With most domestic seasons all wrapped up, attention turns to the showpiece that’s set to play out in Paris this weekend, with adidas unveiling a new design for the official match ball of the Champions League final, which carries a message of peace.

Following the change of venue for this weekend’s Champions League final due to the war in Ukraine, adidas have unveiled a new design for the official match ball, and it’s one that has been designed to carry a global message of peace from the Stade de France to the world. Inscribed with the words ‘мир | PEACE’, the ball will not be available for retail, and instead it will be auctioned after the game with the proceeds going to UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, to help protect people forced to flee their homes because of conflict and persecution.

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The ball is designed to carry a simple message of peace, belonging, and hope that will be passed from player to player with every kick of the ball and beyond the Stade de France to the furthest corners of the world. Taking this message in its most literal sense is the presence of the lettering ‘мир’ in Cyrillic script, which sits above the word that it translates to in English – PEACE. The broader design of the ball is noticeably devoid of colour, featuring pure white panels to symbolise truce and unity. For obvious reasons the design replaces the previously released version.

The design is a bold statement from UEFA, and as a further initiative, on 27 May, the day before the UEFA Champions League final, adidas is organising the Grand Paris Finale 2022 – a special event that offers a one-of-a-kind experience. The event will take place on the Zinedine Zidane Playground in Saint-Denis, where adidas has created a unique UEFA Champions League setup and pitch. Here, an elite grassroots football tournament will take place with eight local teams from Greater Paris, each representing a city neighbourhood.

This will kick-off a legacy project designed to support the city’s grassroots football communities by offering a home and place to play, improving visibility and access to the game at all levels. In addition to the refurbishment of the Zinedine Zidane playground, adidas announces its support of the Saint-Denis Sport Academy and its founder, Yssa Dembélé, which adidas will be handing the space over to following its refurbishment as part of the grassroots support initiative.

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Gonzalo Calvo, Global Director Of Brand Communications, Communities and Culture at adidas said, “Throughout its history, the love of the game has brought people from all over the world together through one simple object – a football. We are energised more than ever to support the incredible players and clubs that are elevating this platform for the betterment of the game, and world – particularly at grassroots levels.

Yssa Dembélé, Founder, Saint-Denis Sport Academy said, “The regeneration of the Zinedine Zidane Playground by adidas will be a gamechanger for hundreds of children and grassroots players and teams in the local area. Creating spaces like these mean so much more to locals than just a place to play. They offer a place for people to come that feels safe, welcoming, and like they’re part of a wider community.

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The Champions League final between Liverpool v Real Madrid kicks off at 8pm GMT, Saturday 28 May.