Herbert Hainer, chief executive of the Adidas Group, told the Süddeutsche Zeitung that the company achieved sales of more than €2 billion in China last year, up from €1,811 million in 2014, making it the group's second-largest national market after the U.S. For this year the Adidas chief predicts buoyant football sales, to reach more than €2.1 billion – topping the record sales achieved in 2014, when the football World Cup was held in Brazil. Hainer admitted some mistakes when the group and its leadership were under pressure in 2014, for example when Adidas suffered a delay of six months for the launch of a football boot, meaning that it only came up with a design upgrade for the World Cup. But Hainer's interview with the German newspaper made most headlines in the U.K., as he uttered some criticism about the current play at Manchester United, with which Adidas agreed a ten-year sponsorship deal worth £750 million (€1,008.6m-$1,094.7m) starting last summer. Hainer said that jersey sales were above expectations, with about 60 percent of the purchases coming from outside the U.K., but he added that the current play was “not exactly what we would like to see.”