Evolution of the World Cup Soccer Ball

The world has their eyes on Brazil for the World Cup. National pride is at an all-time high for many countries. The soccer ball has evolved since the first World Cup in 1930. Long gone are the hand-sewn leather balls.

The newest balls are heat-sealed, with fewer panels and a more aerodynamic seam pattern. Though these balls were designed to perform more uniformly, the Jabulani design was harshly criticized at the 2010 World Cup. Many players complained that the ball’s trajectory was fickle and unpredictable.