As the FIFA World Cup 2022 enters its penultimate stage, Adidas has introduced a new ball. Adidas has provided two different match balls, ‘Al Rihla’ and ‘Al Hilm’ for the FIFA World Cup 2022. The ‘Al Rihla’ was used in the group stages, the round of 16, and the quarterfinals. For the semifinals and the final, the new ball ‘Al Hilm’ will be used. Argentina will face Croatia in the first semifinal and France will face Morocco in the second semifinal.
Adidas had surprised everyone with the technologically advanced level of the balls being used in this World Cup. ‘Al Rihla’, which means ‘The Journey’ in Arabic, is the official match ball for the Qatar World Cup. It was unveiled in March this year in Qatar. The ball was presented by Kaka, a World Cup winner with Brazil in 2002, and Iker Casillas, who captained Spain to their first World Cup title in 2010. They also joined Farah Jefry from Saudi Arabia and Nouf Al Anzi from UAE.
The designs and patterns on the ‘Al Rihla’ represent the culture, flag, boats, and architecture of Qatar. However, the most astonishing fact about the ‘Al Rihla’ is the “connected ball technology.” This technology features an internal measurement unit (IMU) inside the ball’s bladder. The IMU sensors will significantly help the VAR to decide tight offside calls during matches. Also, Adidas has claimed the ‘Al Rihla’ to be the fastest and most accurate ball to date.
How much does Adidas’ new World Cup ball Al Hilm cost?
Adidas introduced ‘Al Hilm’, the new ball, which is to be used in the semifinals and the final of the FIFA World Cup 2022. ‘Al Hilm’ is a variant of the ‘Al Rihla’. The technology used in both the balls are same, only the design is different.
‘Al Hilm’ is the Arabic translation for ‘The Dream’, representing the dream of every nation participating to win the FIFA World Cup. ‘Al Hilm’ consists of gold metallic, maroon, collegiate burgundy, and red designs. The design is a reference to the flag of Qatar, the golden-colored final venue, and the coveted trophy.
Adidas has provided two versions of the ‘Al Hilm’ ball. The first one is the pro version, which costs $170. However, Adidas has released another less expensive and affordable-for-all version, which costs $40. Anyone can simply visit Adidas’s website and buy the official match ball for themselves.
Balls used in the past World Cups
Adidas has been manufacturing the official balls used in the FIFA World Cups since 1970. While the technology used in the production process and the quality of the balls have evolved with time, Adidas remains the one constant in the World Cups.
The first official World Cup ball made by Adidas was the Telstar, used during the FIFA World Cup 1970 in Mexico. It was the first 32-panel black-and-white ball used in the tournament’s history. Adidas Azteca used during the 1986 edition of the tournament was the first fully synthetic and hand-sewed ball. The Jabulani used in 2010 was one of the most controversial balls in the history of the tournament, due to its unnatural movement in the air.
— Selección Argentina 🇦🇷 (@Argentina) December 11, 2022
Adidas then released the Brazuca which was used in 2014. It was the first official match ball to be named by the fans. The Adidas Telstar 18 used during the 2018 edition of the tournament was a tribute to the original Adidas Telstar, used in 1970 and 1974.