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The History of the World Cup’s Match Balls

Italy 1990 – Estrusco

It was all about incremental gains as the Etrusco built on the Azteca’s waterproofing features by having an inner layer of polyurethane foam to make the ball totally hydrophobic. It was given a new lick of paint – the match ball now sporting Estruscan inspired art.

Adidas Etrusco - 1990
Adidas Etrusco – 1990

Iconic Moment of Italy ’90

We love ourselves some Milla time here at BOOTHYPE. The iconic Cameroonian striker was in the autumn of his career in 1990 as he propelled the Indomitable Lions to the quarter finals by scoring as a super-sub against Colombia. This was the first quarter final qualification by an African team in the World Cup. Their performances convinced FIFA to allocate an extra spot to an African team in World Cup ’94. A game-changer in every sense of the word.

USA 1994 – Questra for Perfection

The next iteration wrapped the match ball fully in polyurethane foam for greater zip on the strike and a softer touch. The design was inspired by the USA’s foray into space technology and to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Apollo 11. Seems like marketing fluff to us until we saw its effect on Diana Ross’ thunderbolt.

Adidas Questra - 1994
Adidas Questra – 1994

Iconic Moment of USA ’94

Team Bulgaria had mercurial talisman, Hristo Stoichkov, banging in the goals as they reached their all-time highest World Cup finish of fourth place. The pick of the bunch? Scoring the winning goal against holders West Germany in the quarter-finals and dedicating it to his daughter for her birthday.

France 1998 – Tricolore Flair

Finally, the last of the Tango design by Adidas which is fantastic because we were running out of ways to describe the World Cup balls. The Tricolore stayed true to its name by having the red, white and blue of the American French flag. New materials were used to aid in durability blah blah blah we’ve been here before, Adidas. Give us something new already!

Adidas Tricolore - 1998
Adidas Tricolore – 1998

Iconic Moment of France ’98

Dennis Bergkamp! Dennis Bergkamp! Dennis BERGKAMP! DENNIS BBERRRGGKKAAMMPPPP!!! OOOOHHHHH!!!

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[…] had some controversy in recent World Cups regarding the balls by Adidas. The Jabulani and Fevernova were criticized for being too light and […]

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