Fifa channels memories of Pele as it revives 1970 World Cup design for official Russia 2018 match ball
The Telstar 18 is ‘a reinvention of a classic model with a brand-new panel design and the latest technology’
Fifa revived the Telstar, the first football made for television which was used at the 1970 World Cup, as it unveiled the official match ball for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Fifa described the so-called Telstar 18, made by German sportswear giants Adidas who have supplied the ball at every World Cup since 1970, as “a reinvention of a classic model with a brand-new panel design and the latest technology”.
Fifa will hope it proves more popular than previous World Cup balls. Some players complained that the Teamgeist used at the 2006 tournament was too light and had a very different performance when wet.
The Jabulani, used in 2010, was compared to a beach ball by Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas and a “supermarket” ball by Brazil’s Julio Cesar, while the 2014 Brazuca proved more popular.
The original Telstar featured 32 separate pentagonal panels, twelve of which were black to make it more visible in black and white television broadcasts.
Other balls included the Tango (1978), Tango Espana (1982), Azteca (1986), Etrusco (1990), Questra (1994), Tricolore (1998) and Fevernova (2002).
“The Telstar 18 evokes unforgettable memories of the 1970 Fifa World Cup – and of legends like Pele, Gerd Mueller, Giacinto Facchetti, Pedro Rocha and Bobby Moore,” Fifa said.