Every World Cup is a grand event that inspires manufacturers to develop new models of football equipment. There are new cleats, T-shirts, baseball caps and, perhaps, the most important equipment for the game – balls. We have prepared a brief overview of all official World Cup balls since 1986 to give you the opportunity to trace the evolution of soccer balls.

1986-1994: Azteca, Etrusco and Questra

The first balls in our chronological selection are the traditional Azteca, Unico and Questra models. All these balls have the same design with slight technological differences, however, each of them has its own unique history. The Azteca model was used at the 1986 World Championship in Mexico. It was the first soccer ball with a polyurethane coating, which made it resistant to precipitation. In addition, it was the first model of the ball, the body of which was made entirely of synthetic materials. Its design was largely inspired by the culture and traditions of the host country – Mexico, Aztec architecture and paintings, which was reflected in the triad patterns on the ball.

Four years later, at the 1990 World Cup in Italy, we saw almost the same ball in terms of design and technology. Etrusco was the first ball to have an inner layer of black polyurethane foam. Its design refers to the ancient history of the host country, namely the fine art of the Etruscans. The lion’s head depicted on this ball could also be seen on the tongue of Adidas Etrusco football boots, which gave the official equipment of the tournament thematic integrity.

The Adidas Questra ball, which was made for the 1994 World Cup, was truly unique. The main difference between this model and its predecessor Etrusco was that the ball was covered with a layer of polystyrene foam. This made it waterproof and allowed it to gain more acceleration on impact. It felt much softer to the touch, it was easier to control, and it flew at an incredible speed at that time. The 1994 World Cup was held in the USA, so this ball had a cosmic design, symbolizing high-speed rockets and the search for new stars, which scientists from the United States were actively engaged in. This design of the official ball of the tournament was timed to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, which is considered one of the most important events in the history of the United States.

1998-2006: Tricolore, Fevernova and Teamgeist

So, we are gradually moving on to more modern variations of design and color scheme, which, in my subjective opinion, makes the official balls of the World Championships unique and recognizable. Tricolore balls were actively rolled around the fields of France during the 1998 World Cup. It is logical that the design of this model was made in the national French red-white-blue color scheme. It is also important to note that this was the first multi-colored official ball of the World Cup, in the production of which the technology of printing under glass with a thin layer of synthetic foam was used.

Next, we turn to the sample, which is perhaps the most iconic official World Cup ball of all time. The Fevernova model is the official ball of the 2002 World Cup, held in South Korea and Japan. It was made of inner layers of greater thickness, which increased the accuracy of its flight. In addition, it also had an innovative layer of syntactic foam, providing greater control over the trajectory of its movement in the air. The richness of Asian culture inspired designers to create such a stylish ball, which is unlikely to ever go out of fashion.

The 2006 World Championship in Germany was the finest hour of the Teamgeist model. The construction of the ball has been completely redesigned in terms of design and technology. Adidas managed to develop a configuration that implied fewer seams, which made the outer shell of the ball smoother, giving it a perfectly round shape, providing maximum comfort when working with the ball. Prior to the creation of Teamgeist, all models had differences in the outer shell. The technological design of the Teamgeist ball helps to minimize these disadvantages, making the surface of the ball almost perfectly smooth. Moreover, Adidas separately prepared for the main match of the tournament by presenting the final variation of Teamgeist, made in gold.

2010-2018: Jabulani, Brazuca and Telstar

The championship held in 2010 in South Africa revealed to the world the Jabulani ball, which caused a resonance in the football world, thanks to its aerodynamic properties. I still remember the amazing goal of South African Shabalal in the first game of the tournament against the national team of Mexico! The hum of the vuvuzel was so powerful that it seemed capable of tearing off the roof of the stadium… The ball of this model was produced using advanced technology, which was supposed to give it a more stable flight and improved control in all conditions. In addition, 3D panels were used for the first time in its production, which made it possible to give the Jabulani ball a perfectly rounded shape. The design of the ball reflected the heritage of South African culture, and the word Jabulani in the language of the Zulu tribe means “celebration”.

The official ball of the World Cup in Brazil was a ball with the memorable name Brazuca. Its 6-panel design provided improved control, touch, stability and aerodynamics. Brazilians took an active part in the process, choosing the name for the official ball of the home tournament by popular vote, which was attended by more than a million football fans. Brazuca is an informal term literally meaning “Brazilian” and succinctly describing the Brazilian way of life. All the elements of its design personified Brazil and its culture. In general, it was safe to say that it was the best ball of all of them that existed at that time.

The last ball on our list is this year’s Telstar model. The official ball of the 2018 World Cup is made of panels of innovative design and has an improved graphic coating, which increases its performance and durability. The textured shell provides excellent grip, touch and aerodynamics. In the production of the Telstar ball, the thermal fastening method was used, which gives it stability and a predictable trajectory during flight, and also makes it waterproof. The designers of the Telstar model were inspired by the first soccer ball, which was shown in live broadcasts of World Cup matches on television. Like its prototype, this ball is also black and white, so that it is easier to see it on the screen. He received the nickname “TV star”, hence his official name – Telstar.

We will always be happy to help you in choosing the official original ball from Adidas, Nike and other manufacturers. Only the newest and most relevant models for you on 4football.com.ua !

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