The smart Football in FIFA World Cup : Al Rihla, Specs, Design, Reviews
Adidas has been manufacturing the Official Match Ball for the FIFA World Cup since 1970. For the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, Adidas announced Al Rihla as the Official Match Ball, the 14th successive ball manufactured by Adidas for the FIFA World Cup.
The name “Al Rihla” means “the journey” in Arabic. According to FIFA, the ball’s name is inspired by Qatar’s culture, architecture, iconic boats, and flag.
The ball is designed to create less vacuum on the back of the ball than any other tournament ball. Therefore, it travels faster in the air than its predecessor, making it support peak game speeds.
FIFA officials described the ball as a stunning, sustainable, and high-quality Official Match Ball that the world’s biggest stars will enjoy in Qatar and by grassroots players around the globe.
Al Rihla is considered the most sustainable and advanced ball in football history. The ball contains AI technology that is embedded inside the football. The technology resides in the center of the ball. The technology includes the most time-precise motion sensor, which tracks every touch of the game at 500 times per second. The sensor is introduced to remove the delay caused by the VAR and give accurate information to the referee. The ball consists of a 500Hz inertial measurement unit sensor that will collect the exact movement and location of the ball, enabling the data transmission within seconds, resulting in fairer decisions than ever seen in football.
Here are some specifications and features of the ball.
- The ball is made from 70% polyurethane, 20% recycled polyester, and 10% viscose cover.
- The ball’s bladder is made from an elastomeric polymer named Butyl rubber.
- The ball has thermally bonded seamless construction.
- The ball has a diameter of 80 cm.
- CRT-Core has introduced new sensor technology to help Video Match Officials and improve ball speed accuracy and consistency.
- It is FIFA QATAR 2022 licensed product.
The ball uses Speedshell technology. Speed shell technology helps to increase flight speed and ball rotation for excellent aerodynamics and ball rotation.
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The ball is certified by FIFA and matches the FIFA-approved standard. The ball has been tested for all the required properties: weight, sphericality, rebound, circumference, water absorption, pressure loss, and shape and size retention.
There are different aspects in which the ball can be considered. Some of those aspects are as follows:
- Crossing: Short-distance crossing of the ball can be more accessible, and the ball goes to its intended path as the ball has less chance to move away from its target. However, the long-distance crossing can be a bit challenging as the ball mostly has less spin, sometimes resulting in an unstable trajectory. Therefore, the receiving end must be cautious of the speed of the ball. Due to its design, the ball can reach far distances with somewhat less power, and the accuracy is still preserved.
- Ball Distribution: The ball can be easily distributed throughout the ground as the ball has a great pace and can be hit with less power with reasonable accuracy.
- Ball Handling and Grip: The Al Rihla is pretty heavy. However, the exterior design of the ball has a sticky coating, which helps goalkeepers to handle and save the ball quickly.
Overall, this is the best ball ever manufactured by Adidas. Some players who have been using the ball for over a month said that the ball is a little more complicated than other Adidas balls, which makes the ball easier to control. Strikers said that the ball feels softer when struck but will feel more challenging when hit softly. So, when the ball is hit correctly, it will have good speed and accuracy.
Al Rihla is already a final product from Adidas, as its design and functions are finalized. This is the latest information about the Al Rihla specifications and design as of November. However, if there are more updates in the ball, we will surely keep you updated.
The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Official Match Ball Al Rihla has a 4.8 out of a 5-star review on the official Adidas website. Here are some of my thoughts on the ball:
“Overall, we love the design of the new world Cup ball for this year’s tournament and can’t wait to watch the biggest sporting event on the planet unfold yet again” – Christ Church United
“After using the ball for much of the past six months, I think Adidas achieved what it wanted by creating a fast, accurate, and reliable ball for the World Cup in Qatar.
As a goalkeeper who has had to deal with the unpredictability of the Telstar and Jabulani, it’s a breath of fresh air to have a more “normal” and realistic ball. I believe most of the goalkeepers at this winter’s tournament will agree” – Matt Pyzdrowski, a former American soccer player.
“The new design allows the ball to maintain a significantly higher speed as It journeys through the air. For the biggest global stage in all of sport, we set out to make the impossible possible with radical innovation by creating the fastest and most accurate FIFA World Cup ball to date” – Franziska Löffelmann, the Design Director at Adidas.
More reviews of the ball can be read on the official Adidas website. However, studies from famous football figures and football clubs will be updated as soon as possible.
FAQs about Al Rihla
What soccer ball will be used in the 2022 FIFA World Cup?
Al Rihla is the Official Match Ball for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
What is the price of Al Rihla Pro?
There are different versions of the ball available on the official Adidas website. The Al Rihla Pro Ball costs $165.
What does Al Rihla mean?
Al Rihla, in Arabic, means “The Journey.””