The Premier League has unveiled the official match ball that will be used for the remainder of the 2020-21 season.

With just a few months to go before the end of the season, Nike’s new run begins on Friday the 19th. February, to be used in all competitions, starting with Leeds United’s trip to Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux.

The flying ball was used throughout the Premier League season, with 634 goals scored, using two previous designs – the original white/glossy design from the start of the campaign and the highly visible yellow version introduced during the winter months.

However, the third and final edition of Flight 2020-21 is slightly different from the previous ones, as it features a distinctive retro design that is a nod to Nike’s classic matchpoint of yesteryear.

The target graphics used during the flight are a deliberate reference to the Total 90 Aero balloon, which was a leading figure in British aerial acrobatics from 2004 to 2008.

This is the second season in a row that Nike has offered three different match balls, with the Merlin ball used in 2019-2020 also available in a trio of colours.

Although the first balls for Premier League matches were supplied by Mitre (Promax in 1992-1995 and Ultimax in 1995-2000), Nike has been the official supplier of balls for the competition since the 2000-2001 season.

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Here are six important drawings that have since been introduced into English aerobatics, presented in chronological order of development.

Nike Geo Merlin (2000-01)

Nike’s first Premier League ball was designed in a more traditional way. The Geo Merlin was primarily white, with a majestic blue-gold finish and the classic league logo, and was presented as the roundest, fastest and most accurate ball ever made.

The Merlin Geo was used for two seasons before being replaced by the Merlin Vapor, which lasted two more seasons before being retired at the end of the 2003-04 season.

Wapar made his debut in 2002/03, when Premier League clubs scored 1,000 goals in a single season for the first time. Arsenal scored more goals (85) than any other team in the league.

It was with this ball that 18-year-old Wayne Rooney announced his Premier League debut when he beat David Seaman with a ball on his debut for Everton in October 2002.

Over the past 16 years @WayneRooney has shown amazing results #PL hits….

…of replacing Everton for Arsenal ….…

– Premier League (@premierleague) June 28, 2018

Nike Total 90 Aero (2004-05)

With its graphic goal sign, Aerow became synonymous with the golden age of the Premier League, when Wayne Rooney, Thierry Henry and Didier Drogba enjoyed their greatest successes.

A total of 975 goals were scored with Aerou’s I-Ball, with Arsenal striker Henry leading the way with 25 goals and Chelsea under new manager Jose Mourinho securing the title with a record 95 points.

Over the past 16 years @WayneRooney has presented amazing #PL strikes….

…of replacing Everton for Arsenal ….…

– Premier League (@premierleague) June 28, 2018

At the other end of the league table, West Brom also owe thanks to Aerow I, who became the first club in Premier League history to avoid relegation by finishing bottom of the table on Christmas Day and narrowly escaping relegation on the final day.

It was also the first ball in a Premier League match to feature an alternative, highly visible yellow version for use in bad weather.

Between 2006 and 2008. The Aero I was replaced by the Aerow II, which was similar to the Aero I but had better coverage and air retention.

Nickel Total 90 Omni (2008-09)

Omni was still a Total 90 ball, but it had new domed plates to improve roundness and a striped back with a simple trident attached around the ball.

The strip is designed to shimmer when the ball is in motion, allowing players to better follow the spin and trajectory of the Omni in flight.

A perfect example of Omni in flight is Tottenham midfielder David Bentley’s stunning 45-yard volley against Arsenal in one of the classic North London derbies of the season.

#On this day in 2008, Tottenham Hotspur came back from a 3-1 deficit against Arsenal at the Emirates to finally score a point:

⚽️ 0-1 Bentley
⚽️ 1-1 Silvestre
⚽️ 2-1 Gallas
⚽️ 3-1 Adebayor
⚽️ 3-2 Bent
⚽️ 4-2 Van Persie
⚽️ 4-3 Jenas
⚽️ 4-4 Lennon #THFC

– The Last Word on Spurs (@LastWordOnSpurs) October 29, 2019.

Omni was also the first official ball to use the Premier League’s new logo, featuring a large shield around a lion.

Two more iterations of 90 balls followed, but they only lasted one season: Ascenta in 2009-10 and Tracer in 2010-11.

Nike Seitiro (2011-12)

A ball designed to be the most remarkable ball ever used in the Premier League.

To this end, several neon-lit comets were superimposed on a semi-reflective intense white background.

A total of 1,066 goals were scored with Seitiro. The fastest was Andrea Orlandi’s jump shot at Swansea against Wolves in 2012, which took just 22 seconds.

Seitiro (in hi-vis version) was there when Wayne Rooney made his masterpiece in the derby against Man City in February 2012, when he volleyed a Nani cross into the net from a corner kick.

Another claim to fame is the goal scored in the final seconds of the season in the 94th minute. Sergio Aguero scored Man City’s first goal in the Premier League in the 58th minute.

Seitiro was followed by Maxim (2012-13) and Incyte (2013-14), which were very similar due to their lack of geometric graphics.

Nike order (2014-2015)

Ordem entered the market in 2014 and was available in several variants for a period of time, with the following models (Ordem 2, 3, 4 and V) continuing through the 2017-18 season.

Ordem had a striped surface to maintain aerodynamic stability, and Ordem 3 was at stake when Jamie Vardy scored his wonder goal against Liverpool en route to a highly unlikely title win with Leicester City in the 2015/16 season.

It is probably interesting to note that the 4. Order was the first ball to use the new and improved Premier League logo since the organisation’s visual identity was changed in the 2016-17 season.

Nike Merlin (2018-20).

Also known as Matchball, Liverpool began the road to a historic league title under Jurgen Klopp in 2019-20, ending 30 years of waiting.

A total of 1,034 goals have been scored in the Premier League this season, 85 of which have been scored by the Reds and 17 by Mohamed Salah.

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