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When you think of a soccer ball, you probably imagine a classic black-and-white paneled ball. It’s known as the Telstar ball, and it was created thanks to TV.
The 1966 World Cup in England was broadcast live across the globe and it was at this point that television became a huge part of the sport. Thanks to the BBC, it was seen by four hundred million people. But spotting the ball was a bit challenging.
Back then, soccer balls looked more like reddish-brown volleyballs. And on black-and-white TVs, it didn’t really stand out from the green field.
By the 1970 World Cup, the soccer ball had changed to that classic Telstar. The contrasting panels made it stand out on TV. Plus, the players loved it because the 32 panels brought the ball closer to an actual sphere.
This year’s World Cup ball is called the Telstar 18, a nod to the original design. While the panels have changed to just six propeller-shaped pieces to make the ball even more spherical, the black-and-white checkered design is back.
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