The official Russia 2018 World Cup matchball has been leaked online, and the design is a stunning throwback to the classic Adidas Telstar ball of the 1960s and 70s.
Footy Headlines released the images last night and it has certainly whetted the appetite for next summer’s showpiece. Fifa are expected to officially announce the news when the tournament draw takes place in Moscow on December 1.
And it is sure to inspire bouts of nostalgia for those who remember watching the likes of Johann Cruyff and Franz Beckenbauer back in their heyday. The original Telstar ball was used in the final of the 1974 tournament that saw Cruyff and his Holland team-mates defeated by Germany.
Brazilian legend Carlos Alberto memorably bagged a beauty to help the South Americans defeat Italy to lift the prize. One team who will not have chance to use the new ball will be the heroic Syria national team – who were greeted by dictator Assad earlier this week. They were narrowly defeated by Australia in a play-off match three weeks ago to be cruelly denied a spot in Russia.