Football Equipment

Nike Ascente

What do you need to play football? According to FIFA’s Laws of the Game, you need first of all a spherical leather ball (or of other suitable material) with a circumference between 68 and 70 cm, weighing between 410 and 450 grams and inflated to a pressure between 0,6 and 1,1 atmosphere at sea level. But any spherical ball will do for the occasional game!

 Modern top level footballs are made of combination leather and synthetic materials to make them light, perfectly spherical and as smooth as possible on the surface. As in the Nike T90 Ascente, for example, they have a layered construction with surface microgrooving which improves the air flow and overall aerodynamics, giving the ball greater speed and range in flight. The panelling of the surface also works to obtain a 360° “sweet spot”, so that wherever the ball is hit, it travels optimally. The positioning of the air chamber, usually made of latex, is also important to improve the aerial travel characteristics of the ball.

Then you need a flat pitch of variable dimensions, two goals and, optionally, a whistle-blowing referee, with or without assistance. And two teams of 11 players plus reserves of course, each wearing a different-coloured and numbered match strip.
Football jerseys come in all types of light materials and can be long- or short-sleeved, with matching shorts and socks. Goalkeepers’ jerseys are of a colour different from that of the other 10 team mates, and feature padding at elbows, hips and knees. To complete the set we have shin pads and, for goalies, gloves.
And then there is the football boot, the only truly technical piece in a footballer’s kit.
Ideally made of leather and studded in a variety of ways to accommodate wet, muddy, dry or hard grounds, football boots have evolved from the pioneering days of the game into sophisticated pieces of footwear marketed by giant multinationals and endorsed by star players all over the world.
The Adidas F50 I Tunit for example has a hard sole plate with 10 studs (6 forward, 4 in the heel) in its basic firm ground configuration, has leather uppers which wrap around the laces too, to enhance ball control and allow the foot to spin the ball at will. The heel is made of strengthened plastic material and both the boot front, outstep and instep feature slim ribbing for better control.
The Nike Tiempo Legend III is a more traditionally constructed boot: all kangaroo leather uppers, it features a leather tongue to cover the top part of the lacing, has 12 studs distributed over two separate sole plates in the basic firm ground configuration, thus making it lighter than full-length plate shoes; the heel is also 100% leather and wraps around the foot, rising higher than other models to give a snug fit and more stability on the turn.