This year, Adidas made Al Rihla, a name that is due to the meaning of “The journey” in the Arabic language. The design for its part is based on the architecture, culture and iconic boats of Qatar, the host of this unprecedented edition.
The German brand, which won the official ball for the 14th consecutive edition, will allocate a percentage of its sales to the Common Goal movementwhich is dedicated to drive social change and help soccer communities global basis. In this way, he will leave in view of all his support for the NGO that was founded by the Spanish Manchester United player Juan Mata and Jürgen Griesbeck in August 2017.
As can be seen on the website, Three different versions are sold. First of all, there is a “mini” version, the cheapest, at a cost of $4,999. Then follows the “League” option which is priced at $11,999. Finally, the one that will actually be used until next December 18, costs $29,999.
Next, Ámbito reviews the 20 balls that were the protagonists in the other World Cups.
Uruguay 1930: Ball T and Tiento
In the first FIFA World Cup there was no official ball as each team chose to play with “its” ball. The final was played with two balls, one time each. Uruguay used the Ball T and Tiento was chosen by Argentina. The “format” is the one that was used until a long time later: an animal bladder as a camera wrapped in leather. Something that with the rain became very heavy.
Italy 1934: Federale 102
In the first European World Cup there was already an official ball. Also made of leather but with rectangular pieces. The novelty was the “superball” technology, which was neither more nor less than having filed down the seams so that it does not hurt as much with headbutts.
In this World Cup, the rectangular pieces of leather that gave shape to the ball continued, but the great novelty was the replacement of the animal bladder by the valve to inflate it.
Brazil 1950: Super Ball Duplo T
World War II left the world without two world cups, but those 12 years of standstill did not stop technology from evolving soccer balls. This is how South America had the first “fast” ball in history (so far) thanks to the tanned leather and firmer seams that made it rounder.
Switzerland 1954: Swiss World Champion
In this World Cup the ball changes color (it becomes orange) and the shapes of the segments were no longer rectangular but more uniform. The great novelty was being able to sew the ball from the inside.
This World Cup had two ball options that were set by FIFA at the choice of the fans. The ball for the final is in South America, since the winning team, Brazil, brought it to South America, but in the Rasunda stadium in Stockholm you can see a replica of the ball with which the final was played.
He suffered changes in the segments again but they were not relevant. It was manufactured in the trans-Andean country.
England 66: Slazenger Challenge 4-Star
In Great Britain rectangular patches returned. A total of 25 made up the ball that was manufactured by the same company that was in charge of the mythical Wimbledon tennis tournament. The novelty was the special ball (red in color) with which England defeated Germany with that famous non-goal by Geoff Hurst.
Adidas definitively takes control of the World Cup balls and makes its debut with the Telstar, which presents 32 patches of black and white hexagons and pentagons, colors studied and chosen for the benefit of television.
Germany 1974: Telstar Durlast
The only thing that changed besides the name (half) were the letters that appeared on the ball. They stopped being golden and became black. It was also the first time that the same World Cup ball was used in the Eurocup two years later.
Argentina 1978: Tango Durlast
Of great symbolic value for all Argentines, the Tango was made with 32 polygonal panels that in movement made an optical effect that gave the sensation of seeing 12 circles. The name corresponds to the typical dance of the host country and it was the first waterproof ball, so the rain did not make it so heavy.
Spain 1982: Tango Spain
The waterproofing was a complete success, for this reason, for the new World Cup ball in Spain they decided to focus on improving this item. They added polyurethane to the leather to make it more waterproof and to keep the weight gain when wet to a minimum.
Another iconic ball for the Argentines. For being Diego Maradona who treated her best in that tournament and for having achieved even greater waterproofing thanks to the optical microfiber that achieved less water absorption. The design continued to be the same as the previous two except for small details.
Italy 1990: Unique Etruscan
It was the ball with full waterproofing. The layer of black polyurethane foam inside it did it. And so it also became the fastest ball up to that time. The approval was such that it continued to be used both in the 1992 Euro Cup and in the Barcelona Olympic Games that same year.
United States 1994: Questra
With the waterproofing resolved, what FIFA and the German brand were now interested in was achieving stability and speed when flying the ball. For that they needed five synthetic materials that were wrapped in a layer of Styrofoam. Questra is the old name for the search for the stars and its design was based on the most iconic moment of the host country: the landing of man on the moon.
With another layer of synthetic foam, durability was increased thanks, also, to the gas microbubbles that were introduced. The name alludes to the flag of the host country, which would win the first world title in its history. It was the last ball made in Europe.
Korea/Japan 2002: Fevernova
First manufactured in Asia and without a doubt this ball was revolutionary in terms of its design. It had three woven layers that gave it an even more precise flight path plus a thin layer of synthetic foam rubber.
Germany 2006: +Teamgeist
The segments are no longer sewn and become sealed panels. The absorption of water manages to be almost null, so the weight does not change with the water. For the first time, the names of the teams that faced each other in each game were recorded, together with the date, city or name of the stadium and the start time. The final ball had golden details that made it unique.
South Africa 2010: Jo’bulani
It had the novelty of being extremely colorful. There were eleven, one for each player of each team, for each of the languages of the host country and for their communities. In the final there was also a special ball in which only golden sparkles were added.
This ball had six Styrofoam panels that were snapped together to maintain the same weight and roundness even in the thickest rain. The bladder of the Brazuca ball was made of latex and provided the desired recovery. It was put to the test by more than 600 elite players in two and a half years as well as 30 teams on three continents. The name was chosen by soccer fans in an online vote.
It is a ball to pay tribute to the first one created by Adidas in Mexico in 1970 by having a black and white pixel design. The substantial difference is that the current one only has six black and white panels against the previous 32 panels and has a built-in chip with which fans can interact with the chip with a smartphone. Unlike the previous ones, this ball has a greater impact because its flight characteristics are precise, offering greater control. This ball had its version in the final but, unlike previous years, it was not gold but red.