Telstar Mechta 2018 is the match ball for the knockout stage of the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018. Technically, the match ball is the same as Telstar 2018, the one designed by Adidas specifically for the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 and used in the group stage, only in red and black color, in homage to the Russian flag. According to Adidas, the colour of the ball for the knockout stage of the FIFA World Cup 2018 highlights the higher intensity of the game in knockout matches.
The Telstar ball (the name comes from “star television”), was the first with the black pentagons on a white background, made by sewing together 32 leather panels (12 pentagons and 20 hexagons), to get a more precise spherical shape. The name Telstar comes from the first two telecommunications satellites launched into orbit (early Sixties), which inspired the design of the shape, and the idea of the black pentagons was due to the TV screen – the black and white design made the ball more visible on the TV screen, as in 1970, in most of the world, the TV was still black and white.
Telstar 18 consists of 6 panels of Impranil®, a 65% recyclable, waterborne polyurethane (without co-solvents), glued with Dispercoll®, a waterborne environment friendly adhesive; the innermost layer of the ball skin is an adhesion coating that connects the textile substrate to the layers above. On top of this is a polyurethane foam layer, roughly one millimeter thick. Two compact layers of polyurethane provide the ball with very high elasticity, resistance to abrasion, and return to its original shape immediately after the kick (tests ensure that the ball would retain its shape even if fired at a steel wall 2,000 times at 50 km per hour). The technology and the materials used were studied to make the flight paths of the ball more predictable, even if the subtle deformity created when it is kicked is of course an unpredictable factor.
The Telstar 18, Telstar Mechta 18 and the macth ball for the Final – yet to be revealed – fetaures a NFC chip, to connect to the smartphone to gather infos about the matches.