Ah the World Cup ball, other than the trophy can you think of a more iconic object in the tournament?
Over the years fans and players alike have been treated to some wacky and weird designs, and some balls that have moved all over the place… *cough* Jabulani *cough*.
But one thing has remained constant about the World Cup ball, it’s developed each time.
Coincidence or not, the last time the World Cup ball was one of those weird orange things was when England won the competition in 1966. It was a Slazenger Challenge.
Since 1970 adidas have been in charge of the World Cup balls, and on Thursday they revealed their latest accomplishment – the Telstar 18.
Mirror Football looks at their balls through the years…
Telstar – 1970 Mexico
Made from 32 panels, the Telstar was adidas’s first ever attempt at a World Cup ball. It’s everything you would imagine from a classic black and white football. Why was it black and white? So it was easier to spot on televisions back then.
Telstar Durlast – 1974 Germany
Little change from the original Telstar. The font is slightly larger, though, so that’s something.
Tango – 1978 Argentina
This design didn’t change until 2002. It was iconic. 20 panels were used on the Tango, 12 less than the original Telstar some eight years earlier.
Tango Espana – 1982 Spain
This ball was the first with a rubber inlaid over the seems which prevented water from seeping through. It was the last genuine leather ball used at a World Cup.
Azteca – 1986 Mexico
With Aztec designs inspired by the host nation, this was the first synthetic ball used in a match.
Etrusco – 1990 Italy
The 1990 World Cup ball sees little difference from its predecessor, but a polyurethane foam on the inside marks a slight change.
Questra – 1994 USA
The Questra had a layer of polystyrene foam which, along with making the ball further waterproof, provided a higher level of acceleration when kicked.
Tricolore – 1998 France
Arguably the most beautiful ball of the lot. The first breakaway from black and white and a sight to behold.
Fevernova – 2002 Korea/Japan
The Fevernova was inspired by Asian culture and is undoubtedly one of the most iconic World Cup balls. It was made up of thick inner layers to increase its accuracy in flight.
+Teamgeist – 2006 Germany
The Teamgeist marked the end of multiple ridges and seams to help improve player accuracy. The ball featured the traditional colours of the German flag as well as the holden colour of the World Cup trophy.
Jabulani – 2010 South Africa
Round and more accurate than previous World Cup balls, the Jabulani featured grip and groove technology to keep it stable in flight.
Brazuca – 2014 Brazil
The 2014 World Cup ball featured an array of bright colours and was confirmed following a public vote in the host nation.
Telstar 18 – 2018 Russia
The latest ball to join the ranks. Inspired by the first Telstar in 1970, this also has a simple black and white design. It’s kept the same carcass as the Brazuca but features a chip which enables users to interact with it.
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