FIFA unveils 2018 World Cup ball with nod to 1970

Michael J. Chandler
@FIFAWorldCup/Twitter

FIFA has put a new spin on a footballing classic.

Adidas unveiled the official match ball for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, the Telstar 18, on Thursday. Its black-panel design is a "reimagining" of the pattern used for the 1970 World Cup ball.

Related: Adidas releases 8 heritage-inspired 2018 World Cup kits

The black-and-white scheme, first used during the 1970 tournament, has become an iconic symbol of the sport. The original Telstar was branded based on its status as the "star of television," since its pattern was intended to stand out on black-and-white TVs.

(Photo courtesy: Getty Images)

The likes of Pele, Bobby Moore, and Gerd Muller kicked the archetypal ball about in Mexico in 1970, and today's stars will do the same with the updated version when the World Cup makes its maiden visit to Eastern Europe next summer.

"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 told FIFA. "I like all of it: the new design, the colours, everything."