World Cup 2018: Adidas unveil match ball for the knockout stage
Adidas have unveiled the official match ball for the knockout stage of the World Cup 2018. The new ball is named 'Telstar Mechta' and it comes with a new red design. The name Mechta translates as ‘dream’ or ‘ambition’ in Russian.
The colours of match ball are inspired by the host nation as per FIFA.com. The ball is very similar to Telstar 18, the one used throughout the group stage, and the design change is looking to add intensity to the ball, something that the knockout stage brings to the tournament.
Adidas have maintained that their key focus is sustainability. They want people to be able to use the Telstar 18 and Telstar Mechta on and off the pitch and even make sure that the ones who use it to play on the pitch are able to get the same experience with the ball.
“The Telstar 18 was a huge step forward technically when it came to Official Match Balls. With the Telstar Mechta, we have taken that same innovative design and re-imagined it, creating a ball that perfectly suits the pressures and opportunities of the FIFA World Cup knock-out stage.” Dean Lokes, VP Product from Adidas, said.
“Adidas and FIFA have enjoyed a long history of successful Official Match Balls over the past FIFA World Cup tournaments. This year, Adidas delivers yet another beautifully designed ball, the Telstar Mechta, putting innovation and performance at the core of the game.” Jean-Francois Pathy, Director of Marketing Services at FIFA, commented on the launch.
The knockout stages begin on the 30th of June with France taking on Argentina in the first game. Portugal and Uruguay will be facing each other in the 2nd game on the same day.
So far, only 4 fixtures for the round of 16 have been confirmed with the other two being Spain vs Russia and Croatia vs Denmark. Both these games will be played on July 1st.
The final 4 fixtures of the Round of 16 will be confirmed by tomorrow night – when the group stages end.
What do you think of the match ball? Let us know in the comment section below!