The European Championship had long been considered a second-class football (soccer) tournament in the eyes of fans, before its rebirth in 1996. Originally conceived as a mini world cup for Europe, it was the subject of chronic format change and indifference.
However, intelligent marketing and a surge in interest caused the 1996 championship, in England, to take a new importance. As a result of this, the official ball providers, adidas, who had previously not deemed the competition worthy of having its own especially nominated ball, decided to begin taking the development and marketing of the matchballs seriously.
The Adidas Questra Europa
After the success and high goal quota of the 1994 World Cup in the US, adidas concluded that the new, lighter ball produced for that tournament, on FIFA’s request (they had been moved to make changes after the turgid and defensive Italia ’90 World Cup which suffered something of a goal drought) had been a triumph. The World Cup ‘94 ball, the black and white Questra, was a much more high tech and responsive ball than its heavier predecessors. There might have been complaints from goalkeepers, but the swerving, spinning Questra, which curled wickedly in the hot, American temperatures and humidity, was responsible for some outstanding goals, free kicks and passes.
UEFA decided to keep in tune with this new scientifically advanced approach, but asked adidas to give the ball a new identity, an in doing so they created the Questra Europa which was the first colored ball in a major tournament. The design they chose was a reworking of the iconic England badge, the three lions and red roses, in the familiar tango shape, which had appeared on all major balls. Each side of the trigon had a lion in metallic blue, and in the center was a red rose.
Due to its strong link with the host nation’s own identity, the ball proved very popular, and also paved the way for a very lively, exciting tournament with many incredible goals and vibrant play.
The official ball for the 1992 European Championships was the Etrvsco Unico the same ball used in the Italy, 1990 World Cup. The only difference is a panel on the ball indicating “Official World Cup 1990/ Official 1992 Euro Championship”.
Featured new polyurethane coating and Durlast technology which increased the water resistance of the leather ball. The Telstar Durlast with graphics was not used in the 1970 World Cup matches in Mexico. It was used in the 1972 European Championships.
Adidas Roteiro Official Match Ball of UEFA EURO 2004
Adidas Press Release
Tuesday, June 8, 2004 , Herzogenaurach,
Personalized Match Balls for Every UEFA EURO 2004 TM Match
In what is a first for a major football tournament, every single match ball at UEFA EURO 2004 will be specifically personalized to each individual game. The Adidas Roteiro™ balls used at each match will be inscribed with the name of the teams, the date, the name of the stadium and the longitude and latitude of the center spot of the pitch. Adidas will supply 20 of the revolutionary thermal bonded personalized balls per game.
Adidas Press Release
Monday, December 1, 2003 , Herzogenaurach / Lisbon,
Adidas Presents Roteiro as the Official Match Ball of UEFA EURO 2004
Portuguese national team players today revealed the adidas Roteiro, the new Official Match Ball for UEFA EURO 2004. The Roteiro is the first ever Official Match Ball produced with the innovative thermal-bonding production technique developed over the last four years.
The game of football is faster and more technical than ever before. After several progressions based on material development, traditional ball construction had reached its limits. Consequently, a new ball production concept was developed – called thermal bonding – providing consistent quality and performance from one ball to the next. The new Roteiro ball by adidas also features the new Power Balance Technology, has a seamless surface design and offers a revolutionary new carcass.
England captain David Beckham said: “The most important thing for me is to know that I can rely on the ball to go exactly where I want it to go. The new Roteiro reacts very well to my foot. When I’ve helped adidas to test the Roteiro in Madrid, I’ve noticed that the accuracy of my corners, my passing and, of course, my free kicks improved from using this ball. When you’re kicking it, it even sounds better. No one has ever seen anything like this before. I think it is great to kick and it’s going to be a great ball to play with. Keepers are going to have a very tough time.”
The Roteiro is named after the logbook used by Vasco da Gama, the famous Portuguese discoverer. The unique and dynamic design features an aqua metallic base color, which represents the sky, a blue globe color reminiscent of the sea, and silver lines to signify the co-ordinate system used and perfected by the Portuguese.
From UEFA Media Services:
Launch of Official UEFA EURO 2004™ Match Ball
adidas’ Roteiro™ produced using innovative technology
UEFA and adidas presented the new Official Match Ball for UEFA EURO 2004™. Named Roteiro™, the new ball will be used at all matches of the UEFA European Football Championship in Portugal.
Roteiro™ is named after the logbook used by Vasco da Gama, the famous Portuguese discoverer. The unique and dynamic design features an aqua metallic base color, which represents the sky, a blue globe color reminiscent of the sea, and silver lines to signify the co-ordinate system used and perfected by the Portuguese. Its name, design and reference to Portuguese historical elements will perfectly match its inauguration at the Final Tournament.
In developing Roteiro™ adidas has used a new production concept. Using thermal bonding this new technique in ball production provides a more consistent quality and performance from one ball to the next. Roteiro™ is the first-ever official match ball produced with this innovative production technique. It also features the new Power Balance Technology, has a seamless surface design and a revolutionary new carcass.
The ball has undergone trials by top players and European clubs and David Beckham of Real Madrid and England said of the ball:
“The new Roteiro™ reacts well to my foot. It seems to be dipping a lot, which is obviously good for me and other free-kick takers. It has a whole new look and feel. When you’re kicking it, it even sounds better. No one has ever seen anything like this before. I think it is great to kick and it’s going to be a great ball to play with.”
Commenting on the launch of the new ball, UEFA CEO Gerhard Aigner, said:
“EURO 2004 is the most prestigious event in the European footballing calendar and hugely important for UEFA. The fundamental part of the game – the ball – must match that prestige in both design and performance. Roteiro™ has undergone rigorous testing in laboratories and it has out-performed all previous balls produced.”
Dr. Gilberto Madaíl, Portuguese Football Federation President and Chairman of the Board of Euro 2004, S.A said: “adidas has delivered a stunning, modern and state-of the-art Portuguese football. This is very much how we envisage the UEFA EURO 2004 event to be. We want to show the world a warm, passionate, authentic yet modern Portugal. Portugal is ready to be discovered!”
adidas is also a UEFA EURO 2004™ National Supporter and Licensee.
Above picture with ball in original box provided by Jacques Barralon
New Euro 2004 Ball Under Fire From Players
LISBON (AFP) — As the kickoff date for the Euro 2004 finals approaches, the new seamless ball which will be used during the three-week tournament is being panned by a growing number of players.
“The ball is strange. We have all discussed it and we all feel the same way,” Greek midfielder Vassilis Tsartas told reporters at the team’s training camp.
He complained it was impossible to hit a target with a long pass.
Czech Republic coach Karel Bruckner echoed his concerns.
“This ball could be good just for the players of Real Madrid who play with short passes. But our players have problems controlling it with long passes,” he says. “We will have to learn new habits and we will probably have to change our playing system.”
German sports goods maker Adidas has supplied more than 2,300 balls for matches and training sessions during the 16-nation championship which begins Saturday and ends on July 4.
The company claims the silver ball, named the “Roteiro” after the diaries of Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama, is faster because of its stitchless surface.
It is not the first time that a ball designed for a major tournament has come under fire by players.
At the 2002 World Cup held in Japan and South Korea, many players, especially keepers, blasted the Fevernova, the official Adidas ball, as being too light and swerving too much.
Players also faulted the balls designed and provided by Adidas for the World Cup in 1998 and 1994.
Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon however insists the Roteiro ball is “worse” than the one used during the 2002 World Cup.
“The effects are very strange and it reacts in unexpected ways. It even has a strange color,” he said.
The Italian squad is among one of the sharpest critics of the ball.
Italian midfielder Andrea Pirlo said it reminded him of plastic balls used by children. Star striker Francesco Totti added: “It is very hard and despite what some people say, it does not benefit attackers.”
But the ball counts as fans some of the world’s best players, including England’s David Beckham and France’s Zinedine Zidane.
“The most important thing for me is to know that I can rely on the ball to go exactly where I want it to go,” said Beckham after the ball was launched earlier this year.
“I think it is great to kick and it’s going to be a great ball to play with. Keepers are going to have a very tough time,” the Real Madrid star, who has a sponsorship deal with Adidas, added.
Portugal winger Cristiano Ronaldo, who plays for Manchester United, said he is unfazed by the new ball.
“It is faster than other balls and curves more, but I believe it is a matter of getting used to it. For me any ball will do,” he said.
Technical Information of the Roteiro™:
Thermal bonded panel edges. Special adhesive for durability and water resistance. That means no stitching.
Panel design – Syntactic PU surface material for maximum abrasion resistance.
Innovative carcass technology – for best performance and most consistent quality properties.
High-grade natural latex bladder – for best rebound characteristics.
One of the most famous French footballers of all time, Zinédine Zidane has taken to his personal Instagram page https://instagram.com/zidane/ to reveal Beau Jeu, the Official Match Ball of the UEFA EURO 2016TM group stages. Beau Jeu, translated in English as “the beautiful game”, is closely linked to next year’s host country, France. The layering of color incorporates the blue, white and red of the French Tricolour, and integrates silver highlights in reference to the much sought after UEFA EURO trophy. The letters E – U – R – O and the figures 2 – 0 – 1 – 6 are also clearly visible through the blocking design of the ball.
The ultimate ambassador of “the beautiful game”, Zinédine Zidane took center stage with Beau Jeu inside the world’s first digital football stadium entitled FUTURE ARENA in Saint Denis, Paris. FUTURE ARENA is a five a side football pitch with an incredible 360° projected digital football stadium surrounding the players who dare to take the field and experience what it feels like to play in front of 50,000 screaming fans. The digital fans will respond in real time to every movement on the field of play: the goals; the skills and the heartbreak of playing in a real UEFA EURO fixture. FUTURE ARENA will be open Thursday 12th – Sunday 15th November and will give youngsters from across Europe the chance to play with the new UEFA EURO 2016TM group stage ball.
In development for over 18 months, Adidas has taken the best elements of the much-loved, and most-tested, Brazuca FIFA World Cup Official Match Ball, and added a French touch of class in time for the EUROS. Beau Jeu still incorporates Brazuca’s innovative and widely praised panel shape, but improvements made to the surface structure and blocking, offer improved grip and enhanced in-flight visibility respectively. Beau Jeu will be officially handed over to all competing federations by the end of November 2015 in order to give all players a six month window to train and play with the ball ahead of the tournament kick off in June 2016. Numerous high profile players throughout Europe tested the ball and delivered feedback during the 18 month development period including Wales forward Gareth Bale who said: “I already tested Beau Jeu in training with long shots, passes and running at pace. It performed brilliantly. I can’t wait for the tournament to start. “Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas also said: “We already got to use Beau Jeu in some intense training sessions. As a goalkeeper, it’s important to have the chance to take goal-kicks, practice shot-stopping, punch, catch, and throw any new ball. Beau Jeu is going to be great at EURO 2016.”Beau Jeu will be available to purchase starting Friday 13th November at Adidas own-retail outlets and specialist retailers worldwide.