adidas Telstar (1970, Mexico)
The first white football ever to be decorated with black pentagons. Mexico 1970 was the first live televised FIFA World Cup and the revolutionary design of Telstar (the name derives from ‘Star of Television’) made the ball far more visible on black and white television. Until this day, the adidas Telstar remains the archetype of all generic footballs.
adidas Telstar / Chile (1974, Germany)
Two adidas match balls were used for Germany ’74. Telstar made a repeat appearance with new black branding replacing the previously gold branding. And, building on the success of the adidas Telstar, adidas introduced a new all-white version named adidas Chile (after an all-white ball used at Chile ’62). The materials used were identical.
adidas Tango (1978, Argentina)
Once again adidas had created what would become a ‘football design classic’. Twenty panels with ‘triads’ created an optical impression of 12 identical circles. For the following five World Cups the ball was based on this design. Tango featured improved weather resistance qualities, and took its inspiration from the deep passion, emotion and elegance of Argentina.
adidas Tango Espana (1982, Spain)
The initial Tango from 1978 was only altered slightly in 1982. However, the Tango España did feature a major technological innovation. The Tango España, still made of leather, featured revolutionary waterproof sealed seams. This dramatically reduced the ball’s water absorption, thus minimising weight increase during wet conditions.
adidas Azteca (1986, Mexico)
The first ever synthetic FIFA World Cup Match Ball. The use of synthetic material increased its durability and further minimised water absorption. With its unheard-of performance on hard ground, at high altitude, and in wet conditions, Azteca represented a massive leap forward. Its design was inspired by the hosting nation’s native Aztec architecture and murals.
adidas Etrusco Unico (1990, Italy)
The Etrusco Unico evolved the use of synthetic materials further, being the first ever ball to contain an internal layer of black polyurethane foam, making Etrusco Unico fully water-resistant, more lively and faster than ever. The name and design aimed a nod at Italy’s ancient history. Three Etruscan lion heads decorate each of the 20 Tango triads.
adidas Questra (1994, USA)
In 1994 adidas introduced the first Match Ball featuring a high-tech, ultra-high-energy-return layer of white polyethylene foam. It basically made the ball softer to the touch (more controllable) and much faster off the foot for more speed. Inspired by space technology, high velocity rockets and America’s ‘quest for the stars’, Questra set new performance standards.
adidas Tricolore (1998, France)
adidas Tricolore was the first ever multi-coloured Match Ball. France’s flag and national colours (the Tricolore) and the cockerel, the traditional symbol of the French nation and Football Federation, inspired the ball’s name and design. This was to be the last of the Match Balls to utilise the beautiful Tango triad design concept.
adidas Fevernova (2002, Korea / Japan)
The adidas Fevernova’s revolutionary look and colour usage was entirely based on Asian culture. The Fevernova featured a refined syntactic foam layer to give the ball superior performance characteristics and a three-layer, knitted chassis, allowing for a more precise and predictable flight path every time. A huge aesthetic sidestep from its forebears.
adidas Teamgeist (2006, Germany)
Introduced a radically new 14-panel configuration, forming a smooth and perfectly round exterior allowing players significant improvements in accuracy and control. It’s designed in white and black, the traditional colours of the German national team, and accentuated with the gold of the FIFA World Cup trophy. Its name is a nod to team spirit.
adidas JABULANI (2010, South Africa)
Using revolutionary ‘Grip’n’Groove’ technology, the ball is covered in small aero grooves that provide, ‘unmatched flight characteristics’, making this the most stable and most accurate adidas ball ever. The ball’s design was created to, ‘lend the ball a unique appearance in African spirit. Like the outer facade of Johannesburg’s Soccer City Stadium’.
adidas BRAZUCA (2014, Brazil)
The product of a two-and-half-year testing process involving some of the world’s biggest stars – Lionel Messi and Iker Casillas amonmg others – the Brazuca has six identical panels and all-new surface structure which will accord “improved grip, touch, stability and aerodynamics”. It’s no Tango, but we like it.