The Brazuca is here.

On Tuesday, Adidas revealed Brazuca, the official match ball of the 2014 FIFA World Cup taking place in Brazil next summer. “Brazuca” was the name voted for by Brazilian fans and loosely refers to the Brazilian way of life and national pride. The colors on the ball were inspired by the vibrancy of the soccer culture in South America and Brazilian wish bracelets worn for good luck in the country.

Photo by Leandro Neumann Ciuffo

The Brazuca’s predecessor, Jabulani, wasn’t exactly a hit amongst players at the last World Cup in South Africa. Most players claimed that the ball took some weird spins when hit hard enough. However, Adidas has been designing the World Cup ball since 1970, so they had a chance to redeem themselves with the two-and-a-half year testing period for the Brazuca. After testing with over 600 world class players, Adidas decided on a six panel design “that will provide improved grip, touch, stability and aerodynamics on the pitch.”

Our initial thoughts: The panel design really is unique and this ball looks like nothing else that we have in The Shop, which is fitting for a ball of World Cup caliber. The colors definitely pop, and there is an added star pattern in the darker regions between the color ribbons. Adidas has claimed that this is the roundest ball ever made. That made us laugh at first because it’s a somewhat bizarre claim for a ball, but it really is rounder than any ball we have at The Shop (and I think we have a pretty extensive collection). I would guess that the near-perfect roundness comes from the limited “bonded” (rather than stitched) panels. The official match ball comes in at $160 with the top replica at $40. The colorful gliders pictured above are $20, and we have them all in stock at The Soccer Shop!

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