adidas Telstar Durlast 1974 Germany (historical match ball set)
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adidas historical

match ball set


FIFA World Cup

1974 Germany


adidas Telstar


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For the first time in the World Cup’s history, the tournament was hosted by the homeland of Adidas. Germany (at the time West Germany) had already hosted the Olympic Games in 1972 which was a great success, with typical German efficiency and great organisation. The same levels were expected for the football Word Cup and there is no doubt that Adidas contributed to it, not only  by supplying the match balls but by also offering high quality equipment for both the players and the teams including the two finalists, the Netherlands and West Germany.


Due to the success of the adidas Telstar balls used in the Mexican World Cup, adidas did not come up with a completely new match ball for the 1974 World Cup, they rather redesigned the old Telstar by applying some minor changes. The name of the ball remained „Telstar” and they added the well known „Durlast” title underneath it. Compared to the Mexico balls, this new Telstar had a thicker Durlast layer on its surface to make it even more water resistant and look more shiny. This layer also prevented the printed logos and texts from wearing out, since the golden coating of the Mexico balls did not last too long. The ball was made of 32 high quality, hand sewn leather panels, having exactly the same panel structure as its predecessor. The sphericity of the ball was as perfect as possible and they used the latest generation latex rubber valve. As usual the balls for the World Cup were made in France which was indicated underneath the adidas logo. (Please note that some of the replica 1974 adidas Telstar balls have the same „made in France” text under the adidas logo – to look identical to the old model, however but they were all made in Pakistan.)

Since adidas became one of the most important sponsors of the World Cup, FIFA no longer forbid the use of branded balls during the matches, so from the 1974 World Cup onwards the same balls were used both on the training fields as well as during the matches. This permission was one of the main reasons why the new Telstar balls became extremely successful: customers could buy exactly the same balls in retail that they could see on TV. The Telstar was a heavily advertised ball - the number of its media appearances in brochures, newspapers and magazines were endless.


Due to the time difference between Mexico and Europe, all the matches of the 1970 World Cup were held during the daytime. In Germany however, many of the games were played in the evening under floodlights and some were played in rain. In order to see the balls better at night or in case of rain, a completely white and a completely orange ball, called adidas Chile Durlast and adidas Apollo Durlast were also available. These balls were identical to the original Telstar model, only the 12 black pentagons were repalced to white (in case of the Chile ball) or the entire ball was painted orange (Apollo Durlast).


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