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The best footballs you can buy in 2022: new balls from Nike, Adidas, Mitre and more

5:44 PM WAT 12/01/2022
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The best FIFA approved match balls, and their budget replicas, used by the world's top leagues, clubs and competitions.

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If you're a hat-trick hero around the house or just a set-piece specialist in your Sunday kick-about, one thing that every player needs is the ball to succeed – and, with so many to choose from these days, it's sometimes hard to sort out the best from the rest.

There's no shortage of elite-level footballs out there to pick up and play with, and so much will come down to just what you want to earn from your game. These are balls that are top-of-the-range for a reason, bestowed with FIFA recognition, and played with by top-tier sportsmen, both on and off the field all over the world.

However, if you don't want to blow the bank, the official replicas also deliver a quality finish to translate into matchday practice, without the higher price tag to match.

With that in mind, here are the best footballs that you can get on today's market – and where you can find them to bring into your collection. 

1. Nike Brazil Flight

You’ll be able to get plenty of airborne control with one of Nike’s most dependable footballs, the Flight. This edition honours the Brazil national team, accented with the familiar tour yellow and pro-green hues associated with the Selecao – and combined with its now-familiar moulded grooves and grippy texture, it all adds up to one impressively premium finish that offers a professional touch to your game.

Get it from Nike for £119.95


2. Umbro Neo X Elite

Want to bag a bicycle kick and help save the planet in the process? The Neo X Elite bears an outer casing material made from recycled water bottles, doing that little bit extra to help give back in an environmentally-friendly manner. Beyond that, this FIFA Quality Pro-awarded number carries a unique patented construction to help improve its shape retention – and its materials make it good wherever you play, be it grass, court or artificial surfaces.

Get it from Umbro for £80.00


BUDGET: Adidas Tiro League TB

Certified to International Match Standard and agreeably priced for its quality, the Tiro League TB is one of the best balls for delivering that Premier League finish for your weekend run-around. Its thermal bonding ensures it has a seamless finish, hued in a PU cover, while its simple, elegantly unfussy white-bodied design calls to mind the classic touches of an old-fashioned traditional match ball with a fluid modern twist.

Get it from Adidas for £25.00


3. Molten UEFA Europa League 21/22

Grab a little bit of that continental flavour with the official ball used in Europe's second major club competition. Molten's official match ball might not have the eye-catching stars used in its bigger brother the Champions League, but its "energy wave" graphics superimposed over burnt orange proves attractive enough. With a latex bladder bodied by a patented Acentec thermal bonding and a leather finish, it carries FIFA's Quality Pro mark; all the proof you need for a top-of-the-line ball.

Get it from Pro Direct Soccer for £110.00


4. Mitre Delta Max FA Cup

The official ball utilised in this season’s edition of the game’s oldest cup competition is just as much of a knockout as the ties are themselves. Bolstered with the FIFA Quality pro mark, it sports a debossed surface – dubbed Hyperflow – and comes with Mitre’s Hyperseam technology to help reduce water uptake, making it fantastic in all weather conditions. Add in its dual construction of laminated rubber and elastic foam, and you’ve got a highly responsive finish.

Get it from Mitre for £115.00


BUDGET: Nike Strike

Want to put a bit of spin into your game? The Strike brings much of the Flight’s intelligent design to bear on a lower-budget level, built with the company’s Aerowtrac grooves across its dozen-panel surface to encourage clean flight. A machine-stitched finish ensures this is a clean, eye-catchingly elegant design – and its rubber bladder means that it will work well when it comes to maintaining air pressure and shape.

Get it from Nike for £22.95


5. Adidas UCL Pyrostorm Winter

Built for those long winter nights at the heart of every UEFA Champions League season, Adidas have outdone themselves with this version of the Pyrostorm. Hued in a fiery orange colour with the competition’s iconic stars – a design sure to light up any pitch and sky – it carries that FIFA Quality Pro mark and a butyl bladder to match, while its laminated exterior keeps it from excess water uptake too.

Get it from Adidas for £120.00


6. Puma La Liga Accelerate

Designed to grace the fields of the Spanish top-flight, the Accelerate might just help bring a touch of Iberian flair to your game too. Backed with foam and a rubber bladder to beef up both its air retention and ensure a soft touch, it features more than two-and-a-half dozen machine-stitched panels in order to ensure an effectively nuanced, rounded shape – and its glossy TPU surface is just the proverbial icing on the cake.

Get it from Sports Direct for £80.00


BUDGET: Umbro Neo Swerve 350-380

Fear not if you see this one on the pitch – despite having more numbers in its name than you’d be able to fit on the fourth official board, the Neo Swerve 350-380 is a solid low-budget number. It takes its name from its weight, while its 16-panel machine finish builds its two separate layers and latex bladder into a finely embossed package, perfectly suited to a routine kickabout on your driveway or bouncing off the trees in the park.

Get it from Umbro for £15.00


7. Nike Merlin

With a name like that, you’d think it’s magic – and though the Merlin might not be able to help you perform wizardry on the pitch, it’ll certainly do itself no disservice. Emblazoned with the familiar Nike branding, it bears a four-panel design patterned across its exterior, to help mark out a clearer spot for a cleaner strike. Its 3D-printed texture gives it an enjoyable funky finish.

Get it from Lovell Soccer for £37.00


8. Adidas Context 21 Pro

It might bear a design that conjures up thoughts of the fidget spinners of yesteryear, but don’t be fooled by the Context 21 Pro’s snazzy scheme. Beneath its thermally-bonded finish, it’s a sleek, smooth beast of a ball, complete with a viscose cover and materials recycled from polyester. Its interlinking panels honour the six continental football federations that make up FIFA – and it plays with the finesse of global appeal too.

Get it from Adidas for £120.00


BUDGET: Mitre x Shelter

It may not be the first ball off the shelf, but this one is absolutely for a worthy cause if you’re looking to add a budget number to your repertoire. Specifically designed for the game’s #NoHomeKit campaign in association with the charity Shelter, almost half of its cost will be donated to the organisation as they look to combat homelessness – and beyond that, its 30-panel construction helps deliver a superior finish at a fractional price.

Get it from Mitre for £12.00


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