Following the UEFA Champions League Group Stage draw last night, adidas have unveiled their full range of official match balls for the upcoming Champions League and Europa League competitions, as well as a special one-off ball for tonight’s UEFA Super Cup!
adidas Finale 11 – Champions League Matchball
We covered the adidas Finale 11 back before the qualifying rounds of the Champions League in the summer, but seeing as adidas have supplied us with all these great pictures, it only seems proper to give it another airing!
The Official Match Ball for the 2011/12 UEFA Champions League season, the Finale 11 is more or less a new colourway for the Finale 10, Finale X and Finale London.
adidas experimented for years to try and bring the iconic Champions League ‘Starball’ to an actual football, until they finally managed to bring star-shaped panels to the Finale range 2 years ago.
The adidas Finale 11, which is now eleven years into its development, features an updated colour story that highlights the broad appeal of football by using a myriad of colour symbolizing every team, every player, every stadium and ultimately every fan.
The variation of colours ranges from red through to green, purple and yellow inside the star panels and is combined with a traditional dark border. In line with adidas„continued advancements in ball technology, the Finale 11 has a diamond texture that gives even more grip for enhanced control and also features thermal bonding which creates a seamless surface.
All games in the qualifying and group stages of the UEFA Champions League will be played with the adidas Finale 11, with the match ball for the knock-out phase of the competition including the UEFA Champions League Final in Munich, Germany on May 19th 2012 being unveiled in 2012.
The Official Match Ball for the 2011/12 UEFA Europa League'
One that flew under the radar a bit last season (mainly because it’s neigh-impossible to buy takedown versions of it) was the 2010-11 Europa League ball.
Whilst not as glamorous as the Champions League ball, those we spoke to actually said the Europa League’s matchball was one of the best out there at the moment!
Just as well then, that adidas have retained much of the features that made it such a good footy! Panel shape and number stays the same, whilst a new casing has been put on the ball.
Interestingly, it doesn’t use the same Grip’n’Groove as the Jabulani or Speedcell, it uses the diamond-shaped texture as the last 2 Finale balls, making it easier to grip in bad weather and allowing a more stable flight.
As the Official Match Ball supplier for the UEFA Europa League since the commencement of the tournament, adidas developed the Official Match Ball in line with the visual language of the logo and brand colours of the competition.
The design on the surface of the ball is also updated from last season, with the White/Gold/Red/Blue inspired by the UEFA Europa League trophy itself.
' All games of the UEFA Europa League ” including the Final in Bucharest on May 9th, 2012 ” will be played with the new ball.
The Official Match Ball for the UEFA Super Cup 2011
Following the successful launch of its first Official Match Ball for the UEFA Super Cup in 2009, adidas will continue to offer a specially designed ball to mark the prestigious occasion.
The design of the ball takes inspiration from the colours of the UEFA Super Cup logo, as well as the colours of the respective teams competing in the game ” the red representing FC Barcelona and blue for FC Porto. As with the UEFA Europa League ball and the adidas Finale 11, the UEFA Super Cup ball features the industry-leading Grip Texture technology.
The ball will take to the field on August 26th, 2011 when the winners of last season's UEFA Champions League, FC Barcelona, meet the winners of last season's UEFA Europa League, FC Porto, at the Stade Louis II in Monaco. The ball will be sold in selected retail outlets throughout Europe and exclusively at the UEFA Super Cup in Monaco making it a true collector's item!
Which is your favourite of the three?
Let us know in the comments!