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An illustrated history of “The Ball”

The ball that we kick to the Opening Ceremony of the World Cup is always the official World Cup ball for that tournament. If we’d had the idea in 1974, these are the balls we’d have been kicking:

The Ball 1974: TELSTAR
According to FIFA, this was the first ball with 32 black and white panels to make it more visible on black and white television screens.

1978: TANGO
The Ball 1978: TANGO
Supposedly a more design representing “elegance, dynamism and passion”!

1982: TANGO
The Ball 1982: TANGO
This ball’s innovation was its waterproof design.

1986: AZTECA
The Ball 1986: AZTECA
The first synthetic match ball

The Ball 1990: ETRUSCO
The first ball with an internal layer of foam

The Ball 1994: QUESTRA
Designed to fly faster through the air

The Ball 1998: TRICOLORE
The first multi-coloured ball

The Ball 2002: FEVERNOVA
Radical restyling

The Ball 2006: TEAMGEIST
Apparently this is the most accurate ball to date — the seams on the official ball (not the replica pictured here) are flush to the surface and should cause less air turbulence as it flys

Written by on Thursday, December 22nd, 2005

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The Ball 2018 left England on 25th March 2018 and travelled to the World Cup in Russia.

The Ball 2014 kicked off from England on 9th Jan 2014 and headed to the World Cup in Brazil.

The Ball 2010 left England on 24th Jan 2010 headed to the Opening Ceremony in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The Ball 2006 travelled from London to the Opening Ceremony in Munich, Germany.

The Ball 2002 was carried 7000 miles across Europe and Asia to the World Cup finals in Korea & Japan.