The Evolution of Footballs Throughout the Years

The beautiful game is something that is considered to be the most popular game as well. Some even claim it to be a religion, while some claim it to be more than that as well. Regardless, it is one of the more entertaining sports out there, especially when compared to games like cricket. One of the most prominent features for any sort of fanatic is the very ball that is used to play the game. Over the years it has changed, not in design, but in the material used to make the ball. Here is a simple timeline on how the material has changed.


During this period, a soccer ball would be made out of leather. Moreover, the bladder of the ball would be made out of an actual bladder of a sheep, since it was deemed that they were able to keep in the air for prolonged periods. Furthermore, the reason for leather to be used is that fact that it was durable for the long run. However, it was found that they were quite difficult to play with since they were heavy and painful when kicked.

Early and Mid-20th century

The 20th century was when the football became similar to what we see now. Firstly, the leather used was no longer used, as manufacturers would use synthetic materials to make it less painful on feet. Moreover, the bladder was made up of rubber synthetic instead of an actual sheep bladder.

The results for this were quite drastic. For one, the balls were no longer heavy and were easier to kick long distance. This also saw the change in how the game was played too, as players would ow play in particular positions through constant passing instead of constant dribbling.

21st century

The turn of the century saw the use of revolutionary synthetic materials on the balls used in the league matches as well as the world cup, and other international tournaments. Of course, each brand had their own patented technologies which could lead to different characteristics.

Some of them were heavily criticized, while some of them were praised for their performance. For example, the Jabulani that was used in the FIFA World Cup in 2010, in South Africa was criticized for having an unpredictable trajectory when struck hard, which deceived quite a number of goalkeepers and even the players.

Group of People Standing on Green Grass Field
Image Source: Pexels

Present Day

Today, you can buy soccer ball quite easily without much effort since brands make several take down versions of the actual ball used in the prominent leagues of the world, including the Spanish La Liga and the English Premier League, and even international tournaments like the UEFA Euros and the FIFA World Cup to name but a few of the types out there. Technology in this field has developed so rapidly that there is no longer any sort of complaints in the balls as well.

In conclusion, the evolution of the humble football is quite extraordinary when looking at what it was back in the day and what it is now.