Following on the announcement of the garish new Premier League ball to be used next season, we take a look at the history of footballs used in the Premier League.
Well some of these brought a tear to our eyes. How many Mitre Pro Maxs we booted into Old Man Rodger’s junk yard we’ll never know.
How many Nike T90 Aeros we curled into the top corner in the last minute of the Junior B Worthington Cup quarter final we… well, we do know. It was one. But by George what a moment!
Mitre Pro Max 1993-1995: (Photo: mitre.com)
Back in the 90’s, Mitre ruled the roost in terms of supplying footballs to the EPL. Their ‘Pro Max’ ball holds the honour of being the inaugural football used in the world’s most famous league. It’s most famous cameo arguably came when Matt Le Tissier scored this classic.
Mitre Ultimax 1995-2000 (Photo: mitre.com)
Mitre footballs were as much a part of 90’s football in England as sticker albums, naff goalkeeping jerseys, and Alan Shearer. The Ultimax was used as the offical league ball for half a decade, with arguably it’s greatest moment coming in the form of Paulo Di Canio’s volley against Wimbledon.
Nike Geo Merlin 2000-2004 (Photo: soccerballworld.com)
The Premier League rung in the millennium with what would be the first of many Nike balls that they would use. Les Ferdinand scored the League’s 10,000th goal with the Neo Merlin, with Dennis Bergkamp scoring this all-time classic.
Nike T90 Aerow 2004-2008 (Photo: soccersupplies.co.uk)
Our personal favourite, the T90 Aerow became a cult classic due in part to its distinctive look, lasting four years in its different iterations. Robin Van Persie‘s classic against Charlton will stand the test of time – much like the ball used to score the goal.
Nike T90 Omni 2008-09 (Photo: sportdepo.ru)
The emphasis on geometric, spherical and graphical design allowed for higher precision strikes and accuracy than its predecessors, according to Nike. Fernando Torres did Nike’s stance no harm with this belter in 2009.
Nike T90 Ascente 2009-10 (Photo: soccerfans.com)
The technology used to produce the Ascente promised that it could travel faster, longer and truer than all other prior footballs, and it delivered on its promise when Maynor Figueroa struck gold from his own half against Stoke in 2009.
Nike T90 Tracer 2010-11 (Photo: soccerballworld.com)
“The T90 Tracer always feels the same no matter where I strike it. It’s responsive and easily controlled in every situation.” – Sergio Aguero
The controversy over the Jabulani ball used in the 2010 World Cup led to the creation of the Tracer, and it was very much responsive to and easily controlled by Johan Elmander.
Nike Seitiro 2011-12 (Photo: acasports.co.uk)
The nifty looking Seitiro saw a lot of action in it’s short tenure, with results like Man United 8–2 Arsenal and Man United 1–6 Manchester City giving it plenty of exposure. It left the likes of Szczesny, De Gea and Joe Hart in it’s wake.
Nike Maxim 2012-13 (Photo: soccerballworld.com)
The Maxim was enhanced with Geo II Balanced Technology, delivering an ‘accurate and powerful strike’. It was touted as a high-visibility ball due to Nike’s ‘RaDaR’ technology, and that advent of visibility certainly helped RVP pick it out of the sky.
Nike Incyte 2013-14 (Photo: eastbay.com)
A high-elasticity layer on the surface allows for a cleaner strike and helps the ball travel with more speed. The micro-textured casing also delivers a more accurate ball trajectory than seen before.
The Incyte had it’s place in future highlight reels ensured when Pajtim Kasami rifled it into the Crystal Palace net, earning him a Puskas Award nomination.
Nike Ordem 2 2014-15 (Photo: nike.com)
The latest ball boasts ‘Nike Aerow Trac grooves and a micro-textured casing for true flight, accuracy and control’. After seeing Graziano Pelle’s strike earlier this season, we’re inclined to believe them.
Nike Ordem 2015-2016 Premier League Football?
Details are thin on the ground currently, which hopefully suggests that it will be shelved before the start of next season in favour of a ball that doesn’t glow in the dark.