Soccer World Cup Soccer Balls

Official World Cup 1998 Tricolore Soccer Ball

WC Tricolore 1998

By 1998, FIFA World Cup France was played with a ball which sported the French red-white-blue tri-color. A complete departure from the old traditional black and white pattern.  The first official World Cup soccer ball that was in color. The TRICOLORE used underglass print technology with a thin layer of syntactic foam.

tricolre 3

The above picture was provided by Sebastiano Calì from Italy. Thanks!

The above Tricolore soccer ball (football) picture provided by Sheridan Bird. Visit

Thank you Jacques Barralon for the above picture.

Featured a newly engineered hi-tech syntactic foam layer. This new foam material had better compression and more explosive rebound characteristics, making the ball softer and faster than its predecessor, Questra. The first World Cup ball in color was a revolutionary concept in ball surface design. 


Was the first ever multi-colored Match Ball. France’s flag and national colors (the Tricolore) and the “cockerel” the traditional symbol of the French nation and Football Federation, inspired the ball’s name and design.

Soccer World Cup Soccer Balls

Official World Cup Etrvsco Soccer Ball 1990

WC Etrusco Unico 1990

Etrvsco Unico –  Italy, 1990

The first ball with an internal layer of black polyurethane foam.

The above picture was provided by Sebastiano Calì from Italy. Thanks!

1990 Etrusco Unico World Cup ball R

The above picture was provided by Jacques Barralon – The “R” indicates the official ball while “TM” was used for balls made after the 1990 World Cup.

This ball was a high-tech product which was manufactured entirely from quality synthetic fibers. The lowest covering consisted of textiles impregnated with latex for form stability and resistance to tearing, the neoprene layer made the ball water-tight and the outer skin made of polyurethane layers was used for abrasion resistance and good rebound properties. The name and intricate design took their inspiration from Italy’s magnificent, ancient history and the contributions and fine art of the Etruscans. Three Etruscan lion heads decorate each of the 20 Tango triads.

Soccer World Cup Soccer Balls

Official World Cup 1986 Azteca Soccer Ball


Azteca: México, 1986

The FIFA World Cup Mexico, saw the introduction of the first polyurethane coated ball which was rain-resistant. The first synthetic match ball, with good qualities on hard and wet surfaces.  

The above picture was provided by Sebastiano Calì from Italy. Thanks!

1986 World Cup Balll red

The above “red letter” ball picture was provided by Jacques Barralon

1986 World Cup Balll black -1

The above “black letter” ball (made in France) picture was provided by Jacques Barralon

A completely new model was developed for the World Cup in Mexico. The Azteca Mexico was a hand-sewn ball, and for the first time, synthetic material, rather than leather was used to produce it. The ball consisted of an outer polyurethane wearing coat and three lower layers, which mutually complemented one another with their different “Adicron” structures. These were intended to ensure the ball’s resistance, ability to retain its shape and its waterproof properties. With its never-before-achieved performance on hard ground, at high altitude, and in wet conditions, Azteca represented a massive leap forward for the game. Its elaborately decorated design was inspired by the hosting nation’s native Aztec architecture and murals.

Soccer World Cup Soccer Balls

Official World Cup 1982 Tango Espana Soccer Ball

Adidas introduced a new ball which had rubber inlaid over the seams to prevent water from seeping through. The first ball with water-resistant qualities. General wear from kicking however meant the rubber began to wear after a short time and needed to be replaced during the game. The last genuine leather world cup ball.  

The above picture was provided by Sebastiano Calì from Italy. Thanks!

1982 Tango Espana 2200
1982 Tango Espana World Cup Ball-1
1982 Espana World Cup Ball Yellow-1

Thank you Jacques Barralon for the above four pictures


In Spain, 1982, the Tango España, the new generation of the Tango. The Tango España, made of real leather, was the head of a family whose members were specialists in particular fields. For example, the Tango Mundial was the top of the range model tested in the wind tunnel, the Tango Alicante was the special floodlight model, the Tango Malaga for hard grounds and the Tango Indoor for indoor football. The range of models was available not only in the basic white color, but also in orange and yellow.


Tango Rosario


Adidas Mundial


Above picture provided by Dino Maas

Soccer World Cup Soccer Balls

Official World Cup Tango 1978 Soccer Ball


Soccer ball design experienced another revolution in 1978 with the introduction of the Adidas Tango. Adidas had created what would become a ‘football design classic’. Twenty panels with ‘triads’ created the impression of 12 identical circles. For the following five FIFA World Cup tournaments, the Match Ball design was based on this design. Tango featured improved weather resistance qualities, and took its inspiration from the deep passion, emotion and elegance of Argentina.

Soccer World Cup Soccer Balls

Official World Cup 1974 Durlast Soccer Ball

Two adidas match balls were used for Germany ‘74. Telstar made a repeat appearance with new black branding replacing the previously gold branding. Adidas introduced a new all-white version named Adidas Chile (after an all-white ball used at Chile 62). The materials and techniques used in the Telstar and Chile were identical to those used four years earlier.


The above Telstar ball has the signatures of the famous 11 (Maier, Vogts, Breitner, Schwarzenbeck, Beckenbauer, Bonhof, Hoeneß, Overath, Grabowski, Müller, Hölzenbein) and even the substitute players. The players signed the ball just after they had won the world cup in Germany in 1974.

1974 Telstar Durlast

Above picture provided by Jacques Barralon


The above four pictures are from Soccer Ball World visitor Peter Pesti

Super-Lux-Adidas hi vis

Super Lux version for high visibility!


1974 Apollo ball picture provided by Jacques Barralon

World Cup Soccer Balls

Official World Cup Soccer Ball 2002 – Fevernova


Adidas Fevernova TM, Official World Cup ball for Korea Japan, 2002  

Adidas’s Fevernova soccer ball was the official ball of the Korea Japan, 2002 FIFA world cup.The adidas Fevernova was the first World Cup Match Ball since 1978 to break with the traditional Tango design introduced in 1978.  It is three millimeters thick (11 layers). This includes a special foam layer with tiny gas filled balloons imbedded in a syntactic foam. The foam is based on an abrasion resistant polyurethane made by Bayer called Impranil® polyurethane. The outer cover of the ball consists of a combination of special synthetic polystyrenes (polyurethane) and natural rubber. Embedded within the layers are equal sized, highly elastic, exceptionally resistant gas-filled microcells. The inner lining consists of a tightly woven network of knitted, synthetic Raschel fabric. The spongy layer has high modulus of compression, with a good elastic memory. These layers give the Fevernova TM improved rebound characteristics, which convert foot strike into ball acceleration. The outer layer of the ball is made of a particularly so that the ball can withstand exceptionally tough treatment. All of this combines to give the ball greater durability. According to Adidas, the surface of the new ball converts applied energy evenly at every point. Theoretically, this gives a more calculable, flight path with advanced players. The Adidas Fevernova TM is made to meet the lower end of FIFA regulations governing circumference and the upper limit of weight , in which smaller and heavier sphere has a more accurate trajectory. 

A mesh inner layer provides strength that limits deformation when the ball is kicked and helps the ball remain spherical in flight. Any distortion of the round shape of a ball leads to an uneven airflow around the it, making it veer off course. The ball can travel up to speeds of 81 mph. The ability of players to swerve the ball will not be effected since the spin of the ball causes the intended curving. The foot is the key to transferring the foot’s force . The presence of gas filled microcels insures that the applied force is transferred to the ball. The bubbles allow the ability to kick the ball without too much resistance in which the ball does not absorb the applied energy. This converts the applied force (kick) into ball acceleration. The Fevernova TM weighs 435g.

Not Without Controversy 

“a ridiculous kiddy’s bouncing ball ” Gianluigi Buffon Goal Keeper, Italy

Some people claim the new official ball exhibits the same properties as plastic inflatable balls.

Belgium’s goalkeeping coach has complained the ball is “too light.” Brazilian midfielder Rivaldo told reporters the ball soars too far when kicked. And Brazilian forward Edilson was quoted as saying the ball is “too big and too light.”

The ball’s best review has come from England’s star midfielder David Beckham who calls the ball’s accuracy “exceptional.” However; Beckham is sponsored by Adidas and helped design the ball.

The “newness” of the ball could explain the wide range of comments from players and coaches.  Time will tell if the ball design is a winner.

Fevernova Ball

Adidas Fevernova TM Ball Graphics

The golden (champagne) orb sports red flames in the motive of a shuriken which was chosen to symbolize the mammoth efforts and the energy, which South Korea and Japan invested into the FIFA World Cup 2002. The red flames represent driving tenacity with the Ninja’s star, a symbol of the technical achievements of the two industrial nations in the recent past. The Fevernova TM is available in two types, the Tri Lance is designed to be used on all types of surfaces and the Terrain, specially designed for hard surfaces. In conjunction with FIFA, Adidas will make 100,000 footballs available for distribution worldwide to help promote the FIFA GOAL program. This is intended to promote the game across the globe.

2002 World Cup Fevernova Orange Ball-1

Thank you Jacques Barralon for the above pictures.

Replica Balls: Adidas Fevernova Tremor and Glider

New Fevernova design for USA Women’s World Cup 2003

U.S. star Aly Wagner holds the new adidas Supernova

Technically speaking, the Fevernova remains unchanged. Externally, however, the official match ball for the FIFA Women’s World Cup has a new design. This time around it comes in white, with blue, red and gold rotor design. 

See Also:  Latest Soccer Ball Developments

  History of the World Cup Official Soccer Balls

Other Soccer Ball History Information on Soccer Ball World

2003 Women's World Cup Ball

Thank you Jacques Barralon for the above picture.

Soccer World Cup Soccer Balls

Official World Cup Telstar Match Soccer Ball


The above picture was provided by Sebastiano Calì from Italy. Thanks!

1970 Telstar Durlast 1

The above Telstar ball (that was made in France) picture was provided by Jacques Barralon

The Adidas Telstar was named after the Telstar satellite. The ball was completely made of leather like all other balls in its time; however, unlike any other ball, it featured 32 hand-stitched panels (12 black pentagons and 20 white hexagons). This created the roundest sphere of its time.

Telstar Satellite

Telstar Satellite

The revolutionary design of Telstar re-wrote soccer ball history: it was the first white football ever to be decorated with black pentagons. Mexico 1970 was the first live televised FIFA World Cup and the revolutionary design of Telstar. The name derives from “Star of Television” which made the ball far more visible on black and white television. Until this day, the Adidas Telstar remains the common design type of all generic soccer balls.


Only 20 Telstars (without graphics) were provided for the 1970 World Cup

The above picture was supplied by Soccer Ball World visitor Francisco Aquino Ochoa

According to Francisco: “The Telstar balls with NO marks or logos were made EXCLUSIVELY for the matches of the world cup… This ball was a gift from the organization committee of the world cup to a radio journalist in Mexico city.
The ball was used in the previous match to the ” Game of the Century ” Germany vs Italy at Azteca stadium.
The ball originally belonged to the German team. They returned the ball to the committee. The committee in turn gave the ball to the journalist as a gift…The journalist had the above pictured ball in his house for over 38 years!
All Telstar balls with marks like “adidas”,”official world cup Mexico”,”Telstar Durlast ” are originals too, but they were not used in the world cup.
These balls with marks were sold in stores or by catalogue..
3 kinds of balls were used in the world cup. All with 32 panels, and with NO marks.
1) White ball. All panels were white.
2) Brown ball. All panels were brown.
3) And this one, the most popular and used in the world cup, with 20 hexagons white and 12 pentagons black.”

Thank you for the information and picture Francisco!


Here is a picture of a white Santiago ball which was the “unofficial” ball of the 1966 World Cup in England (courtesy of carlos del castillo)

1968 Telstar Elast 2

The first Adidas Telstar called ELAST

Olympic Soccer Balls Soccer World Cup Soccer Balls

Official 1994 World Cup Ball Adidas Questra

Adidas Questra

Articles and pictures from Sheridan Bird, January 28, 2004

In June 1990, the football viewing public were eagerly anticipating the start of the sport’s greatest tournament, the FIFA World Cup, in Italy, a country widely known and loved for its creativity and artistic ambience. A leader in fashion, wine, art and sculpture, the host nation seemed ready to provide the perfect backdrop for a festival of exciting, flowing football. 

However, the reality was far from the fantastic feast all had hoped for. Despite some tremendous waves of emotion, notably from host nation Italy in their painful semi-final exit, and likewise England, goals were at a premium. This was the first world cup which saw teams belligerently playing for penalties, without trying to attack or impose themselves in the 90 minutes and extra time. This was for many, a sterile, cynical World Cup. 

The dreary deadlock of many of the knockout matches caused a headache for FIFA, who were desperate for the next World Cup, to be held in the USA, to be a triumph. Americans were more accustomed to high scoring sports, and tepid, defensive 0-0 results would send the TV viewers away in their droves, thus jeopardizing vast amounts of advertising revenue. FIFA needed a way to make football exciting and unpredictable again. Crackpot schemes like making the goals bigger were proposed, and then rightly binned, but FIFA had a brainwave. They asked the official matchball manufacturer, Adidas, to jazz up the ball.



Adidas concluded that the key to more goals was a lighter, more responsive ball, which would be the perfect tool for a gifted player. Out went heavy, slow balls, and in came the Questra. Taking its name from an ancient word meaning “the quest for the stars”, the new ball took its logo from its space age technology, and as a tribute to the host nation’s rich history of space exploration. The whole concept was based on the themes of innovation and striving for perfection. 

The technical development for the Questra took place in the Adidas center for ball development in France, followed by test games in France, Germany and the USA with professional players, amateurs and youth teams. The ball was manufactured from five different materials with a flexible but durable outer layer made from polyurethane. Each trigon featured an array of space imagery: planets, black holes and, of course, stars. 

Within a week of the tournament, some spectacular goals had been scored. As predicted, the better players took to the lighter model with no difficulty. Memorably, Romanian captain Hagi floated a wonderful goal over the stricken goalkeeper’s head from distance in an early group match. 

However, the goalkeeping fraternity found the ball too hot to handle. In some of the venues, such as Florida and California, the regional humidity caused the ball to bend and move in the air like never before. This made life extremely tough for the men in gloves. But, as FIFA had requested, the goals flew in from some impossible angles, and the competition was a resounding success. In terms of sheer, attacking play and flair, USA ’94 was a sensation. Of course, the final was a drab 0-0 affair, but not even space age technology could be expected to change the mentality of a defensive footballing nation such as Italy. Adidas was responsible for the balls, not tactics.


Questra Olympic Logo
Questra Olympic Trigon

The triumph of the Questra led to the birth of several new models. For the Olympic football tournament in Atlanta, the ball was given a new image and named the Questra Olympia. The fabled Olympic flame was placed in the trigon as a tribute to the spirit and history of the games.


The England badge was used for the Questra Europa ball at Euro ’96, as an embodiment of the host nation’s heritage. The infamous three lions and red roses replaced the stars and planets. Other than the new logos the balls themselves were the same as their predecessor in 1994.

For additional information on the Europa ball and other European Championship balls, click here.


Questra Espanya Logo

The last high profile incarnation of the Questra was in the 1996-97 season in Spain. A special edition with the Spanish football association’s eye-catching Miró-esque logo was produced, and used in league matches and by the national team. This was the Questra Apollo.

Soccer Soccer Balls World Cup Soccer Balls

Official World Cup Final Match Ball Teamgeist Soccer Ball

Very Rare Germany/Italy Teamgeist Ball


The Final Golden Berlin Ball: Italy vs. France – Only 1600 balls made.

Not For Sale at Soccer Ball World/ For informational purpose only:


Germany Costa Rica Kick Off Ball

Germany Costa Rica Kick Off Ball

Not For Sale at Soccer Ball World/ For informational purpose only


France vs. Switzerland Ball (courtesy of Reg Wong)


Italy vs. France Ball (courtesy of Carlos Del Castillo)

Berlin / Herzogenaurach – April 18, 2006

Adidas unveils Golden Ball for 2006 FIFA World Cup™ Final


Personalized Match Ball for every game of FIFA World Cup ™

The adidas +Teamgeist™ Berlin, the Match Ball especially produced for the final game in Berlin on July 9th, was officially unveiled by the President of the Organizing Committee, Franz Beckenbauer at the Brandenburger Gate in Berlin. The golden adidas +Teamgeist™ Berlin will only be used in one game, the single most important game in global football, the FIFA World Cup™ final.´

“The FIFA World Cup final is the most important match in the history of sport. There really is no greater thing than to play in a World Cup final. That is why I think it is a fantastic idea to have a very special ball especially for this match,” said Franz Beckenbauer President of the FIFA World Cup™ Organizing Committee: “Sure, the ball will still be round, no change there. But it will be a very special game and it is going to be played with a golden match ball that was especially designed for it. I think that’s absolutely fantastic!” 

This special Match Ball design is similar to the adidas +Teamgeist™ but executed in gold, the color of the FIFA World Cup™ trophy, with black and white details. Its name, “+Teamgeist Berlin”, is not only based on the single most decisive characteristic every team needs to have in order to lift the trophy, team spirit, but also on the German capital where the final will be played. The adidas Golden Ball is already a well-known element in the world of football, because it is the name of the official FIFA trophy awarded to the best player of the FIFA World Cup™ tournament.

In addition, for the first time ever, each of the match balls for the FIFA World Cup™ will be personalized with the name of the stadium, the teams, the match date and the kick-off time of each individual game. adidas will supply FIFA with 15 personalized match balls for each match. Earlier this year, each of the 32 qualified federations received a shipment of 20 match balls for training purposes. All teams will receive a second shipment with 20 balls when they start their final preparation. In addition to the 40 regular match balls they will also be supplied with 20 +Teamgeist™ Berlin match balls so that each of the teams can already start preparing for the FIFA World Cup final now! This delivery will bring the grand total of adidas match balls supplied to FIFA and the participating federations to 2,880.
In total adidas expects to sell well over 10 million FIFA World Cup™ match balls. adidas first began the production of footballs in 1963 and is the world’s leading manufacturer, always at the cutting edge of technology and design. adidas has supplied the Match Balls to all major UEFA and FIFA tournaments since 1970 and will also be the Official Partner and Ball Supplier of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cup™.


Herbert Hainer, CEO of the adidas group and Franz Beckenbauer, President of the FIFA World Cup™ Organizing Committee unveil the Golden Ball in front of the Brandenburger Tor in Berlin



The ball is produced by technology so advanced the German sportswear giant assured the performance is “unprecedented.”The ball should please the home team. Adidas said in a statement it produced Teamgeist “as a tribute to host Germany’s greatest football moments and its traditional uniforms.”

Even the name refers to a German trait: Teamgeist means team spirit, something the Germans have long thrived on instead of individual brilliance. Adidas indicates “The fine gold accents along the rounded propellers are inspired by the golden FIFA World Cupä Trophy. The revolutionary new panel shape is designed to minimize corners and to create a more homogenous system in terms of performance and look. The radiant lines of the graphics surrounding the propeller shape symbolize movement and energy. Thanks to adidas innovation team designer Scott Tomlinson from England and German category designer Anatol Just, +Teamgeistä combines everything needed to become a state-of-the-art product.” 

Teamgeist design panel

Traditional 32 panel hand stitched balls have a wider target zone meaning accuracy is hard to consistantly achieve. The new 14-panel design has resulted in a ball with the most consistent performance characteristics ever, enabling the players to show their true skills. There are fewer seams, so the ball is rounder and performs more uniformly, regardless of where it is hit. The more perfect the sphere is, the more balanced it will be, offering greater accuracy due to the predictability of its flight. The new panel shape harmonizes the energy displacement and minimizes the amount of corners, while the larger panels allow for a cleaner kicking area. Perhaps the biggest difference the players will find with the new balls will be how they play in the wet. Normally, a wet and heavy ball behaves quite differently from a dry one. It flies slower through the air, has a lower bounce and is more difficult to curl. A patented Thermal Bonding technology makes the new ball virtually waterproof with identical performance characteristics wet or dry. The FIFA Approved Standard for water absorption stipulates no more than a 10% weight increase – the +Teamgeist’s has less than 0.1 % weight increase. Similarly, it has significantly improved on all standards for uniformity of rebound and pressure retention and shape and size retention. Clever design and technologies has enabled Adidas to reduce manufacturing tolerances to a new level.

The adidas Innovation Team (a.i.t) has tested the new Match Ball for the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany, first under tough laboratory conditions, later also with professional players and clubs on the field of play. Scientific tests were conducted together with the Sports Technology Research Group of the University of Loughborough, one of the leading institutions of its kind worldwide. These tests confirmed that the adidas +Teamgeist is more round, precise and consistent than any top competitor match ball.

Comparison to FIFA Approved Standards:

Teamgeist roundness circum

Circumference: The FIFA Approved Standard: 68.5 cm – 69.5 cm. The adidas +Teamgeist: 69.0 cm – 69.25 cm

Diameter: FIFA Approved Standard: max. 1.5% difference The adidas +Teamgeist: max. 1.0% difference

Water Absorption: FIFA Approved Standard: no more than 10% weight increase. The adidas +Teamgeist: Water absorption: no more than 0,1 % weight increase

Weight: FIFA Approved Standard: Weight between 420 and 445 grams The adidas +Teamgeist: Weight between 441 and 444 grams

Shape and Size Retention: FIFA Approved Standard: 2,000 cycles at 50 km per hour. The adidas +Teamgeist: 3,500 cycles at 50 km per hour.

Rebound Test: FIFA Approved Standard: No more than 10 cm. The adidas +Teamgeist: No more than 2 cm.

Loss of Pressure: FIFA Approved Standard: Loss of pressure max. 20% The adidas +Teamgeist: Loss of pressure max. 11%.

Drum Test by Adidas: The drum test was developed by adidas to guarantee high quality and durability of the printed surface, the unique design and look of the ball. The adidas +Teamgeist is the first ball ever to feature a complete underglass print technology, providing the +Teamgeist with the best and strongest surface material ever and guaranteeing the ball is more durable and will hold its unique look much longer.

Overview:New panel shape and carcass construction of the +TEAMGEIST leads to:
Increased precision for straight and curved shots: With the +TEAMGEIST, every pass, every shot, every dribble, is as consistently accurate, powerful and fast as the last.
Improved all weather performance for consistent play in any condition.

  • Revolutionary Panel Shape: eliminates surface irregularities to create a perfectly round ball for greater accuracy
  • New Carcass: improves accuracy and power
  • Complete Underglass Print: significantly decreases abrasion of design
  • Thermal Bonding: seamless panels create a smooth, consistent kicking surface

Will not include the embedded circuitry to alert referees when it has crossed the goal-line.

If you have more information or want to review this ball, please contact us!

Teamgeist MLS

Teamgeist MLS

MB League Ball

MB League Ball

Teamgeist Tournament Ball

Here is a picture of the +Teamgeist tournament replica ball. Notice the standard panels. Similar in design to the Roteiro ball

Teamgeist Training Ball

Teamgeist Training