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Girl signs The Ball
Jürgen Klopp, our biggest supporter

“This ball is a fantastic icon for the current situation. How simple things would be if we could all just orientate ourselves around The Ball. Whoever sees my signature [on The Ball] can feel a little better for a moment because he knows that he is surrounded by friends, and when he too signs it he becomes a member of our team. I would be happy if you too would join our team.”
— Jürgen Klopp

Quick Start Guide

The Ball explored the theme of “empathy” through the experience of displaced people; the journeys that they have needed to make and the challenges they faced once they have found refuge. The Ball highlighted the extraordinary work that is being done using football to help these people find a new home and build new communities.

Watch the film on NETFLIX

The Ball 2018 had a busy schedule. Education workshops were run in learning centres in 10 German Bundesliga stadiums, bringing participants from previously warring nations together in Kosovo. The Ball was kicked and signed by homeless people in Croatia. We sought the Olympic Spirit and a blessing from the Greek Gods at the top of Mount Olympus with football fans in Greece. On 18th May, The Ball was welcomed into Jordan by HRH Prince Ali, visited Syrian refugee camps in Jordan and ran integration workshops with Syrian refugees and host communities in Lebanon and Turkey. And after all that, there was our attempt to enter Russia via Georgia.

Spirit of Football worked with the Robert Bosch Foundation on this epic journey with the common goal of strengthening Europe through football. Spirit of Football’s award winning curriculum “One Ball, One World” (featuring fair play football, music, art, dance and theatre activities) was deployed in schools and communities en route. Collaboration with our partners ensured that The Ball 2018 leaves a lasting legacy and extends the impact of the World Cup beyond the borders of the host country, Russia.

Map of the Journey

Click the pins on the map to access stories from along the journey.


These were the locations and dates of The Ball 2018:

England – Kick-off 25th March to 28th March
Belgium – 29th March to 2nd April
Poland – 3rd to 5th April (cancelled)
Germany – 6th to 20th April
Austria – 21st to 22nd April
Croatia – 23rd to 26th April
Serbia – 27th to 30th April
Kosovo – 1st to 3rd May
Bulgaria – 4th to 9th May
Greece – 10th to 14th May
Turkey (Istanbul) – 15th to 18th May
Jordan – 19th to 25th May
Lebanon – 26th to 31st May
Turkey – 1st to 6th June
Georgia – 7th to 11th June
Russia – 12th June to 7th July

The Ball 2022 will travel along a similar route, so if you live or work anywhere near the route and would like to kick and sign The Ball 2022, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. If you know of anything The Ball 2022 should do or see en route, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Basically, whatever it is, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us!

Look forward to hearing from you!

The Ball 2018 left England on 25th March 2018 and travelled to the World Cup in Russia.

The Ball 2014 kicked off from England on 9th Jan 2014 and headed to the World Cup in Brazil.

The Ball 2010 left England on 24th Jan 2010 headed to the Opening Ceremony in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The Ball 2006 travelled from London to the Opening Ceremony in Munich, Germany.

The Ball 2002 was carried 7000 miles across Europe and Asia to the World Cup finals in Korea & Japan.