FIFA World Cup 2018: From Fevernova to Telstar, take a look at official match balls used in last five editions

The footballs used in football's biggest extravaganza have undergone transformation since the first tournament in Uruguay back in 1930.

Gone are the days of footballs made by a leather-bound pig's bladder. With the help of technology and multiple tests, the process has been replaced with high-tech, synthetic spheres.

With just a week to go for the World Cup to begin, take a look at the official World Cup match balls used in the last five editions:

Fevernova (2002)

An employee picks up the 2002 FIFA World Cup official ball, Fevernova. Reuters

An employee picks up the 2002 FIFA World Cup official ball, Fevernova. Reuters

After three years of improvement on the previously used 'Tricolore' edition at the research centre in Scheinfeld in southern Germany, Adidas decided it was time for a change.

They tweaked the design after ditching the Tango look the Adidas triad design had now become two enlarged triads with the points turning into clockwise arrows.

Nearly 2,500 balls were supplied for the World Cup finals and an estimated six million of the high-quality match balls and replica-quality balls were sold worldwide.

Adidas' long-time ambassador David Beckham tested the Fevernova and said it was the best football, while Italy great Gianluigi Buffon referred to it as a "crazy bouncing ball".

Teamgeist (2006)

Teamgeist was a tribute to hosts Germany's tradition of stoic, collective approach. They wanted to focus on 'team spirit.

FIFA said: "Thanks to a revolutionary 14-panel ball configuration, players were able to show their true skills, as the quality and performance characteristics were identical every time they kicked the ball."

Ahead of the main event, it underwent rigorous scientific testing by the Sports Technology Research Group of the University of Loughborough. These tests proved that the official ball was more round and consistent than any other competitive match ball.

During the very first game of the World Cup, Germany's Philipp Lahm and Torsten Frings scored spectacular goals that indicated that its flight was too unpredictable.

Italy claimed their fourth World Cup title this year.

Jabulani (2010)

The Jabulani means ‘to celebrate’ in Zulu but this edition met with a lot of criticism from players.

Brazilian goalkeeper Julio Cesar said it was a 'supermarket' ball and that it favoured forwards and worked against goalkeepers, while Iker Casillas called it "horrible".

Buffon said: 'The new model is absolutely inadequate and I think it's shameful letting play such an important competition, where a lot of champions take part, with a ball like this.

Adidas attempted to create a ball that was rounder than ever by decreasing the number of panels again, from 14 on the Teamgeist to just eight on the Jabulani.

Spain defeated third-time finalists the Netherlands 1–0 after extra time, with an Andres Iniesta's goal in the 116th minute giving Spain their first world title.

Brazuca (2014)

After facing criticism for Jabulani, Adidas released the most-tested ball ever – The Brazuca.

Brazuca, which describes Brazilain pride, featured multi-coloured ribbons that represent wish bands.

Unlike Jabulani, the Brazuca had just six panels, making it more consistent.

The Brazuca was adopted by a number of club leagues, including the Bundesliga and Major League Soccer.

In terms of the making, Brazuca was absolutely state of the art. It was a nice mixture of consistency and evolution

It exceeded FIFA standards after undergoing extensive dynamic lab tests and – most importantly – it is based and developed on the feedback of the real experts: the football players.

Telstar (2018)

An official ball of FIFA World Cup 2018, "Telstar 18", is pictured during Spain's training before friendly match against Russia. Reuters

An official ball of FIFA World Cup 2018, "Telstar 18", is pictured during Spain's training before friendly match against Russia. Reuters

The Telstar 18 pays homage to the first-ever Adidas World Cup ball, evoking unforgettable memories of the 1970 FIFA World Cup – and of legends like Pele, Gerd Muller, Giacinto Facchetti, Pedro Rocha and Bobby Moore – and will feed the dreams of those who will play in Russia in about a week's time.

Telstar or the 'star of television' is the first ball to be decorated with black panels, a pattern that was designed to look bright on black-and-white TVs which changed football design forever.

According to FIFA, Telstar also includes an embedded NFC chip, which enables consumers to interact with the ball using a smartphone.


Updated Date: Jun 08, 2018 17:15 PM

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