All you need to know about every European Championship match ball (part 1)

The European Championships produces some of the most iconic images and greatest football players of all time. But not only that, the Euros also debuted some of the most iconic match ball in history today. Naming and glorifying Euro match ball was not introduced during its first two editions. Here are the things you need to know about every European Championship match ball in history:

Telstar Elast (EURO 1968)

Telstar Elast was used in Euro 1968 for the first time, containing 12 pentagonal and 20 hexagonal faces, while the length of the edges is 1/3rd of the original edge. It was named after the Telstar communications satellite, which was roughly spherical and dotted with solar panels, somewhat similar in appearance to the football. Luigi Riva and Pietro Anastasi scored in a 2-0 win for Italy during this year.

Telstar Durlast (EURO 1972, 1976)

Material and equipment manufacturing were identical to those used to create FIFA World Cup’s Telstar 1970. It featured a new coating and upgraded technology which increased its resistance to water. It was the ball won by West Germany in Euro 1972. Meanwhile, further lamination of this ball was made four years later to make it even more resistant to water intake. The Czechs brought the modified ball home.

Tango River Plate (EURO 1980)

Following the success of the Telstar design, Adidas revolutionized the industry of manufacturing soccer match ball by introducing Tango River Plate to the eight-nation team tournament in 1980, where West Germany won. From Telstar design’s 32-panels, the Adidas Tango was made with 20-panels. It was also used at the 1978 FIFA World Cup, referencing hosts Argentina’s culture.

Tango Mundial (EURO 1984)

Hosted and won by France, this edition of the Euro featured the first non-leather ball and an enhanced layering system to augment its cushioning. This was the first official match ball to use a different material and the first to integrate a tailored EURO design for the tournament. This home soil win is one of France’s glorious moments in the European football. 

Tango Europa (EURO 1988)

Marco van Basten hit an astonishing top-spin volley during this tournament. It became one of the best goals scored in a Euros final that secured the Netherlands’ first ever major title. The iconic ball he hit was called the Tango Europa, an enhanced version of its first two predecessors. It features an improved coating and seam sealing was added to protect the ball against water penetration.

Etrusco Unico (EURO 1992)

The match ball for this tournament was introduced 2 years earlier at the 1990 World Cup in Italy and was also used during the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona. The name and design of the ball were invented in honor of the history of ancient Italy and fine art of the Etruscans. Three Etruscan lion heads adorn each of the 20 Tango triads. In a shocking final, Denmark won the title against Germany.