Adidas Tango River Plate: Euro 1980
After continuing with the Telstar design in the former three European Championships, Adidas revolutionized the industry of Soccer ball with the introduction of Adidas Tango River plate ball to the game.
Contrary to the Telstar design which used 32-panels in its construction, the Adidas Tango was constituted with 20-panels. This ball was used for the first time in 1978 FIFA World Cup and has been a classic ever since.
While every football could be associated with some memories, the Adidas Tango ball was at the epicenter when Maradona stunned the world with his brilliance in 1986.
Another thing which adds to the peculiarity of the Tango River plate ball was its raw material. This was the last football genuinely made of leather, which was used in a European Championship.
Similar to its predecessor, the Telstar, there were many types of the Tango ball that were in play over the years. Of all of them, none got the popularity that Adidas Tango earned. With its 20-panels giving an impression circles, this ball boosted a classic design.
UEFA European Championships 1980
Being the home of Tango River plate for 11 days, the 1980 European Championships were played in Italy. This tournament wasn’t one to remember for the neutral as it averaged just 1.93 goals per game. As a result, attendance was low and the TV viewers weren’t also truly interested in this tournament.
Moreover, thanks to the hooliganism which was a part and parcel of the European football in the late 70’s and the early 80’s, this tournament saw the excessive use of Police batons and tear gas outside the stadiums.
Another thing that differentiates the 1980 European Championships from its predecessors was the changed format. Contrary to the previous tournaments which saw only 4 teams competing for glory, the 1980 tournament saw 8 teams fighting for the title.
West Germany kicked off the Championships in a subtle fashion as they saw off Czechoslovakia 1-0. Afterward, in their route to the Final, the West German side scored only 3 goals in 2 matches.
Another team which took part in the Final was Belgium and like their opponents West Germany, the Belgians weren’t prolific in front of goal either. In fact, they were 1-goal worse than their opponents with just 4 goals to their name in the entire tournament.
The final took place in the Stadio Olympico in Rome in front of a filled Stadio Olimpico. The West Germans put the ball in the back of the net in the 10th minute early to gain an advantage. The Belgians fought back in the 2nd half as a 78th-minute penalty saw them leveling the game 1-1.
However, just when everyone was thinking about penalties, Hrubesch scored his 2nd goal of the night to win the title for the German side. The German finished the Championships as the top goal-scorer after scoring 4 goals in the tournament.