Made in China match ball
FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar
Adidas Al Rihla
About 2022 Qatar
THE NUMBER OF PANELS BEGAN TO GROW AGAIN
Al Rihla is the most expensive World Cup ball ever, in which technological innovations play a significant role. The number of panels increased from six to twenty, which is a strange decision, because Adidas significantly reduced the number of panels in the balls from the usual 32 with the introduction of Teamgeist developed for the 2006 World Cup (2006: 14 panels, 2010: 8 panels, 2014: 6 panels and 2018: 6 panels), which is justified by the fact that the size of the panels increases and the players are less likely to hit the joints, which could potentially change the controllability of the ball. In the case of Al Rihla, however, we see that this trend has reversed. Of course, it is not easy for Adidas, because every 4 years they always have to come up with something revolutionary and explain why the new ball is better than the previous models. Al Rihla’s panels are rhombus or triangular, the latter referring to the sand dunes. The design is inspired by the desert, Qatari architecture, iconic ships and the country’s distinctive flag.
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Al Rihla is made using 70% polyurethane, 20% recycled polyester and 10% viscose covering, and in the name of sustainability, it is made with water-based paint and glue so as not to pollute the environment. This seamless ball takes accuracy to new heights, thanks in part to Speedshell technology, a textured polyurethane layer combined with diamond-shaped indentations. Thanks to the macro and micro textures, the ball is more controllable, turns easier and is the fastest ball ever in the history of the World Cup. It is interesting that the ball is not white, but iridescent, but this can only be seen when the ball is exposed to strong light (for example in daylight under the sun).
Al Rihla is also special in that it has different signs promoting football in several languages, which are: “Football is collective, responsibility, passion, respect, teamwork and fair play”. By the way, Al Rihla means „journey” in which the ball is only the beginning, because the story is written by the players. And this story doesn’t even start for so long, we’re really looking forward to November 20, 2022… 😊
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