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.

2010 Jabulani Adidas This ball has 8 panels. A special variant was used for the final match, the gold Jo'bulani (picture on the left), which was named after "Jo'burg", a standard South African nickname for Johannesburg, site of the final game. The ball was notable for the controversy it attracted, with players and fans contending that its aerodynamics were unusually unpredictable. [3][19]
Using a wind tunnel, Goff has researched the flight properties of the Telstar 18, drawing its drag curve to discover where the ball might dip and swerve in the air, similar to the knuckleball free kicks favored by Cristiano Ronaldo “Even if aerodynamically the Telstar 18 isn’t that different from the Brazuca, it’s still going to wobble a little bit differently because the panel shapes are different,” Goff says.

The downside? They’re expensive. Like, really expensive, depending on which one you get. Whether you really need one depends on your budget and how you’re going to be using your ball. For example, I use official match balls for practicing freekicks because they fly through the air really nicely. However, I don’t use them for training because if I lose my ball I’ll be set back $100-$300.

These soccer balls are exact replicas of the finale game balls, right on down to the specific design details that can be found on the ball. If you’re looking for a durable, reliable ball that can help players replicated the feeling of playing the game at home, then the Top Training Series by Adidas is one of the best options to consider today. Each ball is guaranteed to pass FIFA tests for weight, circumference, rebound, and water absorption. It is the closest you can get in the entry-level categories for a soccer ball to the match ball experience.