Before reading this I thought a soccer ball was a soccer ball I had no idea there were so many different types for different things. I found this information very useful on where to start with buying a soccer ball for my 5 1/2 year old son who has just joined his first soccer team and is showing great interest in learning new tricks and skills. What would be your best recommendation for him? Thanks

Premium Match Balls. These are the most expensive soccer balls that you’ll find on the market today. They are FIFA-approved balls, so they meet all of the standards necessary for international play. Air retention, water-resistance, and performance are far superior when compared to a training ball. Virtually every professional league uses a ball of this quality for game play.

As a response to the problems with the balls in the 1962 FIFA World Cup, Adidas created the Adidas Santiago[17] – this led to Adidas winning the contract to supply the match balls for all official FIFA and UEFA matches, which they have held since the 1970s, and also for the Olympic Games.[18] They also supply the ball for the UEFA Champions League which is called the Adidas Finale.
This is a decision that your coach or manager get to decide for you if you are part of a team. Your own ball is one thing that you have control on. However, when it comes to what the team should play with, it is the manager’s job to pick which ball is the best, and what is appropriate for the team for training. Coaches usually stick to training match balls as they give the illusion of actual match balls.
During the 1900s, footballs were made out of rubber and leather which was perfect for bouncing and kicking the ball; however, when heading the football (hitting it with the player's head) it was usually painful. This problem was most probably due to water absorption of the leather from rain, which caused a considerable increase in weight, causing head or neck injury. By around 2017, this had also been associated with dementia in former players.[8][9] Another problem of early footballs was that they deteriorated quickly, as the leather used in manufacturing the footballs varied in thickness and in quality.[6]
Well, panels are not any different component. Panels are the segments or octagon quilt that are seen outside the balls. Of course, nowadays you will find some other shapes besides octagon. FIFA official balls usually contain 32 panels. But nowadays you will also find 26, 18, 14, 8 or even 6 panels with different shapes and designs from those of conventional balls.
Adidas is probably one of the most famous brands for sports gear. They produce quality sports gear for different athletic needs but their soccer balls are of exceptional quality. For several decades FIFA has considered Adidas to be its official soccer ball brand. Adidas keeps on improving the balls they provide to the world’s most acclaimed soccer players. Like FIFA, Adidas also manufactures quality soccer ball for Olympic game and UEFA Champions League. So we keep Adidas at top of our list.
These soccer balls are exact replicas of the finale game balls, right on down to the specific design details that can be found on the ball. If you’re looking for a durable, reliable ball that can help players replicated the feeling of playing the game at home, then the Top Training Series by Adidas is one of the best options to consider today. Each ball is guaranteed to pass FIFA tests for weight, circumference, rebound, and water absorption. It is the closest you can get in the entry-level categories for a soccer ball to the match ball experience.
The most modern feature is an embedded NFC chip, which is found on the top of the ball. If you download a free app on iOS or Android, you can personally interact with the ball's exclusive content and location-specific challenges. You'll also be able to participate and enter competitions and World Cup-related challenges. Of course, you can record and upload your experiences for social media posterity.
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