‘Al Hilm' Unveiled as Official Ball of 2022 FIFA World Cup Semifinals, Final


Four countries are still dreaming in Qatar.

The 2022 FIFA World Cup has reached the business end of the tournament with two pivotal semifinal matchups approaching on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Up first is Argentina vs. Croatia on Tuesday, a rematch of the 2018 group stage game where the Vatreni cruised by Lionel Messi and Co. 3-0 en route to finishing the tournament as the runner-up. Next is France vs. Morocco on Wednesday, two teams that have met 11 times previously, but never in the quadrennial tournament.

The four nations will now have a new ball to continue dreaming with. FIFA and adidas on Sunday unveiled “Al Hilm” as the official match ball of the semifinals and final.

Al Hilm, which translates to “The Dream” in Arabic, is taking the baton from the Al Rihla (“The Journey”) ball that was used up until the quarterfinals.

The ball was made using only water-based inks and glues, becoming the first World Cup semifinals and final ball to utilize such materials, according to FIFA.

The design features a textured gold base color with multiple-sized triangular patterns throughout, which takes inspiration from the deserts in the region, the color of the World Cup Trophy and the red from Qatar’s flag.

Al Hilm also contains the same “Connected Ball” technology as Al Rihla, which is meant to give officials more assistance in making faster and more accurate calls throughout the World Cup matches.

“Al Hilm represents a beacon of light on the power of sport and football to bring the world together,” said Nick Cragg, general manager of adidas football, in a press release. “Millions will tune in from almost every country around the globe, united by their passion for the game. We wish all teams involved in the final stages of the tournament the best of luck as they compete on the largest stage that football has to offer.”

The ball will first take center stage on Tuesday, Dec. 13 at 2 p.m. ET, 11 a.m. PT when Argentina and Croatia face off in the first semifinal.

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