Ranking the five best World Cup match balls since 1970

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Written by Martin Graham | May 27 2022

The 2022 FIFA World Cup Official Match Ball – The Journey – was launched on March 30, 2022.

Journey is a Qatari word meaning “journey” and was named by Adidas, the makers of the match ball, because of their use of technology that allows the ball to move quickly and easily as soon as it is off a player’s foot.

It’s said to be the fastest match ball ever, but fans will have to wait until the World Cup to see it in action.

Journey marketing, like marketing every other World Cup ball, has us taking a look at the famous match balls from past World Cups.

Here are the five best identical balls to appear on the world stage.

5 – Tricolor, 1998

This is the first ball to feature color in its design in a nod to the host nation. The French blue, white and red featured a design that was reused for five different World Cups. Not only is he creative in design, but because the host nation France will go on to win the ball that was made just for them.

4 – Brazuca, 2014

The design of this ball was a nod to the carnival culture of the host country, Brazil. It features a beautiful mix of red, blue and green that blurs in front of you like a rainbow when hit. It was also the first ball fans called it, which makes it even more lovable.

3 – Teamgeist, 2006

This ball is often referred to as the round ball ever made by adidas, which has made all World Cup match balls since 1970. This is because the company used only 14 boards to make it instead of the regular 32. This gave a very smooth feel and was a popular design for match balls in other tournaments/competitions besides the World Cup in that period.

2 – Flight 2022

We haven’t seen this ball yet in Tume, but for its design alone, it ranks high on the list. The colors used in its design (may outperform) the Brazuca and its triangular panels look a bit like the Teamgeist design. Come November, you could hit the top spot as the best match ball ever. But then it could turn out like 2010’s Jabulani, who looked great but generated countless complaints from everyone who kicked the ball.

We wait with our fingers intertwined.

1 – Azteca, 1986

The iconic match ball associated with one of the most famous personalities of the World Cup, Diego Armando Maradona. This is a ball that combines simplicity and elegance in its design. It is also the first ball to incorporate elements from its nation’s ancient culture, as the ball features some of the symbols of the ancient Aztecs of Mexico.

Martin Graham is a sports writer for the MFF Forum