The official ball for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar was unveiled earlier this year, as excitement continues to build ahead of the tournament this winter.
The 'Al Rihla', which translates from Arabic as 'The Journey', was released by adidas and FIFA, who claim it will travel faster in flight than any ball in World Cup history.
Tournament organisers will be hoping it fares much better than the infamous Jabulani ball, which caused carnage at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Its unpredictability and unique design struck fear into goalkeepers throughout the tournament, while many outfield players also struggled to master the ball.
Footage of the Jabulani has resurfaced on the 12th anniversary of that World Cup kicking off. Watch below to see the chaos it caused:
Adidas, which now produced the ball for the last 14 World Cups, faced huge criticism over the Jabulani, with goalkeepers particularly incensed by its design.
“The new model is absolutely inadequate and I think it’s shameful letting us play such an important competition, where a lot of champions take part, with a ball like this,” said Italy legend Gianluigi Buffon.
Former England goalkeeper David James added: “The ball is dreadful. It’s horrible.”
Meanwhile, the designer of the Adidas Predator boot, Craig Johnston, told the Daily Telegraph: “Whoever is responsible for this should be taken out and shot for crimes against football.”
While many world-class forwards struggle to tame the Jubilani, former Uruguay international Diego Forlan had no such problems.
He scored five goals, including a brace against tournament hosts South Africa, to finish as the joint top scorer along with Germany’s Thomas Muller, Netherlands winger Wesley Sneijder and Spain striker David Villa.
Despite its unpredictability, the Jubliani was recently voted as the greatest ball in World Cup history.
Thousands of SPORTbible's audience voted for the Jubilani in a recent poll ahead of the Teamgeist ball used at the 2006 tournament in Germany.
Let’s hope the Al Rihla proves to be just as popular.
Featured Image Credit: FIFA
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