Guy Ritchie + Soccer = Awesomeatude

Guy Ritchie, who directed a couple of my favorite movies, Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch, has just put out an ad for Nike Soccer that, for lack of better terminology, simply kicks ass.

Fabregas celebrates with you on your goal

The "mini-movie" is in first-person perspective and takes the viewer on a whirlwind tour of scoring for a small-time club, being signed to and playing for Arsenal, and, finally, playing in a Dutch National Team game versus Portugal.

Ibrahimović mocks your attempt at marking him after scoring on your sorry ass

What makes this commercial so compelling is the on-the-pitch action of real-life European soccer stars such as Arsenal player Cesc Fabregas, Man U. players Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo, Inter Milan players Marco Materazzi and Zlatan Ibrahimović, Barça players Ronaldihno and Rafael Márquez (the Barça game is on the Internet-only longer version of the commercial) and Dutch National side players Ruud Van Nistelrooy and Wesley Sneijder, among others.

Materazzi gives you the one-handed definition of "man marking"

The action scenes are very well-done and give you a good sense of how brutal it must be to play at that level. When Materazzi stiff-arms "you" in the face (see photo above), you can almost feel it, and when "you" score the pick-up pass in front of goal from Fabregas, the exhilaration is undeniable. The killer soundtrack from the Eagles of Death Metal propels the action perfectly.

Sneijder intones one last word of encouragement prior to your free kick

This type of commercial should be incredibly cheesy, I understand that. And maybe if you are not a soccer addict you will get a eau d'fromage. But for me (and I suspect legions of die-hard fans just like me), it really resonates. And it works—I had to hit up the Nikesoccer web site to watch it again (and, I confess, again and again).