With the 2022 World Cup fast approaching, Adidas has unveiled the official ball of the World Cup in Qatar. Its name: Al Rihla.
Every four years, the presentation of the official ball of the World Cup gives the real kick-off of the new competition. Two days before the draw to determine the groups for the 2022 World Cup, Adidas has just made official the ball that will be used throughout the competition.

Al Rihla, that’s its name, succeeds the Telstar of the Russian World Cup and comes to write a new page in the great history of the balls of the World Cup. Better still, it is presented as the fastest ball in the history of the World Cup. And that’s just the beginning.

“Our goal was to achieve the impossible by offering the fastest and most accurate World Cup ball ever created”

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Al Rihla, “The Journey”. This is the name of the new ball for the 2022 World Cup, which will take place from 21 November to 18 December 2022 in Qatar. The fourteenth ball of the Adidas era, Al Rihla is named after the journey it will take around the world to launch a series of equality initiatives. Starting in Qatar, ten cities will be visited where Adidas is implementing initiatives to promote access to sport and equality in local communities.

Inspired by the culture, architecture, traditional boats, and flag of Qatar, the new 2022 World Cup ball is decorated with colorful patterns on a pearlescent background, taking inspiration from both the Qatari culture and the increasing speed of the game. In addition, this new edition is more sustainable as all the components have been selected to make it the first World Cup ball with water-based glues and inks.

The 2022 World Cup ball, designed by Adidas

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In addition, it is interesting to note that the new 2022 World Cup ball formalizes the announced change to the historic Adidas logo. While the three stripes are still present, the word “Adidas” is no longer visible. Many textile pieces already existed in this sense, but the presence of this version of the logo on a product as important as the World Cup ball is an official announcement with great fanfare.

“It’s designed to encourage a rhythmic game. “It breaks through the air even faster than its predecessors. “To offer the fastest and most accurate World Cup ball ever created. According to the Adidas teams and the official press release introducing the new World Cup ball, Al Rihla could well make history with its technological capabilities. So what’s new about the ball that will be on the pitch in Qatar next winter?

More aerodynamic than all the other World Cup balls, this version has been designed to encourage a rhythmic game. “As the game evolves towards ever greater speed, the precision and stability of the ball have become fundamental characteristics. Our new design makes the ball more aerodynamic,” explains Franziska Loeffelmann, Design Director for Football Graphics & Hardwear at Adidas. Similar to the design of the Copa Sense a few months ago, the Adidas teams first worked on the interior of the ball based on wind tunnel tests.

From these tests, a new ball was developed which will also be the technological basis for the next four years for the brand with the three stripes. As with every World Cup, it is the pre-World Cup period that allows the presentation of technological innovations on the “ball” product. These innovations will be found on the Champions League balls, for example, or the Euro 2024 ball.

-CRT-CORE: Considered the soul of the ball, this technology is simply what guarantees good maintenance of its round shape, air retention, and optimized bounces
SPEEDSHELL: New to the 2022 World Cup ball, this textured cover comes with a new 20-facet shape. According to Adidas, this construction improves the ball’s accuracy, stability in flight, and the effects applied to it.

The new Adidas logo appears on the 2022 World Cup ball

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Technologies that may seem barbaric and abstract when talking about a ball, but which will be subject to the feelings of all the players at the 2022 World Cup.

In 2010, for example, many goalkeepers criticized the Jabulani ball and Iker Casillas even said “it’s a bit like a beach ball”. More recently, in 2018, it was David de Gea who openly criticized the Telstar ball and its “bizarre trajectories”. If the criticisms are therefore regular concerning balls and even more so about the World Cup, we will be watching closely the first tests of this new ball and the first feedback from the first concerned, the goalkeepers.

In the meantime, the new 2022 World Cup ball Al Rihla is available since Friday 1st April.

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