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Lionel Messi and legendary FIFA World Cup winners present Telstar 18

Alessandro Del Piero, Lukas Podolski, Zinedine Zidane, Kaka and Xabi Alonso presenting the Telstar 18 match ball. (Photo courtesy: adidas)

adidas has just revealed Telstar 18, the Official Match Ball for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia. The ball was showcased for the first time by Leo Messi and a host of adidas World Cup winners including Zinedine Zidane, Kaka, Alessandro Del Piero, Xabi Alonso, and Lukas Podolski.

Telstar 18 was launched through a digital 3D projection mapping display before being revealed by the five World Cup winners and Messi. The ball was then used in a small-sided game as members of Tango Squad were joined on pitch by Alessandro Del Piero, Xabi Alonso, Kaka and Lukas Podolski.

For the first time ever, fans from all over the world could tune into the reveal via a livestream on the adidas Football YouTube channel.

The new Telstar 18 is a reimagining of the first adidas FIFA World Cup Official Match Ball, the Telstar, which was used at the 1970 tournament in Mexico. It features a brand new carcass and panel design engineered to provide performance and durability both in the stadium and on the street.

The ball also includes an embedded NFC chip – the first time it’s ever been used in an Official Match Ball – designed for increased consumer interaction.