New! 2018 FIFA® World Cup Russia Telstar Mechta Ball: Get your own official knockout stage ball, designed with a new red color to represent the host country. While the Telstar Mechta features an intensified look, it has the same high-quality construction as the Telstar 18 ball used in the group phase. Mechta means “dream” or “ambition” in Russian, honoring both players’ and fans’ FIFA World Cup ambitions.
The most modern feature is an embedded NFC chip, which is found on the top of the ball. If you download a free app on iOS or Android, you can personally interact with the ball's exclusive content and location-specific challenges. You'll also be able to participate and enter competitions and World Cup-related challenges. Of course, you can record and upload your experiences for social media posterity.
Trendy names, fancy designs, and higher prices don't necessarily mean some soccer balls are better than others. Don't fall for advertising hype. A moderately-priced soccer ball might perform and hold up just as well as the one that costs three times as much. With today's advanced technologies and materials replacing good old-fashioned leather, there are many soft and durable, lightweight synthetic soccer balls that may just as well suite you, in fact leather soccer balls are no long the norm since they tend to absorb moisture. There are also things you can do to extend the life of your new soccer ball, such as storing it correctly, cleaning it, and using it properly. But the mark of a truly sweet soccer ball comes down to feel and performance, which is highly individual.
If you are all about playing soccer competitively or recreationally, you know how important it is that you have a great game ball for play. The thing is, buying a quality soccer ball can get really expensive, and it can be difficult to find a great soccer ball for a great price. So where do you start looking for finding a good soccer ball for a low price?
This ball has a TPU cover that we wouldn’t describe as “highly durable” for rough play. Although it handles indoor turf, it won’t handle concrete, gravel, or court-based play like you have with futsal. This ball prefers to have a natural or artificial grass surface and that is about it. If you happen to impact a tree, run the ball on concrete, or have it bounce on a gravel driveway, the outer cover does tend to get scratched up pretty rapidly. The butyl bladder is of a higher quality than other balls at this price point, allowing the ball to hold its inflation pressure with an impressive amount of consistency.
Adidas says its design was motivated by Russia's urban landscapes. It uses textured graphics and a metallic sheen to bring a modern look to the classic design. The ball is made of six panels of thermally bonded TPU and about 15% silicone. The materials allow for better trajectory, accuracy, responsiveness, and low water absorption. It also feels well-padded and slightly lighter than previous match balls.
If you have a youth player for whom you are purchasing this soccer ball, then take note that the Size 3 ball in this series is closer to a Size 4 ball. The weight and feel is still accurate, so it is good for home practice and play. The sizing just might make it difficult to take this ball to practice for some players. It doesn’t come with a 32-panel design, but it does have the traditional hexagon panels over the entire cover of the ball. This allows players to work on some ball movement skills, as well as placement drills, with relative ease at home.
On the other hand, replicas (sometimes called training balls or gliders) are designed to be just like the official match balls but are much cheaper. Their panels are often stitched rather than thermally-bonded and are made of a different material. However, they’re not necessarily less durable than official match balls. So, they’re the recommended option for most players.
While using the soccer balls above, kids can learn an abundant amount of things and develop a variety of traits. The textures and vibrant designs of each soccer ball on our list can aid in visual and tactile stimulation. The materials used in each soccer ball can help to develop auditory sensory skills as each ball makes a unique sound when it is hit by a cleat.
Despite the similarities with the Brazuca, the few differences between this ball and what players have gotten used to over the last four years will have an impact on play, says Firoz Alam, an aerodynamics engineer at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia, who has also performed wind tunnel tests on the Telstar 18. “When the player is making a short pass, they have to push a little harder, because at less then 60 kilometers per hour [or 37 miles per hour]it has more flight resistance than the Brazuca,” says Alam. The mid-range passes and corner kicks that gave the Jabulani so much trouble have been resolved. Compared to the Brazuca, the Telstar 18 is also more aerodynamically efficient in the 40-50 mile an hour range, so Alam says players will actually have to kick a little softer or they’re likely to overshoot. Over 55 miles an hour the two balls will feel very similar.
In June, 32 nations gather in Russia for soccer’s most prestigious international event. Now, you can get the ball that will be used throughout the tournament—the adidas 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Telstar Official Match Ball. The design is based on the original Telstar ball introduced in 1968, updated with pixelated detailing for a modern aesthetic and an all-new panel shape for superior performance. Step up your game with a Russia 2018 soccer ball today.