The beautiful game, as it is called has several kits and accessories to enhance your playing experience. There are high-end boots, shin pads, jerseys, and other things, however these aren’t actually essential. The beauty of the game is that all you need is a football and you can have hours of fun. This simplicity has been the primary reason why the game has spread so far and wide and gained so much popularity. The best footballs of today are actually not so different from the ones used over a century ago – in our very own Durand Cup where the legendary players of Mohun Bagan and East Bengal played. They have the same inner bladder and an outer material. It is in the make and material used for these two parts of the ball that the technological advancements have been made over the years.
Let’s now take a look at the various aspects of a ball that you should know about, before you buy one.
Also check out Swami’s take on the The Best Football Boots That You Can Buy Online
Table of Contents
- 1 Footballs In India – Buying Guide
- 2 Best Footballs – Review
- 3 Best Football Under 3000
- 4 Best Footballs Under 2000
- 5 Best Footballs Under 1000
- 6 Best Footballs Under 500
- 7 Best Junior Football for Kids
Footballs In India – Buying Guide
Back in the day, the outer material used was leather. Although, you can still get footballs made of leather today, the preferred materials are Poly Urethane (PU) and Poly Vinyl Carbonate (PVC).
Poly Urethane footballs are much softer and much more dynamic than traditional leather balls. This is the primary reason you see much more variety in the types of goals scored in professional football these days. The softness of the material makes it the preferred choice for professional football. However, since the ball is soft, it is not very durable. This makes PU football suitable for use only on grass fields. They are also expensive, which means you can use them exclusively for matches.
Poly Urethane balls can also be used on Artificial Grass (AG) pitches. There are several 5 on 5 AG fields coming up in Indian cities. However, it should be noted that Artificial Grass is much more abrasive than natural grass and so the PU balls will wear out much more quickly when used on these AG fields.
PU + PVC Blended Footballs
If you are looking to buy a football to play on regular mud grounds that are found in India, then you should go for PVC blended footballs. These are harder, but much more durable than PU balls. These balls are also cheaper and so are a great choice for regular daily training and play. Since the balls are hard, care should be taken if you are playing barefoot. PVC footballs are also suitable for indoor football in cement, mat, street football or other playing surfaces.
Rubber footballs are specially designed to be super durable. These are hard and heavy and generally not suitable for play on grass and Artificial Grass fields. They are meant solely for street football and indoor football on concrete flooring.
The inner bladder of modern footballs is usually made of wither latex or butyl. Let’s look at the properties of each in detail.
Latex Bladder Footballs
Latex bladders are soft and stretch well. They also give the ball a very steady bounce. This bounce gives the ball a professional soft feel. However, Latex bladders don’t retain the air for more than a week or two, so you will need to inflate them as and when required. They are also slightly expensive and so can be used as gameballs exclusively for matches.
Butyl Bladder Footballs
Butyl material is cheaper and they tend to have higher bounce. The bladders made out of butyl are also more durable than their latex counterparts. They also stay inflated for several months and so are ideally suited for daily use as training and casual balls.
Size 5 is the standard for all types of play and should be preferred for anyone over 10-11 years of age. For school kids, it would be a good idea to consult your school coach on the recommended ball size before buying. Smaller size balls such as Size 4 can be used on 5 vs 5 Futsal type games since they offer better control. You can also perform tricks easily using smaller balls.
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Best Footballs – Review
Best Football Under 5000
This Telstar football from Adidas was specifically made for the FIFA World Cup and is officially licensed by FIFA. This means that the ball has passed all the stringent quality standards set by FIFA and is suitable for use on professional matches.
It is advised not to use this expensive football in mud grounds and for street football. The PU material is not very durable and has been designed for use on grass fields. Hence, using this ball on rough playing surfaces will wear it very quickly.
Best Football Under 3000
The Adidas Finale has been one of Adidas’ flagship footballs since the start of the UEFA Champions League in 2001. Since then, Adidas has made a lot of aerodynamic and material improvements to the ball, making it one of the best for professional use. The butyl bladder helps the ball retain air for several months, which makes it an ideal ball for daily use and training. Recommended ball for youngsters who train and play on good grass or astroturf fields.
Since, the outer material is PU, is it recommended not to use this ball on mud grounds and for street football.
Best Footballs Under 2000
The Nivia Ashtang is the official match ball of the Indian Soccer League and has been designed by Nivia specifically for use in Indian grass grounds. The high grade Poly Urethane outer material gives the ball a soft feel which makes headers comfortable. The butyl bladder gives it good bounce and helps it retain the air for months on end. At its price of under Rs. 2000, it is one of the best value for money footballs that you can buy in India
Since it is made of PU, it is recommended not to use this ball in rough mud grounds and for street play.
The Nike Mercurial series of footballs are designed and manufactured with speed of play in mind. These balls come with a super shiny PU outer finish that helps the ball simply glide on top of the grass or AG surface at speed. The butyl rubber ensures that it bounces high and travels well as well.
This is the recommended football for use by intermediate players in the school, college, district and state levels. Take care not to use this ball on rough mud grounds and for street football.
Adidas’ Messi Q3 is a professional quality football that comes with a high quality PU outer and a butyl bladder that gives it good bounce. The attractive colours and Messi name make it an excellent choice for beginners and school kids getting started with Football practice and training.
Take care not to use this football on hard mud grounds, cement fields, or for street football.
Best Footballs Under 1000
The Syn6 match football is an excellent quality football that comes with a good grade TPU outer. This gives the ball a soft touch and feel when kicking and heading. At a price of under Rs. 1000, it is one of the best for beginners and casual players who are looking to buy a ball for playing 5 on 5 at a local football turf.
It is recommended not to use this ball on hard playing surfaces.
The Nivia Rubber Football comes with a hard rubber outer shell that has been specifically designed for Indian street football. It is hard and heavy which means that it won’t fly high which is great, since you won’t be breaking windows when playing on the street. The butyl bladder provides good bounce for fast play. This is definitely the best football for street football in hard ground and concrete.
Best Footballs Under 500
Nivia Trainer is one Nivia’s all-time best selling football and not without good reason. It is very reasonably priced under Rs. 500 and packs all the essential features that you look for when playing Football in India. It is super durable and lasts for a long time, even when used on rough mud grounds and concrete streets.
A good positive is that even though it is made out of rubber, it has a smooth finish which makes it suitable for barefoot play. Heading the ball is also easier and less painful.
The Street Soccer Football from VectorX is the best football under 250 that you can buy in India. It is well built and made out of good rubber that is super durable.
One con is that the ball is a bit hard due to its rubber outer shell. This makes it a bit unsuitable for heading and barefoot football, which can be painful.
Best Junior Football for Kids
The Cosco Rio Kids Football is reasonably priced under 400 and is an excellent choice for school kids getting started with the beautiful game. The PVC blended outer shell gives it a soft feel which ensures that your child’s feet doesn’t get injured or hurt trying to kick the ball too hard. Give your child this junior football as a gift for his/her birthday and you will not regret it.
Since, the outer surface is soft, it is recommended not to use this Cosco Rio kids football on rough grounds and for street football.
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That brings us to the end of this review of the best footballs that you can buy online in India. Do let us know in the comments below if we’ve missed any good pick.
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