With top European league action closing out out their seasons, you might be worried about suffering a soccer hangover. Thankfully, this summer is set to be huge with some HUGE international tournaments. The Euro Championships, Copa America, Olympics and of course the continuation of the domestic MLS season will fill a void and keep the summer entertaining.
And as is the norm, each of these tournaments get their own specific game ball. Three use adidas as their official match ball sponsor, while the other is Nike. Of the adidas, each have the same fundamental ball underneath, with unique designs on top. We wanted to take a look at each ball in case there are some players interested in picking up a new official match ball before the tournaments kick off!
Adidas Beau Jeu
Official match ball of Euro 2016 (kicks off June 10th)
Beau Jeu, translated in English as “the beautiful game”, is closely linked to next year’s host country, France. The layering of color incorporates the blue, white and red of the French Tricolour, and integrates silver highlights in reference to the much sought after UEFA EURO trophy. If you look at the image above, you can see how the letters E – U – R – O and the figures 2 – 0 – 1 – 6 are combined visibly through the blocking design of the ball.
In development for over 18 months, adidas has taken the best elements of the much-loved, and most-tested, Brazuca FIFA World Cup Official Match Ball, and added a French touch of class in time for the EUROS. Beau Jeu still incorporates Brazuca’s innovative and widely praised panel shape, but improvements made to the surface structure and blocking, offer improved grip and enhanced in-flight visibility respectively.
Other Notes: All of the adidas balls provide the very same type of playing performance, this will be the first of the 3 balls we see in action this summer.
Official match ball of Olympic Football 2016 (kicks off August 4th)
With a Brazilian DNA, ERREJOTA carries the nationally recognized green and yellow colors, a tribute to the country’s flag. The design comes in a wave pattern, which is a reference to the sidewalks along Rio’s beaches.
In terms of performance, the technology used in this ball is the same as in the renowned Brazuca FIFA World Cup 2014 Official Match Ball. It features a symmetrical structure of six identical panels and an exclusive surface that provides more grip, contact, stability and aerodynamics on the pitch, in any weather conditions.
Other Notes: The bold Brazilian style Green and Gold design on this one is crisp and really stands out when you knock around.
Official match ball of MLS (currently in action)
Already in use during the current MLS season, the Nativo presents a unified design between the US and Canadian teams that play in the league. It is a perfect platform to showcase the new MLS logo and its Red/Blue design scheme.
In the same fashion as Beaue Jeu and Errejota, the ball uses a symmetrical structure of six identical, interlocked panels. Stars and Stripes are meshed with the Canadian Maple Leaf to create distinct graphic elements through the series of lines. In terms of performance, the technology used in this ball is the same as in the renowned Brazuca FIFA World Cup 2014 Official Match Ball.
Got a favorite from the line-up or have some of you already tested these balls out? If so, let us know in the comments what your thoughts and experiences have been.
Nike Ordem Ciento
Official match ball of Copa America Centenario (kicks off June 3rd)
Exclusively created to honor legacy of Copa America, the Ordem Ciento blends leading technologies with a bold, graphic aesthetic. Red/Black graphics are used to modernize the sport’s classic geometric design and augments it with bold sweeps of soulful color. The resulting bold effect helps players catch sight of the ball quickly, which accordingly helps enable rapid decision-making. It is a clean and very appealing look that player feeback has been extremely positive on.
Designed and engineered for a highly sensitive feel and explosive response off the foot, the ball consists of 12 fuse-welded panels in a three-layer casing system and a poly-blend wrapped, free-floating carbon latex bladder. The ball’s NIKE AEROW TRAC grooves, Nike Football’s newest proprietary innovation are engineered to grip and channel air to produce the truest trajectory and most consistent flight, which help ensure stability and accuracy mid-air.
Other Notes: While testing the Ordem Ciento, I found the upper casing provides a very unique touch and feel. It has a slightly tackier surface than players might be familiar too, which players might not be used to. On a positive, that means you keep the ball much closer to your feet, but it also means there is less pop as you look to push it away from your foot and into space. Visually, it is the best looking ball of the bunch and I’ve had several friends ask if they could pick this particular ball over the rest!