UEFA reveals London-inspired Champions League ball

With the Champions League set to return from winter hiatus this week, UEFA has revealed the new match ball that will be deployed throughout the knockout stages of the 2023-24 competition as well as the final itself.

Officially designated as the “UCL Pro Ball London,” adidas’ ball is covered in a colourful graphic that is intended as an ode to the host city of the final (which will take place at Wembley Stadium on June 1) as well as English football culture in general.

Resplendent in bright orange and yellow, the design features prominent symbols associated with English football, including two lions that can be seen roaring at each other amid a field of Champions League star motifs.

According to UEFA, the rampant lions are supposed to reflect the bravery and strength required to tussle through the knockouts to the final and ultimately hoist European club football’s most-coveted trophy.

The UCL Pro Ball London will make its tournament debut when the round of 16 kicks off on Tuesday, with heavyweights Real Madrid travelling to face RB Leipzig and FC Copenhagen welcoming reigning champions Manchester City in the first legs of their respective ties.