1 – The ball

Escrito em 30/08/2022
Felipe Macchiaverni

It's 22 behind a ball. In 1922, the year of the Modern Art Week, the players of the Brazilian football team were running after the "pelota" to win their second international tournament, the South American Championship. In 2022, the year of the World Cup in Qatar, the National Team seeks the sixth championship in the FIFA global competition.

Coveted ball. If the spherical object is the same, what has changed in these 100 years of practice? The amateur game of a century ago has become a multimillion-dollar planetary sport, capable of mobilizing the eyes of billions of people around the world, all focused on an elementary interest: the possession and destination of the ball on the field.

The materiality of the ball is the very sign of these changes over time. In 1922, the manufacture of balls evolved from the “capotão” – tanned leather, with an inflated ox bladder inside – to the stage of vulcanization of rubber, associated in turn with the corded leather casing. In the 1960s, the ball lost its brownish color, typical of leather, to become white, a facilitator for night football matches. The 21st century sees, in turn, the introduction and consecration of the synthetic leather ball. This one is light, has thin layers of waterproof coating, and is associated with a design of buds in variable and multicolored formats, in which the formerly manual sewing is replaced by industrial production based on polyurethane.


Original ball used in 1922. With this ball, the Corinthians team became São Paulo champion in the same year as the Modern Art Week.


100 years later, official ball used in the Qatar World Cup, FIFA 2022.



Audio Marcos Mendonça

In this 1967 testimony, which took place at MIS_RJ, Fluminense and Brazilian national team goalkeeper Marcos Carneiro de Mendonça recalls the way he handled the ball and the creation of his own style of defending shots on goal. Acervo Globo.