German sportswear brand Adidas is carrying on its legacy by introducing their 14th consecutive match-ball in partnership with FIFA for the upcoming World Cup. As it has been since 1970, every four years, the three-stripped label brings a specifically created ball for the world’s most-watched competition. Over the years, they’ve become pretty symbolic. This year is no exception.
For the 2022 iteration, Adidas introduced ‘Al Rihla’, which translates to ‘the journey’ in Arabic, which is claimed to be the world’s fastest ball “in flight” in the history of the tournament. It has also been reported that “the new design allows the ball to maintain its speed significantly higher as it journeys through the air,” as per the brand’s design director’s comments on the ball’s main feature.
“This is a stunning, sustainable and high-quality Official Match Ball from Adidas that will be enjoyed by stars performing at the top of their game on the world’s biggest stage in Qatar, as well as grassroots players everywhere,” said Jean-François Pathy, FIFA’s Director of Marketing. “Al Rihla’s worldwide journey will represent the incredible reach of the FIFA World Cup and give fans a unique opportunity to engage with the event as excitement builds ahead of the big kick-off.”
Retailing at $165 on Adidas’ official website, the official replica will seek to provide an almost identical experience as the one seen in professional games.
Set to take place in the very sunny Qatar this coming winter, the international tournament will see the introduction of a number of changes in the competition’s traditional framework and format. Unlike previous editions, this will be the first time that the World Cup will be played outside of the summer period. It will also mark the region’s first time organising and hosting the planet’s most-followed competition.
The World Cup is set to kick off on November 21, with the final scheduled for December 18.