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Best footballs 2020: Nike, Adidas or Mitre? Now you're allowed out, these are the top balls for training, matches – or playing the park

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We're allowed to play football in the park again! This prompts the age-old question: what's the best football to buy?

Back in your grandad's day, all footballs were orange, made of thick leather and soaked a wet pitch up like a sponge. You'd get a concussion from heading one. 

Nowadays, however, the balls are just like the boots and shirts in football: multicoloured, lightweight and a fashion accessory as much as a piece of equipment for the sport.

With so many footballs to choose from online, what's best for the type of game you're planning? Of course, we've omitted the option as seen in Mike Bassett: England Manager of training without a ball at all. 

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Nike Pitch Team Soccer Ball Football Training

The bare basic option for a kickabout with your mates

Available in five colours
Reliable
Looks cool
A little too basic for some

The Nike Pitch Team Soccer Ball is perfect for any kind of game. It's available in sizes up to 5 - that's the official match size, by the way - and comes in white, yellow, red, green and orange.

Yes, it's about as exciting as a League Cup game. But if you want something plain, inoffensive and able to serve you in any kind of set-up, this is the ball for you. 

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Nike Premier League 19/20 Strike Football

The pick of the Prem for if you're looking to ball like Vardy and Aguero

Beautiful design
Huge panels for clean contact
Grooves within the ball to make it fly
Becomes out of fashion by August

It's a shame that the latest Premier League football didn't get more of an outing. Introduced after the yellow winter ball to see us out until the end of the season, the Strike has been left in the cupboard while we sit tight in lockdown.

Still, it's a gorgeous design. This ball feels thoroughly modern in a landscape of retrotopia and despite its limited action, it's a great ball to play with. 

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Adidas Tango Street Skillz Futsal Ball

A street ball camo twist on an old classic: you know when you've been tango'd

Cool design
Not too loud
Highly durable
Low-rebound
Not ideal for grass pitches

Ajax have reportedly fully embraced street football in their academy, building concrete strips for their young proteges to play on, as if outside their houses. 

The company who stitch their kits - Adidas - are fully behind this idea. Their Street Skillz ball is perfect for that kind of kickabout; it doesn't take to grass quite as well but if you're on a hard surface, this is most definitely the football you need.

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Puma teamFINAL ball

Let the cat out of the (training) bag

Clean design
Classic panels
Perfect for training
Naff colours

Puma's teamFINAL effort might sound like the kind of ball you'd use in a showpiece, but it's also perfect for training with. The company are now tasked with Manchester City's shirt-making so if you're looking for a ball to match, this could well be the product for you.

This ball is labelled as "Unisex" too. In case that's important.

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Adidas Tango Glider Ball

Proper old-style football to evoke the 90s

Retro design
Original Adidas logo
Machine seams
Pressure stays in the ball for longer
Feels a little lightweight

You can almost see Dennis Bergkamp taking this ball down with a velvet touch, bamboozling an Argentinian defender and slotting it into the net. 

It's amazing what classic design can evoke and this Adidas Tango ball is no different. Old school isn't everyone's cup of tea but this retro design is a fantastic update on one of history's favourite footballs.

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Mitre Impel Training Football

Feel high and Mitre with this versatile training ball

Four colour options
Perfect for all weathers
Good ball visually for training with
The white version looks like a knockoff Europa League ball

Mitre is a sleeping giant of the game. The ball suppliers for the FA Cup and EFL, their brand perhaps doesn't get the respect it deserves, but the Impel Plus is a fantastic ball for training with.

With some double-hexagon panels and a dynamic design, this football feels great in training. If you're hoping to improve specific parts of your game, the arrows on the ball will give you a chance check your curling or where you're hitting the ball.

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Adidas Champions League Capitano Tournament ball

The ball of Europe's elite, finished off with a slick new colour palette

Charcoal/orange palette looks great
Champions League branding is awesome
Triangular panels feel a bit odd

The Champions League ball is iconic. Just like that operatic anthem, it's an ever-present that the tournament wouldn't be the same without: fancy taking it to the park?

This particular effort is durable and built for training. It brings a design of prestige down to street level and