Soccer is the most popular sport in the world and one of the reasons why is like that is for sure the FIFA World Cup events which started in 1930 and each of them had its own unique FIFA World Cup soccer ball.
These big events have connected people on and off the soccer pitch every four years since 1930 except in 1942 and 1946. The event couldn’t proceed at those two dates because of the Second World War. Currently, there are 32 teams who give their best to arrive in World Cup finals and win the precious trophy.
The number of teams will change because on January 10, 2017, FIFA agreed that there will be 48 competing teams from 2026 on. Soccer is an awesome game where there are present emotions for both soccer players and fans who are watching the game. Time has passed, and soccer is becoming every year more popular and with that also the FIFA World Cup event.
Today I’ll present you which were the official World Cup soccer balls in History of soccer. Manufacturers have tried to improve the performance in each new event, so trough history balls got better and better. These events also lead to better soccer equipment which was developed over the years. Let’s start with the world cup ball collection by looking at the older ones.
Tiento and T-Model
In 1930 the first World Cup which was hosted in Uruguay where they used two different balls in final. Argentina and Uruguay who were in final supplied the balls. They played the first half with Argentina’s “Tiento” ball (left) and the second half with Uruguay’s the “T-Model” ball (right).
In 1934 the second World Cup which was in Italy they used the “Federale 102”.
In 1938 they played with “Allen” soccer ball in France which was made of leather with 13 panels included.
Next destination was in Brazil. In 1950 “Duplo T” was the ball without laces and they also introduced the syringe valve.
Swiss World Champion
We came to Swiss where the 1954 event was held in. “Swiss World Champion” was the first 18-panel ball.
In Sweden, they played with “Top Star” ball. It was in 1958 where they played with a ball which has been chosen from 12 candidates and has gone through a blind test of 4 FIFA officials.
Crack Top Star
1962, Chile. Here the official ball was the “Crack Top Star”. What’s interesting here is that in the opening game the referee Ken Aston was not impressed with this ball and sent for a European ball. They played the second half with this European ball. At this World Cup, many teams played with different balls because European teams didn’t trust local manufacturers.
England in 1966. They used an 18-panel “Challenge 4-star” ball which was also selected in a blind test by Football Association in Soho Square.
It was in Mexico in 1970 when they used the first 32-panel black and white “Telstar”. Telstar ball name was combined with two words “star” and “television” also called “star of television”. They wanted to ensure that people would see where the ball is in black and white TVs. An interesting here was that Adidas supplied only 20 balls. A brown and a white ball were used in some matches.
West Germany in 1974. Here they used “Telstar Durlast”, first polyurethane coated ball. This helped to make it more waterproof and resistant.
Argentina was the next country where the used “Tango” ball. It was happening in 1978.
Spain, 1982. “Tango Espana” was like the previous Tango ball with improved rubberized seams.
Mexico, 1986. We’re are again in Mexico where they introduced first hand-sewed and a fully synthetic ball called “Azteca”.
Next event was held in Italy in 1990 where they used the “Etrusco Unico”.
In 1994 the World Cup was in the United States and here the official World Cup soccer ball was “Questra”.
France, 1998. Here they’ve used the first multi-colored ball and that why it got its name “Tricolore”.
The United States, 1999. “Icon” was the first ball created especially for women. The only difference from Tricolore was a different design.
South Korea & Japan, 2002. In this FIFA World Cup, they used “Ferenova” ball with the first triangular design.
2006, Germany. In Germany, they played with individual “Teamgeist” ball on each match with printed date, stadium name, and team names. In final they’ve played with gold-colored “Teamgeist Berlin” ball.
South Africa, 2010. “Adidas Jabulani” is 8-panel ball. In the final, they used the gold “Jo’bulani” ball.
Germany, 2011. “Adidas SpeedCell ball” was used in women World Cup which was same as Jabulani ball with a different visual design.
Brazil, 2014. “Adidas Brazuca” is a thermally bonded ball made of six polyurethane panes. In the final match, they’ve used “Brazuca Final Rio” ball which was in different colors. This was the first ball named by fans.
Canada, 2015. In women World Cup they’ve used the “Conext15” ball which was based on the Brazuca technology. They’ve also made the first women final ball game called “Conext15 Final Vancouver”.
Russia, 2018. “Adidas Telstar 18” is the new version of the old white and black Telstar used in 1970 FIFA World Cup.
List of all World Cup Soccer Balls
- TIENTO AND T-MODEL
- FEDERALE 102
- DUPLO T
- SWISS WORLD CHAMPION
- TOP STAR
- CRACK TOP STAR
- CHALLENGE 4-STAR
- TELSTAR DURLAST
- TANGO ESPANA
- ETRUSCO UNICO
- TELSTAR 18