FIFA has announced that a new match ball will be used for the knockout stage of the 2018 World Cup.
The Telstar Mechta will replace the Telstar 18, the Adidas ball which has been used throughout the group stage in Russia.
Mechta translates as “dream” in Russian and the ball comes with a new vivid red design, said to be inspired by the colours of the host nation as well as “the rising heat of knockout stage football”.
“The Telstar 18 was a huge step forward technically when it came to official match balls,” Dean Lokes, VP Product from Adidas, said on www.fifa.com.
“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 knockout stage.”
The Telstar Mechta’s brand-new panel design features a metallic print execution and texture graphic effect and, like the Telstar 18, has an embedded near-field communication (NFC) chip.
The chip enables consumers to interact with the ball using a smartphone.
Each ball generates a unique identifier upon interaction and unlocks exclusive content and information for the user.
Jean-Francois Pathy, FIFA’s director of marketing services, said: “This year, Adidas delivers yet another beautifully designed ball, the Telstar Mechta, putting innovation and performance at the core of the game.”