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English Premier League Ball History & Timeline

English Premier League Ball History & Timeline

Article by: Mitchell Grimes

Thu, Jul 22.21

English Premier League Ball History & Timeline

Mitre Pro Max (1992/93-1994/95)

The Premier League kicked off in 1992 with a bang and with the Mitre Pro Max as the weapon of choice. In its first season the Pro Max was stuck in the back of the net 1222 times, mostly by Golden Boot winner that season Teddy Sheringham.

The Mitre Pro Max era of the premier league belonged to Manchester United who of course won the first ever edition with Aston Villa just trailing behind. Manchester United went back to back to open up the Premier League Era before Blackburn Rovers were able to sneak up in 1994/95 and pip the red devils by 1 point, led by Premier League legend Alan Shearer.

The Mitre Pro Max saw 3612 goals scored with it across its lifetime including some of the greatest ever. Dalian Atkinsons chip against Wimbledon comes to mind and Matt Le Tissier taking the piss out of Newcastle.

Mitre Ultimax (1995/96-1999/00)

The next 5 years were still owned by Mitre, with the Ultimax with the Mitre ball getting a bit of a redesign. It was new ball same old story though, Manchester United continued to dominate picking up 4 of the five titles on offer with Arsenal managing to win in 1997/98. Arsene Wenger had just joined the Gunners in 1996 and had already started to ruffle some Manc feathers.

Manchester United Followed this up by Winning the next two Premier League trophies making sure Arsenal finished runners up. Alan Shearer dominated the Ultimax Era along with Michael Owen, Dwight Yorke & Dion Dublin. The Mitre Ultimax was put in the back of the net 4996 times. David Beckham from the halfway line, Tony Yeboah vs Wimbledon, and the Cantona chip against Sunderland were all scored with the Ultimax.

Nike Geo Merlin (2000/01- 2001/02)

At the turn of the Millennium the premier league swapped out Mitre for Nike and introduced us to the Nike Geo Merlin which was used from 2000-02. It was again a tale of two sides with Manchester United winning 00/01 and Arsenal grabbing it back off them in 01/02, we had a proper rivalry on our hands. Henry, Giggs, Bergkamp, Beckham, Vieira, Keane, both sides had some of the greatest players of the premier league era on the park.

Thierry Henry was at his peak in this period, along with Australian Icon Mark Viduka and Chelsea’s Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink. The Geo Merlin was scored with 1993 times, with Henry’s flick up and volley and Bergkamp's contender for Goal of the century being the pick of the bunch.

Nike Geo Merlin (2000/01- 2001/02)

Nike Geo Merlin II (2002/03 2003/04)

After two seasons the Nike Geo Merlin received a fresh coat of paint giving us the Merlin II. Wenger & Fergusons sides continued to swap league positions every season giving us one of the greatest premier league rivalries of all time.

Van Nistelrooy topped the scoring charts in 02/03 with Australian Duo at Leeds Kewell & Viduka were both amongst the top scorers in 02/03 as United finished top & Thierry Henry in 03/04 with Arsenal going undefeated for the whole season giving them the ‘Invincible’ title. 2012 goals were scored with the Nike Geo Merlin II. Sticking with the theme our favourite goals of this era would be Van Nistelrooys solo effort against Fulham and Henry’s against Spurs.

Nike Total 90 Aerow (2004/05)

In 2004/05 nike introduced us to the new Premier League ball, the iconic T90 Aerow, a ball with increased technology allowing for more consistent speed, accuracy & flight. With a new ball finally came a new Champion with Chelsea grabbing their first English first division title since the 50s.

The Abramhovic Era was starting to bear fruit after splashing serious cash and Jose Mourinho leading them to the most wins ever in a single season at the time and Frank Lampard receiving the player of the year award. 975 goals were scored with the first T90 Aerow with Thierry Henry again scoring the most. Goal of the season had to be Rooney’s volley against Newcastle smashing home from well outside the area.

Nike Total 90 Aerow (2004/05)

Nike Total 90 Aerow (2005/06)

The next season The T90 Aerow got a bit of a retouch with the design supposed to help players track the ball in the air. Chelsea were loving the new ball, winning their second title in 2 seasons under Jose. Lampard again finished top scorer from midfield for the blues as he fired his side to another title. Thierry Henry continued to dominate adding his 27 to the total of 944 for the season.

Nike Total 90 Aerow II (2006/07)

At the start of the 2006/07 season we were introduced to the T90 Aerow II with a red ringed design instead of blue. 06/07 remains the lowest scoring season with 931 which is maybe why the red rings didn’t last long.

06/07 was when Cristiano Ronaldo started to announce himself as one of the worlds best, winning the player of the year and scoring 17 goals, taking Manchester United back to the top of the League. Ronaldo and Rooney linked up for the goal of the season with their counter attacking effort against Bolton.

Nike Total 90 Aerow II (2007/08)

In 2007 the T90 may have reverted back to the blue rings but the title was still red with Ronaldo almost doubling his goal scoring tally from the previous year with 31. The season contained the two highest scoring matches of all time Portsmouth 7-4 Reading and Tottenham 6-4 Reading, poor reading.

There were 1,002 goals scored with this version of the T90 Aerow II including Adebayor's stunner against Tottenham, Fernando Torres’ solo effort against Bolton.

Nike Total 90 Omni (2008/09)

After four seasons and 3852 goals the Aerow was retired and Nike introduced us to the new Omni Premier League ball for the 2008/09 season. The Omni was supposed to provide a more accurate and powerful strike.

Manchester United won their third title in a row, having been taken all the way to the final day by Liverpool and Steven Gerrard's 16 goals for the season. It was Cristiano Ronaldo’s year again, scoring 18 goals, finishing 1 behind Golden Boot winner Nicolas Anelka. In 08/09 there were 942 goals scored, including Glen Johnson's goal of the season and Ronaldo’s tap in after Berbatov sent James Collins for a hot dog.

Nike Total 90 Ascente (2009/10)

The T90 Ascente was the Premier League ball of choice in 2009/10 with new technology making the ball 2.5% faster. Chelsea managed to put an end to Manchester United’s league domination, beating them by 1 point on the final day with an 8-0 win over Wigan Athletic.

Chelsea broke the record for goals scored in a season with 103 adding their fair share to the total of 1053. Didier Drogba top scored for the season with 29 goals, including his chip against hull from the touchline and a peach of a free kick against arsenal.

Nike Total 90 Tracer (2010/11)

The Total 90 Tracer was introduced in 2010 using golf ball science to improve airflow over the ball. Manchester United were back amongst the winners led by Berbatov and Carlos Tevez who both led all comers with 20 goals for the season.

It was 1063 goals for the T90 Tracer with Wayne Rooney’s effort that season the best of the lot, the iconic bicycle kick in the Manchester derby.

Nike Total 90 Tracer (2010/11)

Nike Seitiro (2011/12)

In 2011 Nike introduced us to the Nike Seitiro, which was the first ball since 2003/04 to not carry the T90 branding. The Seitiro gave us the most dramatic final day in Premier League history with Arguero scoring in added time to hand Manchester City the title for the first time since the 60s, beating out cross town rivals Manchester United on goal difference.

Robin Van Persie was in full flight in 2011/12, smashing in 30 goals for Arsenal, managing to score in the 8-2 loss to Manchester United as well. Out of the 1066 goals that season there were some absolute beauties, Papis Cisse defying all laws of physics against Chelsea, Mario Balotelli’s ‘why always me’ goal, and Van Persie’s Volley vs Everton.

Nike Seitiro (2011/12)

Nike Maxim (2012/13)

The Nike Maxim was the ball introduced for the 2012/13 season as Manchester United snatched the title right back after adding Robin Van Persie to the side.

The Maxim fell 3 short of the Seitiro’s tally, finishing on 1063 goals with RVP, Luis Suarez, Gareth Bale and Christian Benteke the main contributors. Van Persie finished top scorer, won the title, player of the year and also scored goal of the year with his volley against Aston Villa.

Nike Incyte (2013/14)

In 2013/14 the Nike Incyte was used as Manuel Pellegrini led Manchester City back to the top of the table, just beating out Liverpool by 2 points. Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez combined for 52 goals, getting Liverpool within touching distance of top spot and Yaya Toure hit the 20 mark from midfield.

2013/14 saw 1052 goals scored, with Arsenal's team effort the pick of the bunch finished off by Jack Wilshere.

Nike Ordem 2 (2014/15)

The Ordem 2 used in 2014/15 featured grooves to grip & channel the air through to allow for more consistent flight. 2014/15 was one of the lowest scoring seasons for a while with just 975 goals, dropping below 1000 with Chelsea lifting the title back under Jose Mourinho.

Sergio Aguero won the golden boot with Harry Kane also having a breakout year scoring 21 goals. There was Di Maria’s delightful chip, Coutinho’s wonder-strike against Manchester City and Charlie Adam from his own half against Chelsea.

Nike Ordem 3 (2015/16)

The Premier League ball for the 2015/16 season was the Nike Ordem 3. The season went down as one of the most spectacular with Leicester who were tipped for relegation winning the Premier League. Jamie Vardy scored 24 goals and scored in 11 consecutive matches, breaking Van Nistelrooy's record.

For the first time in 16 years, an Englishman won the Golden Boot with Harry Kane scoring 25 beating out Vardy & Aguero. There were 1026 goals scored in 15/16 with Dele Alli’s wondergoal against Crystal Palace and Benteke’s bicycle kick against Manchester United.

Nike Ordem 4 (2016/17)

In 2016/17 we were introduced to one of the more colourful balls of the premier league era with the Nike Ordem 4. Leicester weren't able to go back to back with Chelsea grabbing the title back under Antonio Conte. Harry Kane continued to bang them in, scoring 29 for the season and winning the golden boot again.

There were 1063 goals scored this season and it felt like half of them were goal of the season contenders. Emre Can’s screamer, Giroud & Mkhitaryan's scorpion kicks, Andy Carrolls bicycle, this season had it all.

Nike Ordem V (2017/18)

The last Nike Ordem Premier League ball was used in 2017/18 when Manchester City started their League domination under Pep Guardiola, breaking every record available, most goals, most wins, most points and winning the league by a whopping 19 points.

Mo Salah started at Liverpool with a bang scoring 32 goals, beating Harry Kane to the Golden Boot. There were 1018 goals scored this season, including Boufal’s magnificent solo run against West Brom, Vardy’s volley and Firmino’s flick against Watford.

Nike Merlin (2018/19)

The Nike Merlin was back for the first time since 03/04 as a Premier League ball and it was better than ever. Nike introduced their All Conditions Control (ACC) technology in a ball for the first time allowing for better touch in all conditions.

Manchester City won back to back titles, fighting it out with Liverpool the whole season as probably the two best sides in the world at that stage. Aubameyang finished top scorer along with the two Liverpool forwards Salah & Mane. The Merlin was put in the back of the net 1072 times in its first season back with Vincent Kompany’s title winner amongst the best alongside Andros Townsend's volley against the champions.

Nike Merlin (2019/20)

A slightly updated Merlin was used again in 19/20, getting a pink makeover inspired by the urban landscapes of England’s cities. Liverpool managed to overcome the covid interrupted season to overcome a 30 year title drought.

Jamie Vardy claimed his second premier league golden boot ahead of Aubameyang and Danny Ings. The Merlin continued its impressive goal tally with another 1,034 topped off by Son Heung-min's magnificent solo effort against Burnley

Nike Flight (2020/21)

At the start of the 2020/21 Nike gave us the most revolutionary ball to date, the Nike Flight ball was 8 years in the making and saw to address inconsistencies with flight, providing 30% truer flight than the Merlin.

The Nike Flight saw Manchester City and Pep Guardiola back amongst the winners running away with the league again. The 20/21 season was full of memorable matches; Aston Villa’s 7-2 demolition of the champions, Manchester United 9-0 Southampton and Jose’s Tottenham 6-1 Manchester United.

The first edition of the Nike Flight saw 1,023 goals fly in including Erik Lamela’s North London Derby rabona and Alison’s added time headed winner against West Brom.

Nike Flight (2021/22) 

Nike Flight (2021/22)

The Nike Flight will be getting another run this season as the premier league ball of choice. The Flight ball is designed for optimal visual performance allowing the players to read & react to the ball better while its travelling through the air. The ball contains the same Aerowsculpt technology introduced in last seasons version allowing for the most consistent flight of a ball ever.  

The ball will get its first run on a premier league pitch with Arsenal taking on new comers Brentford in the season opener on the 14th of August. 

Will we see the flight ball reach the 1000 goal mark again? Will Harry Kane pick up another Golden Boot? Can anyone stop Manchester City? Let us know your thoughts below. 

If you're keen to add the new Premier League Nike Flight ball to your collection, grab yours today. 

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