The Merlin returns with ACC technology.
The Nike Geo Merlin was a peach of a ball back in the early 2000s. It was the match ball used in the English Premier League and other top European leagues due to its great performance, consistency in quality and innovative design. The match balls have been given many names since then including the popular Total 90 and the recently discontinued Ordem.
Nike have returned to the name “Merlin” with a ball that looks to be an evolution of the Ordem. While it looks to share the same pentagonal shaped panels with the Ordem, Nike reduced the number of panels from 12 to an astounding 4 to reduce the number of seams by 40% to produce a larger sweet spot in a strike. What you’re seeing is actually 3 pentagon shapes merging into 1 large panel. Debossed grooves and 3D inks help the ball to be more hydrophobic and aids in a more accurate touch in wet conditions.
Expect the ball to make an appearance in the English, Italian and Spanish league in the 18/19 season.