* Prices may differ from that shown
Without a doubt, the Chamions League is one of the biggest competitions in football. It is a huge deal in our house with all of us being avid Manchester United supporters. We always go all out for the final if they make it with flags, confetti - it is amazing! When the Champions League starts up Adidas will bring out a new ball for the competition and replicas are readily available in sports shops. I think every football fan looks forward to seeing the new design of the Champions League ball each year, I know both my husband and I do.
The ball I am reviewing is the Champions League 2010 Final ball. This ball is very attractive. It has a glossy finish and is covered in metallic blue stars which are each joined together. The ball has the Adidas logo and also "Finale" on it. It also boasts the Champions League logo making this the official ball for 2010.
The Champions League ball replica in 2010 was available in two sizes. And it cost us £14.99 from Argos. It came deflated so we had to pump it up ourselves which is easy enough with a football pump. We only ever use a hand pump to pump up balls as we found that when we used an electrical pump on a different ball it really stretched it too tight and eventually it ruined the ball. I believe an electic pump just causes a little bit too much pressure.
This ball was lovely when inflated. It was lovely and glossy and very slick which meant it glided across the grass with ease. However, this ball has probably been the least durable of our footballs. After just a couple of months of only using it in the back garden, the design started to flake off and crack, the ball would easily deflate and by the end of the summer it looked as though it has been in use for a good few years rather than a few months. Quality wise this replica ball was very disappointing. Adidas balls and Nike balls are worlds apart and Adidas in my opinion need to play catch up in the quality stakes as this ball just did not live up to what it should have been like
The ball was average weight and my husband found it easy to do tricks with and he said it moved easily through the air and crossed very well.
Regardless of the ball being asthetically pleasing and being technically quite good, the quality of it really let it down.
The Champions League is one of the greatest footballing events on the European Calendar. It sees all the top teams from the top leagues of each country come together in a tournament spread over several rounds, ultimately culminating in the cup final, which has produced some great sporting moments. In order to have great sporting moments you need great teams, great players, and great equipment. The ball is perhaps the most significant piece of equipment, and it has to be of the highest quality to ensure it can be struck with accuracy and travel at high speeds. The difficulty in this is making the ball perform well, but not make it too easy, and hence too difficult for the professional keepers to save and handle.
The ball comes in either size 4 or 5 and is an authentic, accurate replica of the original 2010 Champions League final ball. The exterior surface has interlinking blue stars with a white background, and the ADIDAS logo imprinted with relevant small print included. Its finish is shiny and slippery to touch - and when wet this slipperiness increases substantially. After lots of use the surface starts to splinter and the logo and shapes break up. Eventually a hole will appear but only after lots and lots of play and the help of a thistle or the like. I'm only saying this because this is what happened to my ball - but I don't take anything away from the quality of the thing, and the way it is so accurately constructed.
Flexibility is key: If the ball is too lightly strung it will rupture on heavy contact, and if it is too tightly strung it will be painful to kick and not rise or glide in the way a ball should. Years of technological advancement have gone into the development of this balance. I believe the CL ball of 2010 has it almost perfect. The fabric of the ball gives it a soft, durable external feel, enabling it to be pumped well.
If you don't pump the ball to the right level it won't perform as well as one of the original CL balls. A tiny hole in the surface allows you to implant a needle pump and inflate the ball using hand-power - I don't recommend using a powered pump as these can over stress the ball to destruction if you're not careful. Once the surface of the ball feels firm and you find it relatively hard to pump, stop. The ball is ready. Giving it a kick about will enable you to determine its readiness - if it seems dull or hard then adjust accordingly.
I like this ball, I think it is well constructed. But like so many balls it isn't built to last - unfortunately the surface will begin to look warn and untidy (far different from its factory self). The finish at first is great and the ball is easy to pump - but good things never seem to last. All in all I'd give this ball a 3 / 5.
As an avid football player i like many other people have had my fair share of footballs over the years. Every brand from Mitre, Nike Sondico and many more have been owned by myself over the years. However the one brand that hasn't let me down is Adidas. With my previous Adidas ball lasting 3 years with very frequent use (at least 3 times a week and all surfaces) the time had come to buy a new ball. I eventually opted for the champions league version due to its great design and flashy blue stars. However i am well aware that appearance means nothing in a football and its all about performance.
I play regularly on grass and Astro every week so this ball was sure to be tested to the limit. I can confidently say that it has passed all tests thrown at it with a cushion soft touch when struck hard or soft. The leather really is excellent and this soft feel makes for comfortable control. In flight it is straight and true which is better than some more expensive balls Ive tried that fly really erratically without putting any swerve on them. The first few times you use the ball it may be a little tough but after its bedded in its excellent.
So far after 4 months there are no loose stitches and only cosmetic smudges to the stars from it hitting fences and posts. I fully expect it to last as long as my previous Adidas ball which would be excellent.
A terrific ball that comes at a great price (i paid £7.99!) and is sure to last in any conditions you can throw at it.