The 13 official World Cup footballs as Lionel Messi unveils the Adidas Telstar18 for the 2018 FIFA World Cup

Alex Rea 10/11/2017

For the most iconic stage, an iconic ball - Adidas unveiled the Telstar18 as the official match ball for next year's World Cup in Russia and it's one with a nod to the past, present and future.

The World Cup ball has been revolutionised by the German sports giant ever since their first at the 1970 tournament in Mexico.

Recent iterations like the Brazuca for Brazil 2014 and the infamous Jabulani for South Africa 2010 have used the host countries as a foundation for the design.

However, Adidas have opted to bring back a classic, unleashing the Telstar onto a 21st century audience.

The original, a 32-panel ball with 12 black panels on a predominantly white design was created to be more visible on black and white televisions.

The Telstar Durlast was a similarly designed version used in Germany four years later and it rightly lives within football folklore.

Among the many new features for Telstar18, the one which stands is out the embedded NFC chip.

[video width="1920" height="1088" m4v="http://sport360.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Untitled-1.m4v"][/video]

It will be the first time the chip is ever used in an official match ball and enables consumers to interact with the ball using a smartphone.

Having gone through extensive testing with teams like Argentina, Colombia, Manchester United, Ajax, Real Madrid and Juventus you can be sure it's one of the best yet.

And Barcelona and Argentina star Lionel Messi gave the Telstar18 his seal of approval at a launch event in Moscow on Thursday.

"I was lucky enough to get to know this ball a bit earlier and I managed to have a try with it," Messi said. "I like all of it: the new design, the colours, everything."

Check out the gallery above to see all 13 of iterations of Adidas's official World Cup match ball.

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Argentina talisman Lionel Messi hoping to avoid Spain in World Cup draw

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Messi has had his say on the 2018 World Cup group stages.

Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi says the worst possible draw for his Argentina side at next year’s World Cup would be Spain in the first round.

“The worst that could happen to us would be to draw Spain at the group stages,” Messi told TyC Sports Wednesday from Moscow where Argentina play Russia in a friendly on Saturday.

“I would prefer to avoid them, they’d be tough opponents.”

In the interview with the Argentinian television station, Messi named Brazil, Germany and France alongside Spain as favourites to take the World Cup crown in Russia.

“I think that at the moment, they’re the strongest teams who give the best impressions, those who are playing best, with the best individuals.”

Messi also broached Argentina’s last-gasp qualification for the World Cup finals, which the Barcelona star sealed with a hat-trick in a rare 3-1 away victory over Ecuador.

“I always believed we’d get there, but I thought we would have tied up qualification before the Ecuador game,” said Messi, reiterating that he would like to end his career in his Argentinian birthplace of Rosario.

“I would love to play for Newell’s Old Boys, in the stadium where I’ve seen so many matches,” he said.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen in the coming years, how I’m going to feel. I live from day to day, I’m not focused on the future.”

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Rating the new adidas home kits for 2018 World Cup as Russia score 4 and Mexico get 9

adidas have revealed the home kits which will be worn for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

While some of the designs certainly caught the eye, others are less than appealing.

 

The new home kit for World Cup holders Germany is a modern interpretation of one of the country’s most famous jerseys worldwide, the iconic 1990 shirt. Argentina's home kit celebrates the AFA’s 125 year anniversary, subtly incorporating laurels into the iconic blue and white stripes but lacks innovation. Mexico's jersey however is the perfect transition from the stadium to the street, for the fans of ‘El Tri’. Checkout our ratings of each kit in the gallery above. Get involved by sending us your thoughts in the comments section below or reach out on Facebook or Twitter. The jerseys are now available to purchase at www.adidas.com/football.

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