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The History of the Official World Cup Match Balls

 

Telstar : Mexico, 1970

Adidas started to make soccer balls in 1963 but made the first official FIFA World Cup ball in 1970. This is the first ball used in the World Cup to use the Buckminster type of design. Also, the first ball with 32 black and white panels. The TELSTAR was more visible on black and white televisions (1970 FIFA World Cup Mexico™ was the first to be broadcast live on television). 

 

Telstar Duralast 1974

Telstar Durlast R : West Germany, 1974  

Two match balls were used in 1974 – adidas Telstar was updated with new black branding replacing the gold branding and a new all-white version of Telstar named adidas Chile was introduced. 1974 was also the first time World Cup match balls could carry names and logos.

 

 

Tango Durlast: Argentina, 1978 The ball design represented elegance, dynamism and passion.  

The 1978 match ball included 20 panels with triads that created an optical impression of 12 identical circles. The Tango inspired the match ball design for the following five World Cup tournaments.

 

Tango Espana: Spain, 1982

Adidas introduced a new ball which had rubber inlaid over the seams to prevent water from seeping through. The first ball with water-resistant qualities. General wear from kicking however meant the rubber began to wear after a short time and needed to be replaced during the game. The last genuine leather world cup ball.

 

Azteca : México, 1986

The FIFA World Cup Mexico, saw the introduction of the first polyurethane coated ball which was rain-resistant. The first synthetic match ball, with good qualities on hard and wet surfaces. 

The ball was the first to include designs inspired by the host nation. The Azteca was elegantly decorated with designs inspired by Mexico’s Aztec architecture and murals.

 

 

Etrusco:  Italy, 1990  

The first ball with an internal layer of black polyurethane foam. The name and design paid homage to Italy’s history and the fine art of the Etruscans.

 

Questra: USA, 1994

FIFA World Cup USA, 1994, official ball which was enveloped in a layer of polystyrene foam.

This not only made it more waterproof but allowed the ball greater acceleration when kicked. The new game ball felt softer to the touch. Improved ball control and higher velocity during play.

The ball’s design represents space technology, high velocity rockets and America’s “quest for the stars.”

 

Tricolore: France, 1998

By 1998, FIFA World Cup France was played with a ball which sported the French red-white-blue tri-color. A complete departure from the old traditional black and white pattern.  The first official World Cup colored soccer ball.  The TRICOLORE used underglass print technology with a thin layer of syntactic foam.

ICON Women's World Cup 1999 Match Ball

The first ball specially designed for the Women's World Cup  

Fevernova TM : Korea Japan, 2002

For FIFA World Cup Korea Japan, 2002, Adidas created a new ball made up of thicker inner layers to increase the accuracy of the ball in flight. Fevernova included a refined syntactic foam layer that allowed for more precise and predictable flight path. Asian culture inspired the revolutionary colorful look.

Fevernova design for USA Women's World Cup 2003

World_Cup_Final_Golden_Ball_06

Click on the picture for more info.

Teamgeist Germany, Berlin and Final Ball 2006    

A radically new configuration reduced the amount of panel touch points forming a smooth and perfectly round exterior that improved accuracy and control. Prior to the Teamgeist, the surface of World Cup match balls had notable differences depending on where a player would strike the ball due to seams, ridges and other imperfections where panels come together. The revolutionary propeller design of the Teamgeist minimized corners and created a smoother surface for improved play. The ball was designed with traditional colors of the German flag and was accentuated with the golden color of the World Cup trophy. 

Click on the picture for more info.

Adidas unveils Match Ball for 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup™

Jabulani - the Official Match Ball for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa.

The Jabulani featured a new grip n groove technology that provided players a ball with stable flight and grip under all conditions. With eight thermally bonded 3-D panels that were spherically molded for the first time, the Jabulani was more round and accurate than its predecessors.

 

Jo'bulani - the Gold Final Official Match Ball for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa.

2011 Women's World Cup Official Match Ball - SpeedCell

 

2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Adidas Brazuca

Brazuca was confirmed as the match ball name after a public vote in Brazil, participated in by more than one million soccer fans in the host country.

 

Historic Soccer Balls

 

brazuca, 2014 FIFA World Cup Balls Video


Other Soccer Ball History Information on Soccer Ball World

See Also: Soccer Ball Developments

Euroballs 1984 through 2012 - Official Match balls of the UEFA European Championships 1988 - 2012. 

 

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Oldest Ball

Charles Goodyear's 1855 first vulcanized rubber soccer ball.  

 

   
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