Adidas is once again bringing its sporting expertise to the FIFA World Cup, this year for its 91st event in Qatar. Following the postponement of the Cup to 2021, the 2022 sporting event will see football teams from around the world compete to win the prized tournament.
Ahead of the Cup, Adidas unveiled its design for the event’s Match Ball – which happens to be its 14th consecutive FIFA World Cup. Named “Al Rihla”, the ball is intended to move faster than previous models thanks to its CTR core and a newly textured paneled polyurethane skin. It’s also at the center of a new campaign featuring footballing legends Lionel Messi, Son Heung-min and Trinity Rodman.
“The game gets faster, and as it gets faster, precision and stability in flight become critically important,” said Franziska Loeffelmann, adidas Football Graphics and Material Design Director, in a press release. “The new design allows the ball to maintain its much higher velocity as it travels through the air.”
The piece is completed with elegant aesthetics and eco-friendly materials. Al Rihla, which translates to “the journey” in Arabic, features a pearlescent background with soccer-inspired multicolor accents, as well as Qatar’s flag, architecture and boats. The ball was also created with strictly water-based inks and glues for extra durability.
After its appearance in Qatar, the original Al Rihla ball will be presented to the inaugural champions of the Saudi Arabian women’s football league, Challenge FC Additional Al Rihla balls will be presented in 10 international cities – including New York, Tokyo, Dubai, Shanghai and Mexico City as part of Adidas’ new initiatives to improve local sports equity. Tours will include iconic players like Casillas and Kaka, Farah Jefry and Nouf Al Anzi, as well as local female footballers from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, as well as younger players from Aspire Academy. 1% of net sales of the now sold out $165 ball were donated to Adidas’ Common Goal initiative, which aims to support social change for youth soccer teams – the first to do so in 92 years of World Cup history.
Consumers can discover Al Rihla on the Adidas website and in stores until April 12, 2022.
Check out past Women’s World Cup kits in the gallery.