Lionel Messi has a ball

Nov 10, 2017, 18:00 IST | Agencies

Argentine ace launches Telstar 18 -- World Cup ball; gives it thumbs up saying he likes the design and feel

Argentine ace launches Telstar 18 -- World Cup ball; gives it thumbs up saying he likes the design and feel

Argentine football legend Lionel Messi launched the official 2018 FIFA World Cup ball -- Telstar 18 -- at a function here last night.

The ball's manufacturers, Adidas, have revealed little about the ball but stressed on the fact that Telstar 18 is a modern interpretation of the original Telstar design used in 1970 and 1974 World Cups -- when the likes of Brazil's Pele's Brazil and West Germany's Franz Beckenbauer ruled the roost.

Argentine striker Lionel Messi poses with the official match ball for the 2018 World Cup — Telstar 18, at its unveiling in Moscow last night. Pic/ AFP
Argentine striker Lionel Messi poses with the official match ball for the 2018 World Cup — Telstar 18, at its unveiling in Moscow last night. Pic/ AFP

The name Telstar is derived from 'star of television' -- the first black-and-white ball was launched with a view to extracting maximum visibility on the then more common black and white television sets.

Balls launched more recently, like the Jabulani for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa and the Brazuca for 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, have had their fair share of criticism, but the good thing about Telstar 18 is that Messi likes it.

"I was lucky enough to get to know this ball a bit earlier and I managed to have a try with it. I like all of it," said Messi 30, who led his team to the final of the 2014 edition of the World Cup only to lose to Germany 0-1, thanks to a Mario Gotze strike at
the Maracana.

The current edition which will be played from June 14 to July 15 will be Messi's last World Cup show. "I like the design, I like the colours, and I would like to try it out on the pitch some more," added the mercurial striker.

All about the ball

Telstar 18 is made up of a unique panel structure and boasts of a new and innovative NFC microchip technology that allows the speed and trajectory of the ball to be tracked and analysed thereby providing a unique experience to players/users

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