The best footballs spark nostalgia within you. You only have to catch a glimpse, for example, of a star-covered Champions League ball or a yellow Premier League ball with blue rings to be reminded of your childhood.
These are the match balls that are set to create new memories for you. Every year, the giants of the game – Nike, Adidas, Puma and others – bring out brand new balls to pour over – and it’s safe to say we’re in a golden age right now. The technology is space-age, the designs are fantastic and we’re loving each new iteration.
So what’s the best ball out there right now? Let’s go through what’s out there…
Premier League 2022/23 ball: Nike Flight
This one has quite the heritage. Inspired by the classic Mitre balls of the 90s, Nike marks 30 years of the Premier League with an absolute beauty, emblazoning giant crosses all over the 2022/23 ball.
The idea is that any given time, you can see three of the Xs – that’s three lots of the Roman numeral, 10.
This ball isn’t available to buy or preorder yet but is coming soon.
Premier League Summer 2021/22 ball: Nike Flight
The 2021/22 season had three balls, all with the same theme. The last of which – this “baltic blue” and orange beast – was the one that Manchester City tied up the title playing with. It looks fantastic, right?
Premier League 2004–2006 ball: Total 90 Aerow
This thing was game-changing. Still adored by millennials who grew up watching Thierry Henry smack this past unwitting keepers, the Total 90 Aerow has been referenced, re-made but never outgunned: you can still find it on Ebay from time to time.
Premier League ball 2000–2004: Nike Geo Merlin
Nike’s first ball for the Premier League may never be matched. The Geo Merlin was an understated match ball, used in the Scorpion ads and Manchester United’s title crusades a-like. It still kicks about on the internet.
Premier League ball 1995-2000: Mitre Ultimax
The inspiration for Nike’s Premier League ball 30 years later, the Mitre Ultimax holds a special place in most football fans’ hearts. The company have since re-released them – but they’re still incredibly rare.
World Cup 2022 ball: Adidas Al Rihla
World Cup balls only come around once every four years – so they have to be something special. The Adidas Al Rihla is particularly fancy, with bright colours all over and unique panels. We can’t wait to see this in Qatar.
Champions League 2022/23 ball: Adidas Finale Void
A technicolor spin on the old classic, Adidas’s new Void UCL ball will be used in the Champions League for 2022/23. This is a whole new star ball and we love it.
Europa League 2021/22: Molten Europa League ball
Molten aren’t a big name in the football world but their Europa League balls have gone down extremely well since they replaced Adidas as the official provider to the competition. Last season’s was another excellent effort.
Women’s Euro ball: Nike Flight WE
A stunningly colourful ball that stands out a mile, Nike have repurposed the Flight wonderfully for the Women’s Euros. The tones are taken from the Women’s Euros branding – and it looks particularly excellent when Beth Mead smashes it in.
EFL: Puma EFL Orbita
The new Puma Orbita ball looks a lot more modern than some of the match balls that the EFL has enjoyed over the years. With a bold design and red and blue panels, though, this one is likely to be unanimously appreciated by lower leagues fans.
Serie A, La Liga, Bundesliga
Serie A: Puma Orbita
With giant Vs all over this ball, we’re not sure if Puma are looking to imitate Mitre or create something akin to a Nike Swoosh. Either way, the new Serie A ball is a great design with uniquely-shaped panels all over.
Bundesliga: DerbyStar 2022/23
It’s colourful, isn’t it? DerbyStar aren’t the biggest name in football but their Bundesliga balls seem to go down well in Germany nonetheless: this is a brighter one that we’ve seen recently.
FA Cup and League Cup
Carabao Cup: Puma Orbita
Exactly the same as the EFL ball, just in green. The League Cup uses a Puma ball, too, and since the Orbita is such a nice design, we’re not too upset about it.
FA Cup: Mitre 150-year Delta Max
2022 marked the 150th year of the FA Cup – and to celebrate, the official ball supplier Mitre came up trumps. A stripped-back effort with iconic chevrons alongside the names of every single winner from the competition’s history, this is a must-have.
WSL: Mitre Delta Max 2021
Back in the 90s, Mitre were at the forefront of a revolution, supplying the Premier League ball – now they’re doing the same for the Women’s Super League. Their Delta Max for the women’s top tier is a lovely effort, too.
2022 Nations League ball: Adidas Speedshell
Based on the Al Rihla ball that will be used in the World Cup, the Speedshell has the same panels but an inky-style pattern that looks fantastic when the ball is flying through the air. We’re big fans.