sport
France and Real Madrid star Karim Benzema helped launch the official 2022 World Cup ball in Dubai. Image Credit: Adidas

Karim Benzema and Nouf Al Anzi helped support adidas on the journey of ‘Al Rihla’, the Official World Cup ball as it created a special projection on the Burj Khalifa to help inspire the next generation of women’s footballers in the region.

They were joined by children from the Dubai football community, including players from Gulf United F.C. as part of the projection. Al Rihla translates as “the journey” in Arabic and has been inspired by the architecture, iconic boats, and the flag of Qatar.

This is the second destination on the journey following the launch in Qatar, as Al Rihla travels to cities across the globe where adidas is creating a series of initiatives aimed at improving access and equity in sport amongst local communities.

New beginnings

Each activation aims to help improve access and equity experienced by those in the local footballing communities in locations including Dubai, Tokyo, Shanghai, Mexico City or New York, among others.

Commenting on the special projection, Karim Benzema said: “The World Cup ball is the start of everything. The start of new beginnings, new possibilities, and new memories. This is Al Rihla, inspired by the Arab world”.

It is the 14th successive ball adidas has created for the FIFA World Cup and is designed to support the highest game speeds as it travels faster in flight than any other World Cup ball.