The Premier League have unveiled their brand new ‘Merlin’ ball ahead of the 2019/20 season.
Designed as a tribute to the ‘pulsating’ tempo and ‘passion’ of the league, the ball is built with just four panels, which apparently provides a bigger sweet spot for more spectacular shots.
“We wanted to design a ball that specifically illustrated the traits of Premier League football.” said Nike General Manager of Global Equipment Kieran Ronan.
“A ball that felt hyper-technical and precise in nature but also inspired by this English culture of living and breathing Premier League football.”
The recent release has certainly gone down well with most supporters but when push comes to shove, what is the greatest ball of the Premier League era?
From the Nike Geo Merlin Vapour, a ball synonymous with Thierry Henry’s magic right boot to Cristiano Ronaldo’s personal favourite, the Nike T90 Aerow II.
There has been some iconic designs down the years.
But according to the SPORTbible audience, the latter comes out on top with 49% of the vote.
In total, over 12,000 votes were cast, with the 2006/07 Nike T90 release finished in second place with just 23% of the vote.
The 2002/03 version of the Nike Geo Merlin Vapour came in third with 16% and despite its popularity at the time, the 2008/09 Nike T90 Omni was placed rock bottom with a disappointing 12% of the final vote.
That distinct T90 yellow design came out on top but Manchester City’s official Twitter account had something to say on the matter.
City’s tweet refers back to that moment when Liverpool were millimeters from winning the Premier League title.
Thankfully for Pep Guardiola’s side, defender John Stones managed to react rapidly in the top of the table clash, producing the most incredible of goal-line clearances.
The ball was just 11.7mm from being over the line and it turned out to be crucial moment in the game, as Liverpool went on to lose 2-1.
It was the Reds’ only league defeat this season.
That crucial win for City stopped Liverpool from winning the league, prevented them from having an ‘Invincibles’ campaign and ensured Guardiola’s side were the only team to have achieved ‘Centurions’ status.
Cheeky tweet, lads.
Featured Image Credit: Nike