Adidas Telstar Elast 1968
Being the official match ball of the 1968 European Championship, a mere glance at this football should bring back in all of us our childhood memories. In addition to the 1968 European Championship, this ball was used in the 1970 FIFA World Cup which was held in Mexico. Therefore, as far as the history is concerned, this football received a lot of accolades during its shelf life.
The naming of this football has a very interesting story hidden behind it. Telstar was actually the name of the Satellite that was sent to Space in 1962. That was a very big step for the civilized world as this satellite enabled them to develop the first ever transatlantic feed.
In fact, if you Google the name of Telstar satellite, you’ll come to know that there is a remarkable similarity between the exterior of the satellite and the football.
Containing 12 pentagonal and 20 hexagonal faces, the length of the edges of Telstar Elast is 1/3rd of the original edge. In fact, Adidas weren’t the first to use this design as it was Select Sport who introduced this pattern in a regular game in 1962.
According to the norm those days, leather was used in the construction of this football. However, much to the dismay of the modern generation of football fans, this football wasn’t waterproof. In fact, the first time Telstar footballs were made waterproof was in 1974’s Durlast Model.
As stated earlier, this football was used in 1968 for the first time. The venue was the European Championship, however, it wasn’t anywhere closer a big deal as the upcoming EURO 2016. The tournament took place in Italy with only 4 (yes 4) teams taking part in it.
With Italy being the host team, the other three teams were England, Yugoslavia, and the Soviet Union. As a result of the “shortage” of top teams, this tournament concluded in just 5 days.
In addition to its strange playing structure, this tournament holds significance due to the happenings that took in the buildup to it. This tournament was the first-ever which was called the European Championship. Beforehand, the tournament was named as the Europeans Nations Cup.
Another thing that added to the uniqueness of this tournament were the changes in the qualifying structure. In the preceding 2 European Championships before 1968, the top European teams collided in a home and away knockout structure. However, starting with this tournament, an additional phase – the group stages was introduced.
As far as the winner goes it was Italy who was able to take full advantage of the home factor. Despite the fact that the English team consisted of players like Sir Bobby Charlton and West Ham Legend Bobby Moore, the English finished 3rd in the tournament.