When it comes to top-tier match balls, the last several years have felt a bit underwhelming from the creative minds over at Nike. Ever since the introduction of the Nike Tracer, Nike has updated the color scheme of their premier ball, but have done relatively little to differentiate the newer models from the outgoing edition. However, with the introduction of the adidas Brazuca perhaps being a bit of a catalyst for change, Nike have shaken things up a bit this season. So, has the Ordem been an improvement for Nike or has the American giant simply added a few indented lines to make it seem like a major update? Let’s take a look…
First, the color on the league Ordems is fantastic. For me, the BPL ball for this season is the absolute pick of the bunch. The blue outlines with lines of volt adding depth and a vibrant touch to these lines make a beautiful package. While no product should ever spend its life suffering in a box, this ball is almost pretty enough to just stare at for hours (almost). Nike continue to claim that the shapes on the upper help discern the ball’s flight pattern quicker during flight, and this version has seen the shift from the Nike Incyte’s block arrow to more of a block line that zig-zigs through the new indentions towards the BPL symbol on one end of the ball. A great looking ball and a modern look that lets you know that you are holding the newest piece of Nike tech.
With top-tier match balls, the inner pressure is supposed to be much higher than most people typically play with. Because of their quality, they can be pumped up a lot higher than normal balls and still maintain some slight padding and cushion. The Ordem executes this brilliantly and shows no signs of the annoying kick-ball noises or feel that some balls can gravitate towards. The ball flies amazingly true and is a dream to use when attempting to pull off any number of on-field maneuvers.
Passing with the Ordem is an absolute treat. Where we found that the Puma evoPOWER match ball could knuckle unpredictably at times, the Ordem maintains a consistent flight pattern when struck with force. Receiving the ball is just as enjoyable as passing it as the extra indented panels seem to have allowed Nike to give the ball a bit of extra padding that, for me, I had only experienced with the adidas CL match ball (up to this point).
Shooting the ball is exactly the way it should be with a ball like this. Striking through the ball with power gives an extremely satisfying feel and the ball/color set-up made attempts to bend the ball very enjoyable. I tend to always look for a negative to point out or something that Nike could improve upon in the future, but the Ordem has left me stumped with being as near-flawless as a ball ever has been. It is worth noting, however, that these top tier match balls deflate a bit quicker than other balls, so, if you have not used it in a day or two, it will need to be refilled with air back to the proper psi levels.
Considering the number of match balls I have available whenever I am playing or testing with another group of players, it is very easy to assess how great every match ball is. Whichever ball is taken out of the bag first, whichever ball is proclaimed to be the one we are playing with, and the match ball that everyone keeps picking up and smiling about tends to be the best one. Within only a few weeks of receiving the EPL Ordem, it has taken up the role of being the “best in the bag.” Snag yourself one today and watch how quickly the other match ball options become neglected…the only reason to avoid the Ordem would be to avoid jealousy among your match ball ranks. Still…it’s SO worth it!
The Ordem 2 is available in the EPL, La Liga and Serie A versions at SoccerPro right now.