Few opponents have been able to slow Barcelona. But Nike may have inadvertently managed to do just that -- with shirts that absorb too much sweat. A shirt that weighed 200 grams at the beginning of a match can weigh up to two-and-a-half times as much just 45 minutes later.
The Spanish champions say they have recently met with Nike officials to complain about the new shirts. The team contends the shirts absorb so much moisture they take on added weight over the course of a game.
Dressing room sources told El País that players noticed during a pre-season tour of the US that the shirt "weighed a tonne" and "stuck to the body like a limpet".
They hoped the problem would not persist when they returned to the more forgiving weather conditions in Spain, but on Friday the club called a meeting with Nike to seek solutions.
Nike said it has begun testing the shirt. "Nike's product team is working to address concerns with the FCB home jersey," a spokeswoman said.
"All product concerns are treated with the utmost importance and a solution is expected when all appropriate testing is completed."
Major clubs can sell more than 1m shirts a year, and Barcelona had said this season's design looked set to break records.
The much-vaunted eco-friendly pitch shirt, said to use the recycled plastic of a dozen water bottles in a single garment, reportedly uses a version of Nike's Dri-Fit fabric, made of polyester microfibres to help wearers stay dry and comfortable.