Messi presents World Cup 2018 ball
Lionel Messi has presented the ball for next year's World Cup in Russia.
The Telstar 18 has a retro black-and-white design harking back to the original Adidas Telstar ball used for the 1970 World Cup.
Adidas says that in terms of structure, it's an evolution of the ball used for the last World Cup in 2014.
Chiming with Russia's history as a pioneer of space flight, the Telstar name originally came from a type of early satellite. However, those came from Western nations, and not the then Soviet Union.
The Telstar 18 evokes unforgettable memories of the 1970 FIFA World Cup and of legends like Pele, Gerd Muller, 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.
"I was lucky enough to get to know this ball a bit earlier and I managed to have a try with it," Argentina star Lionel Messi said. "I like all of it: the new design, the colours, everything."
BIRTH OF DESIGN
The name of the original Telstar came from its status as the "star of television". The first ball to be decorated with black panels, the pattern was designed to stand out on black-and-white TVs, and changed football design forever.
Almost 50 years later, Telstar 18 features a brand new carcass, high technology and sustainable elements such as recycled packaging. It also includes an embedded NFC chip, which enables consumers to interact with the ball, using a smartphone. The personalised and location-aware experience displays specific details of each ball and provides access to challenges which users can enter in the run-up to the FIFA World Cup.
"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," said Roland Rommler, category director of Football Hardware at adidas.