a suit and a pair of custom Adidas sneakers that made headlines at the Men’s World Cup in Qatar last year.
The shoes are printed with ‘FIFA’ on the sides, a feature soccer fans and greats of the game enjoyed when Infantino paired them with a suit during trophy presentations last December.
Infantino looked dressed for a round of high-profile meetings when he stepped off his private jet in Sydney on Wednesday afternoon, except for his flashy shoes.
Personalized Adidas sneakers with ‘FIFA’ printed on them saw fans and soccer greats like Alan Shearer and Gary Lineker take the mickey out of the 53-year-old in Qatar last year.
Premier League legend Alan Shearer has joked that fellow icon Gary Lineker had lent himself to “Gianni Infantino’s coaches” when the former Tottenham and England striker returned home after the Cup.
‘You borrowed those Infantino slippers!!’ wrote Shearer, who had worked alongside Lineker as an expert on Qatar.
Lineker responded to the joke with two laughing emojis.
The pair had also pointed out the unusual shoes while Infantino was leading the trophy ceremony after Argentina’s win over France.
Lineker quipped, “Interesting choice of coaches from Gianni Infantino,” prompting Shearer to ask, “How old is he?”
Soccer fans couldn’t pass up the chance to get a taste of the sport’s highest-profile administrator when he donned his shoes for Croatia’s third-place award ceremony.
Infantino climbed into a waiting limousine after meeting Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in the country’s capital.
The FIFA boss taunted fans after pairing the shoes with a suit while handing out trophies at the Men’s World Cup in Qatar (pictured)
Infantino (pictured with Anthony Albanese) said Australia and New Zealand are hosting ‘the best Women’s World Cup ever’
One wrote on social media that FIFA should “get rid of Infantino simply for wearing white sneakers with a suit.”
Another added: “Gianni Infantino always looks like a lad in a suit whose ‘nice shoes’ are killing him, so he wears his joggers to peek at the footie and stomp.”
A third said the look was “like wearing shoes in the pool.”
Infantino’s luxurious trip to Sydney would have cost between A$3,000 and A$6,000, according to Australian-based private jet services.
The FIFA chief’s visit to Canberra saw him lead a ‘Matildas’ chant before bringing back memories of then-IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch, calling the Sydney Games ‘the greatest Olympic Games ever’.
“You are a country with a rich history and a country that has hosted the best Women’s World Cup ever, and I hope you are proud of that,” Infantino said as he unveiled the winner’s trophy with Albanese.
‘This will become the number one sport in Australia as it is around the world.
“To see the hearts of all of them beating for soccer, the World Cup and the Matildas, it’s fantastic.”