Every four years there’s a new ball for the World Cup—and every four years players are unhappy with it. Maybe it’s too light and has too much lift, like the 2002 Fevernova. Or maybe it wobbles unexpectedly in the air, making it harder for goalies to predict its motion, like the 2006 Teamgist. Or maybe the ball suddenly changes speed, dropping out of the air and causing accidental handballs, like the 2010 Jabulani.
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.
It is a common misconception but, believe it or not, soccer was not actually invented in England. Although the sport, known across the pond as football, was revolutionized by the country in the mid-19th century, records actually trace its origin back over 2,000 years to ancient China. Called “association football” when it was played by the British 200 years ago, the terms “football” and “soccer” were both eventually derived from abbreviations of the longer name over time.
If you’re working on headers, then your forehead won’t feel like it is being repetitively hit with a meat tenderizer thanks to the design of this ball. That soft touch also translates to a reasonably authentic movement when working on crosses or shots. There is a reasonable bend that allows players to wrap a leading ball around a defensive line, curve a shot around a wall, or work on accurate passing. Control skills off of the chest or knee feel close to authentic as well.
These are used in international level matches and top league matches like UEFA Champions League, Italian Serie A, English Premier League, Spanish La Liga, Bundesliga, Major League Soccer. Not only these but also all the tournaments approved by FIFA. So you can easily understand that these are the highest quality balls with the highest level of air retention, shape, water absorption, trajectory, curve, and performance. Otherwise, FIFA would not have approved these balls.
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. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2Xn84L3Kcs
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