Football – or soccer – is the world’s most popular sport. It is played by dozens of millions of people on all continents, professionally or simply for fun. Your age, social standing or gender doesn’t matter anymore. What makes this sport so popular is its accessibility, and everyone can play regardless of their economic status. This is because you only need a ball.
Dubbed “The Beautiful Game”, this sport can be practiced virtually anywhere: the beach, the street, or any kind of open field. You don’t even really need to have the right gear, a certain number of players, or even posts to make up the goals. But the ball is essential. We’ve designed the following shopping guide to help you get the best ball available on the market.
- 1 Key Facts
- 2 Ranking: The best soccer balls on the Australian market
- 3 Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about soccer balls
- 4 Shopping Criteria
- 5 Summary
- The ball is the only item you absolutely need to play soccer.
- There are specific sizes depending on the age of the participants, the type of pitch or the variant played.
- The surface on which you play will determine the material of the ball you need.
Ranking: The best soccer balls on the Australian market
You will find below our selection of the very best soccer balls available on the market right now. We’re confident you’ll pick the right model if you consider your sporting needs or those of the person you want to offer the ball to. Remember to check the size of the product, as well as the material according to the type of surface it’ll be used on.
No. 1: Adidas Champions League Finale Capitano Soccer Ball[amazon box=”B00U60JXJ8″ description_items=”0″]
Adidas is a world leader in sports equipment, and it’s no different with soccer balls. This is why it should come as a surprise that the Capitano tops our ranking. Available in all five sizes for you to pick the one that best suits you, this replica offers extremely high quality at an affordable price. Ideal for play on natural or synthetic grass, it’s resistant and can also be used on harder surfaces.
As mentioned above, this soccer ball is a replica. The design is the same as the one used during the 2018 Champions League final in Kyiv, Ukraine. It is made from TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane), which allows it to have a great durability and a soft rebound. This ball is machine-sewn. It is available in 14 different colour patterns, all of which feature the official logo of the UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) Champions League.
No. 2: Mikasa Futsal Soccer Ball[amazon box=”B01D5RY2DA” description_items=”0″]
Mikasa is a Japanese manufacturer that focuses on creating soccer balls, and they are known to be some of the most resistant available on the market. This specific soccer ball, the FLL55S, was specifically designed for futsal. This variant of soccer is generally played indoor on a hard surface and with less players. It’s a demanding sport, and this ball is just right for it.
Past customers have said that this was a particularly rugged product, and that’s what you want to play futsal. It is made from synthetic leather, which means you can still use it outdoor. The low bounce it offers is ideal to play fast games on smaller pitches. According to the manufacturer, the orbiting design helps you read trajectories. Note that the ball is shipped deflated.
No. 3: Nike Pitch Team Soccer Ball[amazon box=”B01NGYTZRU” description_items=”0″]
Do we need to introduce Nike? The American giant is Adidas’s biggest competitor, and their soccer balls are also used in various official competitions around the world. The Pitch Team soccer ball is lightweight and soft to the touch. It has become one of the most sold training balls, but can also be used to play futsal.
Reinforced with rubber, it is made with durable TPU and EVA. Please keep in mind that this particular model is a size 3, most appropriate for children between the age of 6 and 8. So this quality ball is great for your kids! It’s also ideal to take to the beach when you’re on holidays. Its price is particularly attractive, too.
No. 4: Park SSC Soccer Ball[amazon box=”B07P5JLB26″ description_items=”0″]
This isn’t just any soccer ball, and here’s why. First of all, Park SSC is your very own Australian brand out of Melbourne, Victoria. its motto is that soccer can change the world, and they’re on a mission to inspire and change the world through this sport. This is why, for every ball they sell, another one is given to a child around the world.
That’s a pretty cool thing if you ask us, and the best is that their soccer balls offer a great quality. They come in 4 different sizes, including one designed specifically for futsal. They are actually league-approved to play matches, and they’re extremely resistant. This means you can use them on virtually any surface. Available in blue or orange. You can support local economy and help children achieve their dreams, so what are you waiting for?
No. 5: Adidas FIFA World Cup Top Glider Soccer Ball[amazon box=”B079S2MDTS” description_items=”0″]
Last but definitely not least, the Top Glider is the official match ball replica of the 2018 Russia FIFA World Cup. It’s machine-stitched, and it offers a textured surface for greater control over it.
Made from TPU, this soccer ball is extremely resistant and you’ll be using it for dozens of hours on end. This product is officially licensed by the FIFA. It is available in sizes 3, 4 or 5. If you want to boast the latest World Cup ball, this Top Glider is exactly what you need.
Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about soccer balls
As you’ve just seen, the market offers a wide range of soccer ball brands and models. This variety might make it difficult to choose, but it also means that you can find quality products at very affordable prices. In the next section, we answer the most frequently asked questions regarding soccer balls to help you in your search.
What is a soccer ball exactly?
Balls are round objects used to play a variety of sports – rugby, basketball, volleyball, netball, water polo, etc. A soccer ball is designed to play football. Most of these sports equipment are made from a ball is usually made with a flexible material and inflated with air. This makes them light, and players can kick or throw them more easily.
Where do soccer balls come from?
We trace back the origins of the ball to the fourth century BC, in China. Hard roots were crushed to form a sort of sphere, which was then covered with leather. Made from rubber, the first balls that could bounce were invented by the Aztecs. This has been reported by the Spaniards after their arrival to the Americas during the sixteenth century.
As for the soccer ball itself, it arose with the birth of soccer in nineteenth-century England. However, the leather cord used to shut the ball caused wounds to players. This cord disappeared during the 1930s in Argentina.
How are soccer balls manufactured?
During the past decades, professional soccer balls were made from leather. However, this material absorbed water and had the tendency of becoming very heavy. Nowadays, synthetic leather made from polyurethane or similar materials is used. 20 hexagons and 12 pentagons sewn together, glued and vulcanised compose modern soccer balls.
The highest quality models are hand-stitched. The air chamber and the air valve are both made from latex or butyl. You’ll also find layers of polyester or cotton coating between the outer cover and the chamber. While non-professional balls go through the same process, they are made with lower quality materials.
How should I inflate my soccer ball?
It is essential to have a well inflated ball for any match or training session. You won’t be able to pass straight or kick the ball far enough if it’s too soft. If it’s too hard, on the other hand, it will be uncomfortable to hit. Here are three simple steps you can follow to give the ideal weight to your ball. This will also extend its useful life.
- Take a pump and the right need to inflate your ball. Models with built-in pressure indicators are even better.
- Use glycerine or silicone oil to lubricate the needle and valve. This will prevent you from damaging a vital part of the ball.
- Find the correct pressure recommended by the manufacturer. Insert the needle into the valve and pump it slowly, using the indicator to get the right pressure.
What’s the best way to preserve my ball?
Basic logic will be enough to extend the useful life of your soccer ball. The most important is to not expose it to extreme situations. As we all know, you shouldn’t put your whole body weight on it, nor sit on it, although we often see people do it. That amount of pressure can cause the seams to burst or deform.
It’s generally recommended to play on soft surfaces, avoiding terrains with stones, asphalt or sand. You should also avoid kicking it hard against walls. Make sure you take great care of the valve, in particular when you have inserted the needle into the ball. Manufacturers recommend lowering the pressure at the end of each use, and re-inflating the ball the next time you play.
Where can I repair my soccer ball?
If you have a problem with your ball, you are advised to go to a professional. Nowadays, the best option you have is to head to a sports shop, especially if you have issues with a delicate part like the valve. You’ll also save yourself a lot of troubles by asking them to fix punctures or bad scratches.
That being said, you can also decide to take the challenge face on. In that case, the market offers products such as sprays or liquids to solve your problems. If you use the liquid, you’ll have to introduce it through the valve until you stop seeing air bubbles coming out through the hole you want to repair. Make sure to clean the valve afterward to avoid it from being clogged.
What are the most famous soccer ball brands?
The biggest sports clothing and equipment multinationals are unsurprisingly the best ball manufacturers. The German brand Adidas leads the way, in particular because it has agreements with the biggest governing bodies of the sport,. Adidas balls are therefore used in World Cups and continental competitions.
Another famous manufacturer is naturally the American giant Nike. Their balls are used, for instance, by the English Premier League or our very own A-League. Other high quality manufacturers include Umbro (England), German brands Puma and Uhlsport, Mikasa (Japan) or Joma (Spain).
As you know, a purchase needs to meet specific requirements to be a success, and this is why you have to know certain key aspects to consider. They are essential if you want to find the right product for you at the best possible price. They depend on the age of the users, the surface on which it is used, the variant and the level at which you want to play.
- Quality seals
Set by the governing bodies of the sport, the official number on the ball indicates the size and weight of the ball, as well as the age of the players for whom it is tailored. In the table below, we help you see which size is the right one for you. If you plan on using the ball for official matches, you’ll need to comply with these requirements.
|No. 5||68-70 cm||410-450 grams||From 12 years onwards|
|No. 4||62-64 cm||368 g||9-11 years|
|No. 3||58-61 cm||311 g||6-8 years|
Depending on where you want to play soccer, you’ll have to opt for a ball with very specific and unique characteristics. You’ll have access to a wider range of products if playing on natural or synthetic grass, and you can pick a soft and light ball. This will allow you to have greater precision, and therefore play better.
However, you should go for tougher balls if you want to play on hard or corrosive surfaces. However, this will have negative repercussions on the technical performance in terms of controlling or shooting. This greater effort and difficulty is unavoidable if you want a durable model.
In 1996, the FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) introduced a quality programme for soccer balls. Its aim is to consistently adapt the ball to the requirements of the sport over time. They need to pass rigorous testing in order to obtain the organism’s quality seals.
Per the rules of the game, it is absolutely essential that the ball include one of the seals recognised by the world’s leading soccer institution to be used in any official FIFA or soccer confederation competition. These distinctive marks are the following: FIFA Quality PRO, FIFA Quality and IMS (International Match Standard).
The public generally opt for replicas of original balls, in particular those used in prestigious international competitions or national championships. This is because they are more affordable. The highest quality also isn’t necessarily needed outside of official or professional matches.
Contrary to what you might think, comparative analyses carried out on different soccer balls have proven that replicas are not of poor quality.
These studies measured sphericity, dimensions, weight, aerodynamics, shape retention, loss of pressure, water absorption and bounce.
You won’t have to think too much about it you want a soccer ball for leisure or for your child to play with his or her friends in the street or at the park. In that case, you are advised to bet on a hard and very resistant ball. That way, it won’t suffer from being used on gravel or asphalt. The Mikasa balls that we mentioned earlier are a great option for this.
As you know, it won’t have the softness or provide the same accuracy of control as balls made from lighter materials. However, this isn’t a necessity when you’re playing in the streets. The most important thing is that the soccer ball is durable and can withstand particularly adverse conditions.
Soccer balls have been fashionable for several decades now – basically since this sport exists. In the past, people used their ingenuity to create their own balls from any material available, such as clothes, paper or cans. Official balls used in competition evolved from being made with pig’s bladder or rubber to synthetic materials.
These technological advances have also benefit amateur or leisure soccer players. We now have access to high quality products outside of the professional environment. This means that you’re almost guaranteed to buy a good soccer ball, but you also have do some research on their characteristics to find the one that best suits your needs.
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(Source of featured image: Blach: 71942922/ 123rf.com)