Argentina superstar Lionel Messi unveiled the 2018 FIFA World Cup match ball—Telstar 18— at a glitzy event in Russia, with several former stars like Zinedine Zidane and Xabi Alonso present. FIFA revealed the ball takes inspiration from the 1970 FIFA World Cup which was hosted by Mexico.

South American giants Brazil, powered by the irresistible Pele, would win the tournament, beating Italy 4-1 in the final.

 

“A reinvention of a classic model with a brand-new panel design and the latest technology: in an exciting re-imagining, adidas today revealed the official match ball for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, which pays homage to the first-ever adidas World Cup ball,” read a statement on the FIFA website.

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“The Telstar 18 evokes unforgettable memories of the 1970 FIFA World Cup™ – and of legends like Pelé, Gerd Müller, Giacinto Facchetti, Pedro Rocha and Bobby Moore – and will feed the dreams of those who will play for football’s most coveted prize in Russia next year,” the statement further added.

Lionel Messi, who’s heroic treble ensured Argentina beat Ecuador to book their berth for Russia, gushed, “I was lucky enough to get to know this ball a bit earlier and I managed to have a try with it. I like all of it: the new design, the colours, everything”.

“The original Telstar is one of the most iconic footballs of all time and one which changed football design forever, so developing the Telstar 18 while staying true to the original model was a really exciting challenge for us. The new panel structure and inclusion of an NFC chip has taken football innovation and design to a new level and offers both consumers and players a completely new experience,” Roland Rommler, Category Director of Football Hardware at Adidas, Said.