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A Guide To The Wide Variety Of Footballs Used Across The Planet

The beautiful game is never homogeneous, and that’s certainly the case when it comes to the ball being used.

I hope you can kick these balls with some of the world's best players. Here's a brief guide to the balls used in some of the world's most popular leagues and how much they cost.

What Soccer Ball Should I Get? Here's What The World's Biggest Leagues Use

English Premier League: The Nike Merlin, at a cool $160. Looks and feels like a classic professional ball.

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LaLiga: The Nike Merlin! Again! But with more red hue in the colors than the EPL version. I wonder if Nike chose the name because of the breadth of creative attacking players from Spain, such as David Silva?

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Bundesliga: Derbystar Brillant APS 2018-19, also retails at $160. But a Derbystar ball? While "Derbystar" might sound like an equestrian startup, it's in fact a German company.

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Ligue 1: Uhlsport Elysia Conforma 2018-19 at $68.23.

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Serie A: Another Nike Merlin! This one with an orange feel. Seems like UEFA and Nike agreed that most of the top European leagues should play with the same ball. Makes sense. 

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CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Adidas Madrid Finale 19, released on January 19, is being sold in Europe for 150 euros ($171 according to Google). Looks like an exciting ball for an exciting match. (I predict Manchester City 3-1 over Juventus, even though both teams kick Nike Merlins during league play.)

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MLS: Adidas Nativo Questra at $165. Looks like an MLS-type ball, grazed with American flag-like designs. Who will put this one into the net the most in 2019? Kei Kamara? Zlatan? Josef Martinez? Shane O'Neill (hopefully)?

Liga MX Clausura: The Voit Pulzar Clausura is bright and not available online!? The manufacturer (Voit) sells balls by phone only. Interesting blast from the past.

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2019 Women's World Cup: adidas Conext at $165! But the NWSL and Nike have agreed to use Nike products through 2019.

In sum, Nike leads in use by most leagues, but adidas takes the cake on the world's biggest stages. Which one would you rather kick?

I remember using a Select ball in high school that felt like a helium balloon. Hopefully you do not have the same memories.

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