World Cup 2022 is approaching and another milestone is completed as the official speedy ball for the final round has been launched.
Adidas as the main sponsor for FIFA World Cup ball since 1970 edition has unveiled their latest product for the tournament at the end of the year. It is named 'Al-Rihla', which means 'the journey' in Arabic. Apparently, it is named 'the speedy ball' not without the reason. This ball is considered suitable for high-paced football game in the present days.
Adidas Design Director, Franziska Loefellmann, stated the reason behind creating such distinguished ball.
“The game is getting faster and, as it speeds up, accuracy and flight stability become critically important. The new design allows the ball to maintain a significantly higher speed as it journeys through the air. For the biggest global stage in all of sport, we set out to make the impossible possible with radical innovation by creating the fastest and most accurate FIFA World Cup ball to date.”
Al Rihla is reportedly designed by using an advanced technology called the 'CRT-CORE' as the heart of the ball. Such is useful to optimise its velocity, air retention as well as its accuracy and consistency on the pitch. Moreover, The ball also uses SPEEDSHELL skin, which is a 20-piece panel shape to maintain its stability while flying in the air plus the ball accuracy. Not to mention that it purely uses water-based inks and glue to its great value on sustainability.
The FIFA world cup official ball was first introduced in Mexico 1970 with Adidas as the appointed manufacturer. In the previous editions, there had been no standardised ball for the competition. It occasionally even changed during the tournament, or worse, during the game.
Throughout the world cup history, the ball has gone through several changes and breakthrough. Up until Spain 1982, the ball had always been made of leather. Yet, in the following edition when Diego Maradona thrived, it was sewed in hand and made of fully synthetic materials. Another adjustment was made in world cup 1998 when its official ball, Tricolore, was the first to have a non conventional black-and-white colour.
Four years later, FIFA launched its first world cup ball with artistic pattern, Fevernova. It set the new bar of ball design. Meanwhile, since 2006, Adidas has not only launched one but two kinds of official ball. One is for the matches at the preliminary round, while another is for the vital games, either the ones at the knockout or the final. They are likely to continue doing so for here in Qatar 2022, although it has yet been confirmed.