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Euro 2024 ball: Everything you need to know

:Headline: Euro 2024 ball: Everything you need to know:
Ahead of Euro 2024, Sports Mole takes a closer look at why the official match ball - FUSSBALLLIEBE - is so special and how you can purchase one.
Sports Mole

Euro 2024 is just around the corner and the excitement is starting to build ahead of this summer's eagerly-anticipated tournament in Germany.

Twenty-four nations will battle it out for continental glory, with the tournament kicking off on June 14 and concluding with the final held at Olympiastadion Berlin on July 14.

Host nation Germany have the honours of playing the first match of the group stage against Scotland at the Allianz Arena where the official match ball will be used for the first time.

Here, Sports Mole takes a closer look at why Euro 2024's new match ball is so special and how you can purchase one.

What is special about FUSSBALLLIEBE?

Back in November last year, Euro 2024 tournament director Philipp Lahm and Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer helped unveil the new Adidas ball called 'FUSSBALLLIEBE' - German for "love of football" - with its design said to inspire the joy of football and the energy of the tournament, while the use of bold colours celebrates the vibrance that each competing nation will bring.

The ball has been engineered with improved deboss grooves for greater precision in play, but the significant, revolutionary aspect of this ball is that it will be the first to feature Connected Ball Technology.

Each match ball will contain a rechargeable microchip that can detect up to 500 movements per second and send accurate ball data to video assistant referees (VAR) in real time, helping officials produce faster offside and handball decisions.

"Combining player position data with AI, the innovation contributes to UEFA's semi-automated offside technology and will be key to supporting faster in-match decisions," a statement from Adidas read.

"Developed in close collaboration with Kinexon, Adidas Connected Ball Technology can also help VAR officials to identify every individual touch of the ball, reducing time spent resolving handball and penalty incidents."

Fussballliebe also has a Precisionshell 20-piece panel shape on the outside - a polyurethane (PU) skin to enhance aerodynamics - which is supported within it by the CTR-CORE, which is designed 'for accuracy and consistency, supporting fast, precise play with maximum shape and air retention'.

In addition, Fussballliebe is made from more sustainable bio-based materials than any previous Adidas ball, and every layer has been modified to include materials including corn fibres, wood pulp, sugar cane and rubber.

"When designing this official match ball, we were inspired by the energy and diversity of the tournament and the love that Europe has for football," Sam Handy, Vice President of Product and Design for Adidas Football, told "With that in mind, we hope Fussballliebe will bring joy wherever it's kicked."

"The UEFA European Football Championship stands as the pinnacle of national team competition in Europe and we are committed to ensuring that every aspect, from the venues to the equipment, upholds the highest standards of quality and performance," Zvonimir Boban, UEFA technical director and chief of football, added: "We are, as always, confident that Adidas' Fussballliebe will mark another stride in our shared dedication to excellence."

Can you purchase FUSSBALLLIEBE?

Fussballliebe is now available to purchase in selected Adidas retailers and on their official website, with 1% of net sales contributed towards Common Goal - a pledge-based charitable movement created and launched by streetfootballworld and Spain international Juan Mata that use football as a tool to tackle social issues.

The official match ball will not come cheap, though, as the 'Fussballliebe Pro Football' is priced at a whopping £130!

However, if you are put off by that valuation, then an alternative purchase option is the 'Fussballliebe League Football' - an almost identical model to the official match ball - which is priced at £35.

Adidas and other retailers including Sports Direct and JD Sports also offer youth size and futsal versions of the Euro 2024 ball, as well as a variety of different coloured balls, including some specific to one nation competing at the tournament. body check tags ::

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