As the Champions League returns, adidas have embraced the knock out rounds with a look ahead to the final as they release the Official Match Ball for the latter stages. The elite of club football, the Dragon led design inspired by the country and city that will host the final; Cardiff, Wales.
A striking print that smothers the ball, it's a unique dragon print that will land on the pitch this week. The creative inspiration has been taken from the national emblem of Wales. A dragon that sits proudly across the Welsh flag, the ball’s unique design features a sharp though flowing print. Travelling to Cardiff as part of the design process, the adidas team took influence from the power and strength the dragon represents in Celtic mythology – with the dragon print designed to represent the ferocity with which the final stages are played.
Naturally, this is a piece of performance innovation under the hood as well as the coated surface of the outer aesthetic. The latter stages will see the likes of Messi, Bale, Suarez and Müller battle it out for a place in the final so it's only right the ball matches the standard. Its outer coating texture is consistent with all the adidas UEFA Champions League Official Match Balls and provides optimal grip, while the thermally-bonded star panel design provides a seamless surface for improved first touch.
While the match ball deserves its time to shine, it has also been joined by the new Limited Collection boot range by adidas that has been introduced as the "Dragon Pack". Fire across the boot drop as well as the ball, the design elements have been carried over from one to the other as the Dragon Pack sees both the ACE 17+ Purecontrol and X 16+ Purechaos re-skinned with serious bite. In turn the on-pitch and cage silos have all been given a fresh lick of flare heavy paint. Ferocious, just a touch. The adidas Final Cardiff 2017 ball will be used on field during UEFA Champions League matches from 14th February up until and including the final on 3rd June.
Gear up, here.