Adidas balls since 1960
Since the first edition of the European Cup in 1960, Adidas balls have followed one another, all more efficient and innovative from year to year. A few months after the presentation of the Euro 2016 ball, we took a look back at the various balls models that have served the championship since its creation.
“For almost 70 years, Adidas has been renewing the balls of all major league games.”
The years go by, and the balls follow one another. Since the 1960s and the creation of the major football championships, every sporting event has become an opportunity to break records in terms of football performance.
Thanks to its unrivaled experience, Adidas has become the leader of the market, and at the same time the official supplier of all major UEFA and FIFA cup matches. The balls of the German brand are essential in the history of football and in popular culture, from the Telstar Elast model in 1968, the Tango 12 in 2012.
Ubiquitous, Adidas balls have served as models for top OEMs, and thousands of replicas have been sold around the world. If the old models have become untouchable, the new designs are on the way to becoming so popular, fueling the cult of the soccer ball every 3 or 4 years.
While we introduced you to Beau Jeu, the official ball for Euro 2016, a few months ago, today we offer a look back at the 15 balls that have made the history of the championship since its inception. ”
In 1960, France organised and hosted matches for the very first edition of the European Cup, and it was already Adidas that provided the official balls for the championship. Entirely designed in leather, the balls of the time are made according to ancient and traditional methods; they have no name or inscription.
The ball is identical since the first edition of the championship, except that it is white, to be easily spotted on the ground. It does not have a name and is not screen printed either.
Telstar Elast: Italy 1968
The Telstar Elast revolutionises the history of ball production. Designed for the World Cup, it is first in several areas and launches the line of Telstar. By wearing a name and the logo of a brand, he triggers the marketing strategy of Adidas. Wrapped in a layer of plastic called Elast, it’s also the first nearly waterproof ball, which doesn’t get heavy when the game is in the rain.
Telstar Mexico Durlast: Belgica 1972
Created for the World Cup in Mexico in 1970, this ball was used in official European Cup matches two years later. Its 32 panels have a new polyurethane coating, which is stronger than Elast. This new envelope, called Durlast, protects the leather of the ball making it, even more, water-resistant and adapts to all terrains (mud, snow …).
Telstar Durlast: Yugoslavia 1976
In the new version of the Adidas Telstar, the Durlast coating is improved while the design of the ball remains the same: a truncated icosahedron mounted on 32 black and white panels. This ball is the most widely used model of Adidas, an icon in the social representation of the soccer ball, thousands of replicas have been sold all over the world.
Tango River Plate: Italy 1980
The Tango is as iconic as the Telstar. The first of its line, its particular design stayed the same until 2000. Technically, it incorporates the characteristics of Durlast, optimised, for improved sealing and solid scratch resistance.
Tango Mundial: France 1984
It is the first Adidas ball that is not made of leather. Its panels are made of multiple layers of polyurethane pressed together, to improve the cushioning of the ball. It is also the first time that a ball has been designed specifically for the Euro, bearing the event’s markings on its panels.
Tango Europe: Federal Germany 1988
Still, in polyurethane, the ball changes little except that the outer polyurethane layer is reworked to obtain a ball that is as airtight as possible
Etrusco Unico: Sweden 1992
Although it was designed from the famous Tango, this ball departs from previous models thanks to its particular graphics, which for the first time directly refer to the country hosting the championship matches: Sweden. Its name “etrusco unico” and the printed lion heads are inspired by Etruscan history inherent in the country
Questra Europe: England 1996
Adidas adds an additional layer of foam to its new ball to improve ball performance (cushioning, air penetration, weight …). The red roses and the three printed lions are a credit to the English federation, which is hosting the Euro matches that year.
Terrestra Silverstream: Belgium and Netherland 2000
Always in the search for a better performing product, Adidas is revising the internal layers of the ball and assembling the panels to a new foam, which must further improve the cushioning of the ball. The design of the ball, meanwhile, is still inspired by the Tango model while moving away from it. The ball refers to the rivers and seas of the Netherlands and Belgium, host of the 2000 edition of the Euro.
Roteiro: Portugal 2004
The Roteiro completely changes the aesthetic codes of balls created so far. Inspired by the famous Portuguese explorer Vasco de Gama, this metallic model imprisoned in its black lines affirms its modernity and its futuristic trend. In 2004, the Roteiro was the first official ball not to be sewn by hand. Heat-sealed, it is more resistant as well as its touch is improved.
EUROPASS: Austria and Sweden 2008
For Euro 2008, Adidas looked for a completely new panel system as well as a grain to ensure better ball grip for both player and goalkeeper. Mounted on 12 panels, the Europass reinterprets the tango and takes on the colours of the two countries hosting the championship matches.
Tango 12: Poland and Ukraine 2012
The Tango 12 and its new panel system required two years of research and development from Adidas. Tested and validated by professional players in eight different countries, this eleventh official Euro ball is a modern take on the classic Tango design, its lines echoing the colours of Poland and Ukraine.
Good game: France 2016
Released just a few months ago, this ball is modelled on the official 2014 World Cup ball. Its six white panels show the letters EURO and the numbers 220.127.116.11, printed in blue, white and red colours. France, which will host the championship in its stadiums this summer.
For almost 70 years, Adidas has been renewing the balls of all major league matches, pushing their technical performance to the maximum. If the Euro 2016 ball was revealed a short time ago, it would still be a few months before seeing it in action on the ground.