On November 20, 2022, the eyes of the world will be focused, above any player, National Team, Manager, stadium, fans and country, on the greatest protagonist of, for many, the most beautiful sport in the world, soccer: the official match ball of Qatar 2022, the Al Rihla. The best thing is that you can hold it in your hands. Please read on.
The upcoming FIFA World Cup will be officially inaugurated when, from the center of the Al Bayt Stadium, a venue built specifically for this tournament and with a capacity for 60,000 fans, the Al Rihla will start the ball rolling to trigger the excitement for soccer around the globe.
An event such as the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 cannot have just any ball as its epicenter. The Al Rihla concentrates in its guts the best of technology and tradition to ensure that it fulfills its main role in the history of the 22nd edition of the great soccer festival.
The history of the FIFA World Cup ball
In a total nod to the romanticism of the beginnings of the great stories, the first World Cup balls did not have the sophistication of today's balls, such as the Al Rihla for Qatar 2022. It should even be mentioned that in the first edition of this tournament, in 1930, there was no official ball and each team carried its own; 45 minutes were played with each one. The material was the traditional leather, a heavy and hard ball.
The first official match ball was born in the World Cup Italy 1934, and was called Federale 102 and the curiosity was that it was made by a manufacturing company not specialized in sports products. It had a technological innovation: it had a system that reduced the seams.
Since then, there have been special balls for each edition of the FIFA World Cup. However, it was in Mexico 1970 that the commercial aspect of the balls was triggered when Adidas won the concession to manufacture the balls. The Al Rihla for Qatar 2022 will be the fourteenth edition of an official match ball made by the prestigious German brand.
Features of the Al Rihla, official match ball of Qatar 2022
First of all, there are measures that every ball used in a FIFA-sanctioned match must comply with. The usual ones. Thus, the ball for the upcoming World Cup has a circumference of 69 to 71 centimeters, weight of between 400 and 450 grams, diameter of 11 to 23 centimeters, radius of 11 to 11.5 centimeters, 8.5 to 15.6 PSI and with a pentagonal and hexagonal cover. As dictated by the regulations.
Then, as every four years, the specially designed FIFA World Cup balls produced by Adidas have special features and technological innovations. In the case of the Al Rihla for Qatar 2022, these are the following: it is the ball that travels fastest through the air in the history of this tournament and offers degrees of precision to the touch thanks to its panel structure and textures on its surface.
Also, the Al Rihla features two new features, the CRT-Core and the Speedshell. The first refers to the heart of the ball, which allows it to retain its shape to the maximum, the helium with which it is inflated and gives it maximum rebound precision. The second is nothing more and nothing less than the textured polyurethane leather, materialized in 20 panels, which improves the stability, rotation and precision of the ball through the air.
Similarly, the Qatar 2022 Al Rihla is the first ball to be made with water-based inks and glues, an example of sustainability and care for the environment, one of the main flags of this edition of the prestigious FIFA World Cup.
How much does it cost and where to buy the official ball of the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup?
The meaning of the word Al Rihla is "the journey", born thanks to the inspiration provided by the Arabian culture, full of a captivating architecture and emblematic boats. Its colors seek to reflect the aforementioned, in a frank mixture with the flag of Qatar. The Internet offers many options to purchase this fantastic ball, however, to avoid buying imitations, it is best to do it through Adidas.
On the official website of the prestigious German brand (click here), you can find several versions of the Al Rihla. From the official replica, identical to the one that will be used during the Qatar 2022 matches, to the less professional, indoor versions and even customized with the colors of different national teams such as Mexico, Germany and Argentina.
-Al Rihal Pro Ball: $165
-Al Rihla Pro Winter Ball (orange): $165
-Al Rihla Sala Pro Ball: $60
-Al Rihla League Ball: $40
-Al Rihla Training Ball: $30
-Al Rihla customized Ball (Mexico, Argentina, Germany): $25
-Al Rihla Ball (several colors): $20