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The World Cup football through the ages, from the T Model to Telstar 18

Adidas has designed a new ball for the 2018 World Cup – and it’s a looker. However, a few players out in Russia might not be the biggest fans, not least Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo. 

That’s because the boffins at Adidas designed the Telstar 18 to be resilient to excessive amounts of dip and swerve, which should make it harder for specialists like Ronaldo to reproduce the famous ‘knuckle-ball’ free-kicks he’s popularised over the years.

For the first time in a while, Adidas steered clear of marketing its latest World Cup ball as the “roundest ball ever”, instead claiming that it’s the most perfect equipment ever used in the game – the result of three year’s worth of hard graft.

Related: Best World Cup TVs

If the name Telstar sounds familiar, it’s because Adidas has released a World Cup ball under that moniker before. Used during the 1970 World Cup, it was the first to feature black and white panels, designed to stand out on black-and-white TVs.

Related: Amazon Prime Day 2018

The Telstar 18 pays homage to the original Telstar, though there are a number of obvious cosmetic differences, the most notable of which is the introduction of six propellor-shaped panels to (apparently) result in a rounder surface finish.

Related: How to watch the World Cup in 4K HDR

Telstar is also the name of the world’s first communication satellite. That could be Adidas’ inspiration for baking an NFC chip into the consumer version of the ball, which is now available in brick-and-mortar stores.

Buy Now: Adidas Telstar 18 Match Ball for £129.95 at Adidas 

The World Cup ball has changed a lot over the years, starting off life as a rather cumbersome lump of leather, based on a truncated icosahedron. Modern balls, however, are much, much lighter and rounder, thanks to the introduction of new materials and shapes.

Argos Deal: Get these Samsung 4K Ultra HD TVs for the World Cup from only £349.00

Here’s a look at all of the balls used in the World Cup since its inception in 1930.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter, left, holds the T Model | Image: Getty Images

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It’s unclear if Adidas plans to produce a special edition model of the Telstar 18 for the World Cup Final.

Do you like the look of the Adidas Telstar 18? Let us know over on Facebook or Twitter @TrustedReviews.

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