The downside? They’re expensive. Like, really expensive, depending on which one you get. Whether you really need one depends on your budget and how you’re going to be using your ball. For example, I use official match balls for practising freekicks because they fly through the air really nicely. However, I don’t use them for training because if I lose my ball I’ll be set back $100-$300.
As an International Match Standard and NFHS (high school) and NCAA-approved ball, this one gets a lot of play out of high schools and colleges in the United States. And for good reason. Every time I played with a select ball, I knew what to expect and I got each and every time. Coming in a number of colors, this ball can be tailored to match your team while still looking classy with the white to contrast it. It has a latex bladder and is hand-stitched. This is a premium match soccer ball for the price of a practice ball. Definitely a ball to consider looking into.
Much like the Adidas ball we saw earlier, this offering from Adidas is top-of-the-line. This a premium match ball that also has received the highest rating from FIFA. To get that rating, it passed tests on its weight, how it retains air, the shape, and how well it keeps water out. It also has seamless panels like the Hi-Vis Champions League ball. Although not a cheap ball, this is worth a look if you are interested I premium match balls.
Only size 5, and size 4 are available for this. Although this should not be a major problem as this is for recreational play and practicing purpose, so kids are ok to play with this as well. In fact, the ball that will be given away to the developing countries will be used by the kids mostly. If you are buying this for an adult go for size 5, and if you are buying for kids or youth players then better go for size 4.
This time there is no stitching to attach the panels, but they are thermally bonded. This is the interesting part. First, we wanted to see how it performs in the air for a free kick. You will find a decent, predictable trajectory. Although when you are knuckling, the result mainly depends on your skill and the air direction, a ball plays a vital role as well to help your process of a successful knuckle shot.
This ball has been through all of the hazards that kids can dream up. Dribbling the ball on pavement walking to the car, practicing shots against a brick school, being used as a seat, heavy use at practice, and its frequent selection as the game ball. With all of that, it still looks great with very little wear and tear. Could still pass as a new ball from a few feet away. It's held it's pressure very well. The outer shell texture allows good grip without being to soft or too hard.
Crafted by Adidas, the Telstar 18 is the official ball of the FIFA World Cup. Drawing inspiration from the company's first World Cup match ball, which debuted at the 1970 tournament in Mexico, the new ball reimagines the 12 black panels on an otherwise white design. Fun fact: the iconic original black and white ball was made that way to be more visible for black-and-white TV viewers, and it was dubbed the "star of television."