What Does the World Cup Ball Look Like?

Liam Bewsher

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What Does the World Cup Ball Look Like?

In March 2022, Adidas announced the release of the 2022 FIFA World Cup ball, a truly revolutionary concept, as it has connected ball technology.

Adidas announced that the ball is called Al Rihla, with this term meaning ‘the journey’ in Arabic. The ball was designed as an example of how important sustainability is in modern-day society, as it was created with water-based glues and inks.

The ball technology itself will have a time-precise motion sensor in it that will be able to track every touch of a match at a rate of 500 times per second. The 500Hz inertial measurement unit inside the ball is set to enhance the use of VAR, as it has the capability to track ball movements and transmission to Video Match Officials within seconds. This it to help VAR decide on a decision when it comes to obscure touches.

This make a stark contrast to the 2018 Adidas Telstar ball that was used in the Russian World Cup, which was a tribute to Adidas’ first World Cup ball of 1970.

Other Famous World Cup Balls

1998 World Cup: Tricolore

The ball used at the French World Cup in 1998 was the first-ever FIFA World Cup ball that was multi-coloured, with it being purple and white, whilst having black fonts on it for the logos and manufacturers.

This was notably the tournament when France managed to win their first World Cup crown via a famous 3-0 win over Brazil in the final.

2002 World Cup: Fevernova

The Fevernova will forever be one of the best footballs ever created, especially when envisaging the likes of Ronaldo and Ronaldinho shining on the world stage for Brazil in South Korea and Japan.

This was the first-ever World Cup ball with a triangular design and it was even used at the Women’s World Cup just one year later, but, with a different colour scheme.

2006 World Cup: Teamgeist

2006 saw one of the best World Cups hosted to date, as the tournament in Germany had thrills and spills right till the end, notably finishing with Italy becoming world champions, whilst Zinedine Zidane was sent off in the final for headbutting Marco Materazzi in the same match he scored a panenka penalty past Gianluigi Buffon.

Their football was cool too, as Adidas designed a 14-panel ball which was personalised to each match - using a simple black and white design with a trimming of gold, before switching it up to predominantly gold and white for the final in Berlin.

2010 World Cup: Jabulani

The Jabulani ball used in South Africa is perhaps a favourite of Diego Forlan’s, as the Uruguayan striker had an incredible tournament, scoring five times, winning the Golden Boot in the process. However, it was a nightmare for goalkeepers due to its unpredictable aerodynamics, causing what looked like a series of goalkeeping errors.

Like in Germany 2006, there was a special edition of the ball made for the final in Johannesburg - the city of which the name Jabulani was inspired from.

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