Its history and development since 1930

A symbolic element of the World Cup, the World Cup ball has gone through various developments since the 1930s. retrospective.

From Telstar to Favrenova, from Jabulani in South Africa to Teamguest in Germany, World Cup football is, along with Champions League football, the most iconic green rectangle. If he only has one month to spare before being absent for four years, the World Cup ball wants to be the link that sends us back a few years.

history of world cup balls

How can we forget the tricolour, the great ball of the 1998 World Cup? How not to pay tribute to Telstar, the symbol that revolutionized the ball world in the ’70s? Ahead of Adidas’ presentation of the World Cup new ball, we take a look at those who marked the history of the competition.

Telstar, the ball for the 2018 World Cup

All World Cup balls since 1930

From its first edition in Uruguay in 1930 to the modern-day competition in Qatar in 2022, the ball bears witness to this World Cup history. A great way to understand and discover the evolution of techniques used on this minor, but oh so important accessory is the ball.

1930 world cup ball

Location: Uruguay | 1930 World Cup Ball Name: T-Shape

The first World Cup and the first story with the ball already. Two different balls were used during the match in the final between Uruguay and Argentina. The first period was provided by Argentina, a 12-panel Tiento model made in Scotland, while the second was provided by Uruguay, a T-shape imported from England. Note that the latter was much heavier and thicker than the first period and Uruguay, then down 1–2 at halftime, eventually won the World Cup with a score of 4–2.

1934 world cup ball

Location: Italy | 1934 World Cup Ball Name: Unknown

1938 world cup ball

Location: France | 1938 World Cup Ball Name: Allen

On the occasion of the World Cup in France, Alan’s ball at Paris home looks different from its predecessors as we get 13 leather-paneled balls as against the earlier 12.

1950 world cup ball

Location: Brazil | 1950 World Cup Ball Name: Unknown

The 1950 World Cup marks a turning point in the ball as it does not have traditional laces for the first time. Instead, valves similar to those that can be found today are used.

1954 world cup ball

Location: Switzerland | 1954 World Cup Ball Name: Unknown

In 1954, a yellow balloon took over. The biggest feature of this ball is the level of the marks. While the world takes place in Switzerland, we find mention “Swiss World Champion Match Ball”.

1958 world cup ball

Location: Sweden | 1958 World Cup Ball Name: Top Star

1962 world cup ball

Location: Chile | 1962 World Cup Ball Name: Santiago

Another disappointment for the World Cup ball. In 1962, in Chile, a ball made locally (and by a French expatriate) was used. The problem is that the ball deflates easily and a referee eventually decides to reuse the Top Star model that was introduced in Sweden four years ago.

1966 world cup ball

Location: England | 1966 World Cup Ball Name: Challenge

Last ball before the adidas era. In 1966, in England, the Schlesanger brand was the official supplier of the World Cup. Known to be exclusive in the world of tennis, cricket or golf, the English brand surprises everyone by winning contracts and presenting its challenge 4-star ball with 25 panels.

1970 world cup ball

Location: Mexico | 1970 World Cup Ball Name: Telstar

In 1970, Adidas became an official partner of FIFA and a supplier of the ball for the World Cup. For its first competition, the three-band brand decided to draw inspiration from the Telstar telecommunications satellite (sent into orbit in 1962). While the Mondial 70 is widely circulated in color, Adidas decides to unveil a highly visible 32-panel black and white ball. The most iconic ball in the history of football is born.

1974 world cup ball

Location: Germany | 1974 World Cup Ball Name: Telstar Durlast

1978 world cup ball

Location: Argentina | 1978 World Cup Ball Name: Tango Rosario

In 1978, in Argentina, Telstar gave way to Tango. Visually different, the ball also has the distinction of being used during the Olympic Games and various European Championships until 1988.

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1982 world cup ball

Location: Spain | 1982 World Cup Ball Name: Tango Espana

1986 world cup ball

Location: Mexico | 1986 World Cup Ball Name: Aztec

In 1986, Adidas increased its involvement in World Cup ball design and technology. As with the Azteca model, the German brand for example eschews the presence of leather that was historical but which had the drawback of absorbing water. Instead, the Azteca is made of 100% synthetic in addition to being covered with polyethylene for greater resistance, impermeability and dimensionality. A great idea for a world cup which is played at the height of Mexico.

Apart from the technical aspect, Adidas gives the hosts a good nod with the Aztec design all over the ball.

1990 world cup ball

Location: Italy | 1990 World Cup Ball Name: Etrusco Unico

Four years later, Adidas unveiled the Etrusco Unico Ball that glorifies the Etruscan theme, the people who lived in the center of the Italian peninsula since the 9th.And I buter century BC J-C.

1994 world cup ball

Location: United States | 1994 World Cup Ball Name: Questra

In 1994, when the World Cup was taking place in the United States and FIFA wanted to popularize “soccer”, Adidas modified the ball to give football a more luxurious side. For this, a layer of polystyrene foam is supposed to provide strength and acceleration during the strike. Shots are then quicker and trajectories especially more floating.

1998 world cup ball

Location: France | 1998 World Cup Ball Name: Tricolor

How did you forget it? Similar to the 1994 ball, the 1998 tricolor is distinguished by the disappearance of the black/white mix and the presence of the colors of the flag of France.

2002 world cup ball

Location: Japan/South Korea | 2002 World Cup Ball Name: Fevernova

Perhaps the most “Nike” of adidas balls! Unfortunately known to have been widely criticized for its lightness, the 2002 Fevernova nonetheless stands out for Adidas for its incredible design and which was directly inspired by Asian culture.

2006 world cup ball

Location: Germany | 2006 World Cup Ball Name: Teamgeist

We may not know enough, but the ball for the 2006 World Cup was apparently conceived and designed by Adidas, but also by Molten! Active in the process of creating this soccer ball, the Japanese brand participated in the establishment of 14 TeamGist panels, which replaced 32 of the older versions. In addition, these panels were no longer sewn but heat-sealed. a new era.

2010 world cup ball

Location: South Africa | 2010 World Cup Ball Name: Jabulani

From fourteen panels from Germany to eight panels from African Jabulani. For this World Cup in South Africa, Adidas has come up with new technical ideas, but also a more impressive design. If the German brand sought to work on the concept of the aerodynamics of this balloon, it also relied on a significant academic contribution as it was developed in partnership with researchers from Loughborough University in the United Kingdom. That didn’t stop the various actors from complaining about their trajectory…

2014 world cup ball

Location: Brazil | 2014 World Cup Ball Name: Brezzuca

Adidas has once again gone a step further with the World Cup in Brazil. With the Brezzuka Ball, the German brand increases to six, the number of panels. To address the 2010 problems, Brezzuca had new technologies that were closer to the ball in the 2013 Champions League final.

2018 world cup ball

Location: Russia | 2018 world cup ball name: Telstar

Almost everything has changed in the world of soccer balls from the Telstars of the 1970s to the Telstars of 2018. While the graphics are directly inspired by the first ball of the adidas World Cup, the technologies are still innovative as for the first time adidas integrates an NFC chip into each ball. This chip allows consumers to interact with the ball using a smartphone. On the technical side, there are six glued panels without visible seams and with 3D textures to improve the touch and grip of the ball.

2022 world cup ball

Location: Qatar | 2022 world cup ball name: ?

What does Adidas have in store for us on the new ball for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar? New technologies, that’s for sure! New design, of course. It remains to be seen what this new ball will be made of and what it will tell us about the future of soccer ball at Adidas.

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About the Author: Piers Parker

Alcohol maven. Incurable pop culture specialist. Communicator. Gamer. Certified explorer.

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