Adidas, the official match ball sponsor at the FIFA World Cup has finally revealed the ball set to be used at the upcoming Qatar FIFA men's World Cup.
Qatar World Cup match ball finally unveiled [PHOTOS]
This is the fastest ball in flight in World Cup history - Adidas
Dubbed Al Rihla meaning The Journey, has been ranked as the "fastest ball in flight" throughout the history of the quadrennial competition.
Al Rihla, the 14th successive ball that adidas has created for the FIFA World Cup is designed to support peak game speeds, according to Jean-François Pathy, FIFA’s Director of Marketing.
“This is a stunning, sustainable and high-quality Official Match Ball from adidas that will be enjoyed by stars performing at the top of their game on the world’s biggest stage in Qatar, as well as grassroots players everywhere,” said Pathy.
One percent of all sales will also be contributed to the Common Goal charity movement. Al Rihla is also the first FIFA World Cup ball to be made exclusively with water-based inks and glues.
“Al Rihla’s worldwide journey will represent the incredible reach of the FIFA World Cup and give fans a unique opportunity to engage with the event as excitement builds ahead of the big kick-off,” concluded Pathy.
The ball has been designed from the inside out using data and went through rigorous testing at adidas labs, in wind tunnels and on the pitch by football players themselves.
According to Franziska Löffelmann, the Design Director – Football Graphics & Hardwear at adidas, Al Rihla provides the highest levels of accuracy and reliability on the field of play, partly due to its new panel shape and surface textures.
“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,” said Löffelmann.
What inspired the design?
The core of the Al Rihla has been designed to "improve accuracy and consistency" and support quick passages of play while keeping shape.
The 20 panels of the ball are included to help enhance aerodynamics, helping players improve the accuracy and swerve of their shots.
The ball incorporates vibrant blue, orange and yellow colours and is inspired by the "culture, architecture, iconic boats and flag of Qatar," revealed FIFA.
Al Rihla’s first public appearance will be alongside legends such as Iker Casillas, Kaká, Farah Jefry and Nouf Al Anzi, who will be joined by other talents, including promising female footballers from Middle East, and youth players of Doha’s Aspire Academy.