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The History of the World Cup’s Match Balls

Brazil 2014 – Brazuca Bazooka

Adidas had 4 years to eradicate the embarrassment of the Jabulani and they worked with NASA on understanding and improving the match ball’s aerodynamics. The solution – reduce the number of panels to only 6, incorporate deeper seams and a more textured surface. The Brazuca received no complaints nor controversy which meant job well done for the Three Stripes.

Adidas Brazuca - 2014
Adidas Brazuca – 2014

Iconic Moment of Brazil ’14

It would be too cruel to list the 7-1 demolition of Brazil at the hands of Germany so we’re going with the sublime goal of the tournament by James Rodriguez instead. The effervescent Rodriguez led Colombia to the quarter finals and won the Golden Boot as well, notching 6 goals and securing a dream move to Real Madrid as a galactico.

Russia 2018 – The Telstar Returns

Invoking the spirit of 1970, Adidas looks to pay tribute to the OG match ball with a modern twist. They have stuck with a 6 panel build though each panel looks quite irregularly shaped which poses a bit of an optical illusion.The Telstar 18 incorporates a “digital” pixel motif with a metallic finish and an NFC chip (sounds like the start of a robot takeover if you ask us) to access exclusive content. Right……

There have already been some grumblings from goalkeepers prior to the tournament about the ball’s erratic movement so keep your eyes peeled during the games to see if Adidas has truly gotten the match ball monkey off its back.

Adidas Telstar - 2018
Adidas Telstar – 2018

With 50 years of match ball history, the technology to enable the beautiful game has improved in leaps and bounds in recent years. Which were your favourite balls and who are you expecting to make a splash at the World Cup in Russia? Tell us more in the comments section below.

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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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