“I kind of feel sympathy for the players and especially the goalkeepers that have to get used to a new ball,” Goff says. So far the Telstar 18 has received criticism from a few goalkeepers that played with it starting in November, unhappy with how it moves in the air and the way the surface feels. Goalkeepers, unlike every other player on the pitch, have to predict where the ball will go in order to block it, while also not having the freedom to run around the field to adjust as the ball flies. That means goalies often have the most complaints about a new design. “Every time there’s a World Cup and a new ball the goalkeepers complain, because they’ve been given a new ball,” says Goff.

Despite having so many good reviews from the users, why aren’t we keeping Wilson traditional ball on our list? It is because we strongly think Wilson is specialized in making tennis equipment. On the other hand, this model did not meet our expectation. This model seems too heavy to us, and overall feel was not too good. That is why we are not recommending you to go for this option. But obviously, the final decision is yours. So many people are still buying this 🙂


Well, panels are not any different component. Panels are the segments or octagon quilt that are seen outside the balls. Of course, nowadays you will find some other shapes besides octagon. FIFA official balls usually contain 32 panels. But nowadays you will also find 26, 18, 14, 8 or even 6 panels with different shapes and designs from those of conventional balls.
We all should keep in mind that the construction of a standard soccer ball is different than a street soccer ball. When you are playing on street or hard surface, you need a rough and tough ball. The shape needs to be spherical, and the cover/panels should be made out of rubber. They need to be scratch resistant as well. Not only that, if the panels are not hand-stitched with the high-quality seam there is a big chance they will not last long.
As always with Nike balls, the Merlin has an excellent feel, particularly when passing. The ball is also great for shooting due to Nike’s 4-panel construction, 360-degree sweet spot technology and the soft polyurethane outer material. It won’t deviate too much in the air due to the thermally-bonded pentagonal panel layout, so it’s perfect for training as well as games.
This ball also comes in sizes 5, 4, and 3 and ships at one pound exactly, and it does not appear to come inflated. This soccer ball ships within the US and is not eligible for international shipping. For the low price and quality of this ball, it is totally worth the value because the exact ball that the pros use is around $100, and this pro soccer ball replica is a fraction of the price.
For those taking their game to the next level, it’s important to train with a ball similar to what is used for your matches. Your passing, shooting and general foot skills will be different for lighter soccer balls made with a premium bladder like latex. Try out an NFHS approved ball which is used for some club, high school, and college teams. To be NFHS approved, the soccer ball needs to:
×