This soccer ball offers the traditional look and design of the pentagon panels in alternating black and white, allowing players to learn foot placement for a good bend. There is enough weight to the ball to allow for accurate crossing and passing drills, while enough rebound exists for dribbling and shooting drills. If you take your game seriously and you want to improve at home, this is one of the best and most affordable options that you’ll want to consider. Multiple sizes are available with this traditional design.
A radically new configuration reduced the amount of panel touch points forming a smooth and perfectly round exterior that improved accuracy and control. Prior to the Teamgeist, the surface of World Cup match balls had notable differences depending on where a player would strike the ball due to seams, ridges and other imperfections where panels come together. The revolutionary propeller design of the Teamgeist minimized corners and created a smoother surface for improved play. The ball was designed with traditional colors of the German flag and was accentuated with the golden color of the World Cup trophy. 

However, in Goff’s wind tests, he and his team noticed that the Telstar 18 had a little more resistance at high speeds, and predict that the ball will go about eight to nine percent less distance down the pitch on long kicks. This means that Manuel Neuer, the goalkeeper for Germany who was considered to be the x-factor that brought Germany the win in 2014, might not have quite as much of an impact clearing balls from the goal this time around Goff says. “You’d see him just kicking the ball way, way down the pitch, and [this World Cup] you might notice that some of those kicks aren’t quite as long as before,” Goff says.

One of the main reasons but not the only reason to select this ball for reviewing is the great mission of the company. If you buy one ball, they will donate one ball to the kids of developing countries against your purchase. So, this is a “Buy One, Give One” charity model, and of course, it is a good mission where you can also contribute by buying one.
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.
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 🙂
While this ball is absolutely adorable and feels like it's a good quality, I'm disappointed with the one I received. It has little chips in the design—there are a few little white marks in the sections that are orange. Also, there is some sort of sticky stuff on the ball, almost like residue from an old sticker. I can probably remove it with Goo-Gone... I'm just not thrilled that it seems to be used or at least bought and returned. While I'm sure my nephew will love it for his 1st birthday party tomorrow, I'm mildly embarrassed to give it to my brother and his wife because of the appearance. If the party weren't tomorrow, I'd return / exchange it. Frustrating!

The highest in cost, top match balls for elite soccer players are constructed with a supreme quality cover, backing, and bladder for the most predictable flight pattern and striking ability. Some of the most impressive official match balls on the field are made with the threadless, seamless, beveled edge (TSBE) technology which provides a seamless surface for touch and less water uptake to stay in control. adidas soccer balls that pass a demanding series of tests, set by FIFA, on the shape, weight, performance, rebound and water absorption have the highest ranking a soccer ball can get. Most adidas training and pro match balls are FIFA approved so you can lead the charge down the pitch.
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