Adidas Tango Europa: Euro1988
Starting from the 1980 European Championship, the era of Adidas Tango balls dawned on the world of football. This era remained at its heyday till the 1988 European Championships which was the last International tournament in which a Tango ball was used.
Thus, be it a European Cup, World Cup, Copa America or League football, Adidas Tango balls were the norm of the day.
Being introduced for the first time in 1980 European Championship, football fans of a certain age will know all about the aura of tango balls.
Its logo was a black trigon which was outlined on each of the 20 hexagons. To the reader, this might seem a simple design but these 20 hexagons were drawn in such a way that they gave the impression of 12 circles. As we have told earlier, the carcass and materials of construction changed for Tango balls but their logo remained the same.
With an increased water resistance, good spin through the air and much better durability than its predecessors, it is safe to assume that Tango was the finest ball of the Adidas Europa series.
UEFA Euro 1988
The 1988 European Championship was hosted by West Germany. Taking a lesson from the previous tournaments which comprised of fewer teams, UEFA decided to increase the number of teams to 8 in this tournament. As a result, this tournament saw more goals than any of its predecessors at the European level.
Another thing which made Euro 1988 unique was its ability to settle games in normal time. Despite the fact that 15 matches were played in the finals, none of them went beyond the normal 90 minutes.
The 8 teams which had qualified for the final tournament were drawn into two separate groups. Of these two groups, Group 1 consisted of West Germany, Spain, Italy, and Denmark. Having won this tournament on two previous occasions, the West German side was undoubtedly the team to beat in this group.
As expected, the West German side were able to top this group and make their way to the final stage. However, their qualification was only possible on goal difference as the 2nd place Italy team had garnered the same number of points.
Group B comprised of the Soviet Union, the Netherlands, Republic of Ireland and England. Taking part in this tournament for the first time, Republic of Ireland stunned England with a 1-0 defeat in their opening game of the competition.
After a disastrous start to their Euro 1988 campaign, the English team was never able to recover as they finished rock bottom in group B after losing all 3 of their games. On the other side of the spectrum, Soviet Union topped the group.
The Soviet Union hosted Netherlands in front of a packed Olympiastadion in Munich. This game saw an attendance of 72,000 people. Much to the delight of the fans, this game yielded an early goal when Ruud Gullit headed the ball into the back of Soviet Union net. Afterward, there was only one-way traffic as Marco Van Basten scored the 2nd goal for his team to settle the game 2-0 in favor of Netherlands.