FIFA World Cup 2022: Here comes Al Rihla, the most modern football to grace the highest stage of the beautiful game
Every edition of the FIFA World Cup sees a new ball come into use for the fans to ogle out. This time around, the official match ball of the World Cup is a collaboration between FIFA and global sportswear brand Adidas to give birth to what the world will call 'Al Rihla.'
The term 'Al Rihla' means 'the journey' in Arabic, inspired by the host nation's culture, architecture, iconic boats and flag. The eye-catching colours on an almost pearl-like background represent the World Cup host country and the increasing speed of the game. The Al Rihla is the first World Cup ball to be made exclusively with water-based inks and glues.
"Designed after rigorous testing in Adidas labs, wind tunnels, and on-pitch, Al Rihla provides the highest level of accuracy and reliability on the field of play, due in part to its new panel shape and surface textures. An innovative core within the ball is tuned to improve accuracy and consistency, supporting fast, precise play with maximum shape and air retention.
"The ball's polyurethane (PU) skin featuring micro and macro textures and a new 20-piece panel shape enhance aerodynamics to improve the accuracy, flight stability and swerve of shots," said the company in a statement.
In simpler terms, at the centre of the ball is a special CRT-CORE, which is connected to all the panels on the surface of the ball to provide elevated speed, accuracy and consistency for fast-paced action and precision. This will also help with air retention and rebound accuracy.
Then is the SPEEDSHELL, which is a 'textured PU skin with a new 20-piece panel shape, improving the accuracy, flight stability and swerve thanks to the special macro and microtextures, plus surface debossing.”
There is no doubt that Al Rihla will be one of the most memorable official match balls in recent times. Al Rihla is the first World Cup ball in the 92-year history of the tournament which will directly contribute to raising funds to positively impact lives across the world, with 1 percent of Al Rihla’s net sales going to the Common Goal movement.