Technologies that are changing football.
This trend surprised almost every football fan during the World Cup in Qatar. At the end of last year, a strange photo of balls went viral on the internet — they were stacked together and connected with cables to extension cord outlets.
Most users probably concluded that such a photo was just another fake. Despite FIFA's introduction of new technologies, ball charging seemed supernatural because we're all used to inflating them with pumps.
But during the World Cup in Qatar, Adidas Al Rihla balls were used for the first time and required daily charging. With active use, the battery lasted for 6 hours; without help, it lasted 18 days.
It turned out that Al Rihla had many sensors inside, tracking the ball's position 500 times per second, allowing the video assistant referee to obtain more accurate information during the game. This technology was developed jointly by engineers from Munich-based company "Kinexon" and FIFA.
Here's what Al Rihla looks like in the cross-section:
Do you see a small white sphere right in the center? The inertial measurement unit (IMU) enables the VAR referee to receive precise data on the ball's movement and even see the moment of contact from the player making the pass.
For example, thanks to this technology, the referees determined that in the match between Portugal and Uruguay, the goal was scored not by Cristiano Ronaldo but by Bruno Fernandes. At that moment, one of the world's best footballers did not touch the ball.
However, not all football players were thrilled with the high-tech balls from Qatar. The goalkeeper of the Uruguayan national team, Sergio Rochet, expressed his dissatisfaction, noting that Al Rihla flew much faster: "Year after year, it becomes easier for forwards but harder for goalkeepers."
"With every cross, I felt that the balls were slightly different," admitted English national team midfielder Kieran Trippier. "It's not about the heat. They seem a bit lighter. If you hit it harder, it will go much further."