Which was the top Soccer Ball of 2018? Here’s our pick

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By Patrick Pierce

Physical and chemical properties of a soccer ball are responsible for its performance efficiency. It should be pressure-tight, accurate in flight, optimal in weight, and resistant to heat, humidity, and other impacting forces. 

Material composition, manufacturing method, design, and construction are the key parameters that shape the best soccer ball for 2019. Practicing with such a soccer ball can enhance your skills and techniques to become a professional player in the future.

Nike 2018/2019 EPL Vs Adidas Finale 18 Comparison

Bladder Material

Nike EPL: Reinforced Butyl blabber has been found to be highly resistant to sudden impacts and consistent stress. The load-resistant factors built into the bladder are the result of Nano-sized composite material that is carbon reinforced with polymer fibers.

It can hold the pressure force of 8.7 PSI or more consistently for many days. It can endure power-kicks like push, in-step, back-heel, toe, and others.

Adidas:   Adidas Finale 18 is also made of reinforced butyl bladder and has similar properties like the Nike EPL. According to Adidas, it has added properties of soft-touch and improved control over flight path, angle, and speed. They are stated to be beneficial while training and practicing as well as during the professional league matches.

Lining Material

Nike EPL: the Inside lining of soft foam can endure the external forces like kicks and other impacts without tearing away or getting brittle. Nike says the lining material’s resistance improves with time and exposure to tough playing conditions.

Adidas: High-density fabric material is used for the inner lining of Adidas Finale 18 soccer ball. It is a supportive layer for the bladder to retain its spherical shape. It is the medium for absorbing spike forces (when kicked with shoe edge, hitting the goal-post, and other sharp objects on and off the ground).

Cover Material

Nike EPL: Nike EPL is made of composite materials using Polyurethane, polyester, and EVA for the top cover. They have high impact endurance. Even bounce, better foot control, and high toughness are some of the primary properties of Nike EPL. Resistance to heat, humidity, water, and other harsh elements makes the ball recommended for training and league matches.

Adidas: Polyurethane and natural rubber composition are reinforced with pressure resistant micro-cells. It is supposed to have improved rebound property. Bounce height is evenly equated with the force of impact. So, it is easier to get better control over the ball on multiple types of turfs and playing conditions.

Cover Design

Nike EPL: Nike EPL is made of 12 panels and textured casing. They allow you to get a better foothold over the ball while playing defensive and offensive shots. Cushion and wedge control types over the ball become simple while receiving, controlling, and passing.

Panel construction of Nike EPL makes the receivers’ first touch of the ball effective. You can roll the ball just about anywhere around the opponent player. Optimum control allows you to set up the shots within the shortest time. Nike EPL has visual-acuity-graphics for clear visibility and better control.

Adidas: Blue star-shaped panels give you firm foothold over the ball while kicking, passing, and receiving. The panel design allows you to perform long, backward, long, and piercing passes easily. Adidas says the panel shape allows you to receive the ball, slide-tackle, and control the ball retention using legs and chest.

The bright blue stars on Adidas highlight the ball visibility on the field. According to Adidas, the design can help the players to track and control it in a better manner. So, it can help to reduce the out of play probability significantly.

Stitching Pattern

Nike EPL: Machine stitching makes the surface bonding stronger and free from micron-level gaps. Nike says it has used multiple plies synthetic yarn which can endure maximum impact, heat, and humidity factors. It is also stated to be free from shredding and becoming brittle when in contact with an excess of moisture and wet conditions.

The durability of machine stitching is stated to be useful for long-term training and club/league level matches. 

Adidas: Finale 18 is stated to be relatively free from multiple stitches, unlike Nike EPL. Most of the molded surface gives extra tensile strength and resistance to exterior impact. The durability of the ball could be relatively long due to the inbuilt resistance to moisture and wet conditions.

The probability of loose threads and broken stitches is stated to be very low for the Adidas Finale 18. The star panel areas get better endurance to impact and external forces at the height of gameplay.

Performance Metrics – Ball Control

Nike EPL: There are multiple grooves around the Nike EPL like the AEROTRACK style. They provide complete control over different types of true ball flight. The construction around the centerline is stated to be flexible for push and in-step kicks.

Short passing with toe kick is made a simple task due to the broader and even surface area. The probability uneven and unexpected bounces during the gameplay are stated to be very few and less frequent.

Adidas: Adidas Final 18 construction and design provide a sharp flight to the ball in low angles. Side blocks and sliding tackle of the ball are simple. Contact space between the star panel and your body will be the maximum due to their structural alignment and numbers. Hence, you can play rebound shots with utter ease.

First-touch shooting is the most important part of soccer training and matches. The density of panels over the exterior surface is sufficient to power kick the ball towards the goal on first-touch.

Adidas Final 18 has better chest control due to its panel design. Passing the ball from the chest onto the thighs and legs is a controlled process while moving at high speeds.

Conclusion

Nike EPL is stated to be excellent for training and practice sessions since the construction and design are the perfect according to the professional soccer ball standards. You can also use the ball for club and league level matches in colleges.

Adidas is a truly professional ball of the champion league class. Training with the Final 18 could make you an expert in most of the ball control, kicking and passing tricks.

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