Take a Closer Look at the Nike Merlin Premier League Match Ball
If case you live under a rock and didn’t realise, the Premier League season kicked off at the weekend. But while there’s some truly
horrendous divisive kits this season (we’re looking at your Spurs third kit), the Premier League ball is anything but this season. Introducing the four-panel Nike Merlin match ball.
The Nike Merlin will be used in this season’s Premier League, La Liga and Serie A. Designed to give more control to footballers by responding to a player’s touch, the all-weather Merlin is constructed from four external panels, rather than the traditional 12 – something the Premier League describes as a world first.
Reducing the number of panels on the ball is all about increasing the striking surface, which Nike say increases the amount of contact between a footballer’s boot and the ball. In turn, this means more control. The reduced number of panels also reduces the number of seams on the football by 40%, eliminating many of the hard spots and creating ‘a more pronounced sweet spot’.
Each of the Premier League, La Liga and Serie A will have their own version of the Merlin with different colours on each. The Premier League version features a white background with a purple hexagon pattern. Turquoise and neon yellow highlights finish things off and are said to help the players track the ball and identify spin, speed and trajectory.
The colours are 3D-printed onto the ball, while inside, the bladder is made from latex rather than the traditional rubber. Nike suggest this will help the ball maintain a consistent shape and maintain air pressure. Nike Aerowtrac grooves are also used for accurate ball flight.
The Nike Premier League Merlin match ball is available now for £104.95 over at the Nike Website.
Nike has just converted a former Chicago church dating back to 1885 into its latest Just Do It HQ. Set to be used by local teams and players, the state of the art basketball facility features custom stained glassed windows and original brickwork.