soccer ball on soccer field
Last updated: June 19, 2020

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While it may never dethrone Hockey as Canada’s most popular game, soccer (or football to most of the world) is the world’s most popular sport and often referred to simply as “the beautiful game”. It is played by hundreds of millions of people all over the world and is the most-watched and beloved professional sport of all time. The reason people love it so much is that it is democratic – everyone and anyone can play and players from humble backgrounds, even those in extreme poverty can show their quality and make something of themselves.

You can play soccer anywhere there is an open space and it is frequently played on beaches, in backyards, on basketball courts, and in the middle of the street. All you need is a ball and you’re good to go. With that in mind, we have put together the below guide to the best soccer balls on the Canadian market.

Key Facts

  • You really only need a ball to play soccer.
  • Balls come in different sizes based on the age range of the players and the style of soccer being played.
  • The playing surface dictates the kind of ball needed.

Ranking: The best soccer balls on the Canadian market

In the below section we have compiled a list of the five best balls on the Canadian market. They are all slightly different, but all offer great value for money. After reading through this section you will undoubtedly have found something that suits your needs and experience level. Always make sure to check the product rating and the ball size/material to get the right product.

Adidas – Tango Glider

Adidas is one of the biggest sports apparel and accessories manufacturers and they certainly are one of the most well-liked names in soccer balls. The company has made a wide range of official event balls over the last decades. The Tango Glider is not a ball that it FIFA standard-approved, but it is still good enough for anyone who loves the sport, and especially kids, to take to the park or play around with in the backyard. It is standard size five and when filled adequately feels great to hit and keep up.

For the price, this is a very well-weighted ball, considering most balls under $25 tend to be much too light and come with way too much air in them. This is a good ball for pickup games. Considering some of the best in history learned playing with rubber or kicking melons around, this Adidas ball is more than enough for the average soccer player in Canada, and definitely more than enough to have a good time and learn with.

Nike – Pitch

Nike, along with Adidas, makes the vast majority of all soccer apparel and accessories in Canada and their Pitch soccer ball is a perfect, affordable ball for backyard and pickup games, as well as more serious competitions. It comes with the approved 12-panel design to give you the most accurate ball flight possible. The machine-stitched TPU casing is durable and meant to stand up to regular game play. The white and blue graphics are also great for easily locating the ball during fast-paced games.

60 per cent rubber, 15 per cent polyurethane, 13 per cent polyester, and 12 per cent EVA combine to create a high-quality ball for casual players, and for non-serious games. Keep in mind that the ball does not come inflated so you will have to put air into it when it arrives. It comes in orange and black, green and black, and white and black. For the price, this is as close to a professional-grade ball as you are likely going to get and something that more than serves its purpose.

Forever Fanatics – Portugal Ronaldo

If you are a huge fan of Portuguese superstar (and for some, the best player to ever play the sport), then you are going to love the Forever Fanatics Cristiano Ronaldo graphic soccer ball. The ball is exactly what it sounds like: a size 5 game-ready ball featuring a good quality action shot of the famous winger running down the field. If you have a Cristiano fan or a team Portugal fan in your life, this is the perfect gift for them and a great addition to a memorabilia collection.

Don’t let the graphic fool you, this ball is well-made and designed to be used and practised with on a regular basis. Whether you are working on your shooting, your free-kick taking, your dribbling, or your ball control, this ball is well-weighted and properly stitched and designed to handle it all. Keep in mind that this product does not come with air in it and you will have to pump it up when it arrives. Looks exactly as it appears.

GoSports – Classic Soccer Balls

GoSports Classic Soccer Balls come with a nice premium pump that can be used on a wide range of balls and certain other equipment too. You can get this ball as a single product, or in a six-pack, which makes it a great option for schools or for soccer teams that need a number of balls in their arsenal. Comes in size 3, 4 and 5 so you can tailor your purchase based on the age range you are buying for. It has the classic black and white pattern that most Canadians associate with soccer.

It is a great size and weight and its affordable price makes it ideal for kids soccer. In terms of a mix between quality and value, this is a hard product to beat. The pump is also surprisingly high quality for being included for an extra and is nice to have on hand for a wide range of purposes. Keep in mind that this is not a professional-tier ball and would not be suitable for older players and for real competitive games and leagues.

Adidas – Capitano Ball

Adidas was bound to make another appearance on this list just based on how enormously important this company is to the game. Their Capitano Ball comes in five different cool patterns and the range of common ball sizes. The specially designed TPU exterior is made to stand up to abrasion and, therefore, to last much longer than comparably priced balls. The internal nylon ball carcass adds another layer of durability and structure to the ball.

Another nice feature of this ball is the Butyl bladder which helps ensure the ball remains inflated and in the correct shape for longer. It is important to note that this product does not ship inflated so you will need to have a pump on hand. For the price, this is a great ball from a highly reputable company that makes good-quality products. Hard to beat for casual use, light practice, or just to take to the park or kick around in the front or backyard.

Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about soccer balls

As you have likely realized the market for soccer balls is quite large. This might make it hard to choose the right one for you, but it is good because there is good value for money out there. In the following section we will answer some of the most commonly asked consumer questions to make your purchase decision easier.

Portrait Of Player In High School Soccer Team

There are three kinds of goal posts: permanent, semi-permanent and portable.(Source: Bowden: 33478588/ 123rf.com)

What is a soccer ball exactly?

There are so many different balls for different sports and they are all designed to do different things. Soccer balls are the only balls you can use (officially) to play soccer – though people around the world often make do with what they have on hand. Most balls are made from flexible material that is then inflated using pumps. They are made to be light enough to be thrown, kicked, carried, and passed easily.

foco

In Canada most people prefer to play with an actual soccer ball as opposed to something else.

Where do soccer balls come from?

The first record of soccer ball-like balls dates back to BC China. Hard roots were pulverized and made into a sphere which was then covered with hide. The first balls, in general, were made by the Aztecs in Mexico. This was observed by the Spanish when they first landed on the continent.

The predecessor to the modern soccer ball first made an appearance in 19th century England. But the leather cord that was used to seal the ball used to cause lacerations. The cord eventually disappeared in the 1930s when the game was taken to Argentina. .

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Canada has its own ancient record of balls (though not soccer balls). Our indigenous peoples invented the game Lacrosse, which also used to be played with rudimentary balls.

How are soccer balls manufactured?

In the past, soccer balls were made with leather (as were many other balls). But leather is not waterproof and balls would quickly become waterlogged. Modern balls are synthetic and made from polyurethane or a similar material. They consist of 20 hexagons and 12 pentagons sewn together, which are then glued and vulcanised.

The highest quality models are hand-stitched. The air chamber and the air valve are both made from latex or butyl. You’ll also find layers of polyester or cotton coating between the outer cover and the chamber. While non-pro balls are manufactured similarly, they don’t use the same high-quality materials.

Eduardo GaleanoUruguayan Soccer Journalist & Writer

“And one fine day the goddess of the wind kisses the foot of man, that mistreated, scorned foot, and from that kiss the soccer idol is born. He is born in a straw crib in a tin-roofed shack and he enters the world clinging to a ball.”

How should I inflate my soccer ball?

If you are playing for real you need proper inflation. Without adequate inflation of the ball, your passing and shooting will be completely off. Too soft and too hard are equally bad. To get the right inflation you can apply the following three steps (which will also make the ball last longer):

  • Get an appropriate pump for your ball. Models with built-in pressure gauges are the best.
  • Make sure the needle and valve are properly lubricated. This will ensure you don’t accidentally puncture the ball.
  • Find out what the manufacturer-recommended pressure is. Put the needle into the valve delicately and pump slowly and methodically, always keeping an eye on the pressure gauge.

What’s the best way to preserve my ball?

A little common sense will be enough to get you a lot of use out of your ball. The most important thing is to make sure you only play with it on appropriate surfaces, and that you don’t put your full weight on it, or sit on it. Some people do this, however. Doing this can cause the seams to burst or deform.

In general, you should only use your soccer ball of soft surfaces and avoid terrain with stones, sand, or asphalt. Also, avoid shooting it against walls. Maintain the valve in good condition, especially when you are using it. Most pump manufacturers suggest lowering the pressure of your ball after each time you use it and reinflating it the following time.

Soccer-ball

Different styles of soccer need different sized goals.(Source: Gelner: 44328457/ 123rf.com)

Where can I repair my soccer ball?

If you get a ball that is defective, you should take it to a professional. These days the best option is to take it to a sports shop, especially if the valve is malfunctioning. You will also get more use of the ball by asking them to have a look at scratches or punctures.

With that mind, you can also purchase one of many fixes that exist on the market, including liquids, sprays and other adhesives that are meant for spot pairs. If you use a liquid, you should inject into the valve until air bubbles stop coming out of the hole you are trying to fill. Clean the valve after so it stays clean.

Members Of Female High School Soccer Team

Men, women and people of all ages love soccer. (Source: Bowden: 33478648/ 123rf.com)

What are the most famous soccer ball brands?

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the most renowned soccer ball manufacturers are also the biggest and most popular sports brands out there: Nike and Adidas. Adidas tends to be slightly more popular because it has the biggest contracts with soccer’s governing bodies. Adidas balls are used in world cups and other big regional cups.

Nike is no slouch, however. Nike has its own league that uses exclusively Nike soccer balls, as does the English Premier League. Umbro (from England), and German brands Puma and Ulsport, Japan’s Mikasa and Joma from Spain are other well-respected manufacturers.

Shopping Criteria

To get the right ball for you you need to have certain shopping criteria in mind before making your purchase. You need to apply these to any soccer ball you buy so you get the best product at the best price. Your decision will need to factor in the age of the players, the surface it is being used on, and the type of soccer you’re playing.

Size

Size is determined by the sport’s governing bodies, and the official number on the ball indicates how much the ball weighs, as well as the age range best suited for the ball in question. In the table below we lay out the sizes and who they are made for. If you plan on using a ball for competitive, official matches you have to meet these standards:

Number Size Weight Age
No. 5 68-70 cm 410-450 grams From 12 years onwards
No. 4 62-64 cm 368 g 9-11 years
No. 3 58-61 cm 311 g 6-8 years

Surface

Depending on the surface you’re playing on, you will need different types of balls. If you are playing on grass or turf there are many different brands and options out there to choose from. You should get a ball made of the correct materials and that is weighted correctly so that it is easier to control and shoot.

If you are playing on hard surfaces, you will need a much tougher soccer ball. Hard balls are definitely harder to control. If you want a harder ball this is just something you will have to deal with.

Quality seals

Back in 1996, FIFA introduced a quality assurance process for all soccer balls. The goal was to make sure the balls evolved with the sport and were always the best possible technology for the contemporary game. Each ball that is certified by FIFA has to go through strict testing and meet certain requirements.

According to the official rules of the game, every ball must include at least one of the major seals recognized by FIFA or the Soccer Confederation Competition. These specific marks are: FIFA Quality PRO, FIFA Quality and IMC (International Match Standard).

Replica

Most people like to buy soccer balls that are exact replicas of the balls used in official and beloved competitions like the world cup or the Copa America. They are more affordable than the authentic balls, and having professional quality is really only required for professional matches.

Contrary to what you might think, comparative analyses carried out on different soccer balls have proven that replicas are not of poor quality.

These studies measured sphericity, dimensions, weight, aerodynamics, shape retention, loss of pressure, water absorption and bounce.

Use

You don’t have to put too much effort into deciding on a ball just for fun in the backyard or at the park with friends and family. You should get a harder and more resistant ball if that is the style of soccer you’re playing. This way you can play on concrete and gravel. The Mikasa balls from the previous section are good choices.

As we mentioned, it won’t provide you with the same accuracy and control as the lighter grass and turf balls. This isn’t necessary however when just playing street ball. The main thing for this level of playing is that the ball is tough and lasts a while.

Summary

Soccer balls have been a staple recreational and soccer accessory for decades. People used to create their own balls and in many of the most underprivileged parts of the world children still do. The official balls used in international competitions used to be made out of a pigs bladder or rubber, but are now synthetic.

The technological advances have benefited both the professional sport and amateur players. Everybody can now use good quality soccer balls, but you need to do some careful research to make sure you’re getting the right one.

If you enjoyed our guide to soccer balls and found it useful, share it with your friends and family on social media. Additionally, you can drop us a comment in the below section and let us know what you think.

(Source of featured image: Blach: 71942922/ 123rf.com)

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