Argentina and Barcelona striker Lionel Messi and Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane made a trip to Moscow to take part in the official launch of World Cup 2018 Telstar ball by Adidas.
Zidane appeared on stage along with Alessandro Del Piero, Xabi Alonso, Lukas Podolski and Kaka with the ball which is a re-make of a classic 1970 FIFA World Cup Telstar model.
According to Adidas, the ball’s name originally comes from ‘star of television’. The 1970’s version became the first ball to be decorated with black panels to make it better visible on black-and-white screens.
Telstar 18 has an embedded NFC (near-field communication) chip, which enables interaction with it using a smartphone. According to Adidas the technology – which is widely used for contactless payments in smartphones and tablets – will be imbedded in a ball during the World Cup for the first time in football history.
Manchester United and Real Madrid were reported to be involved in the testing of Telstar 18 ahead of the World Cup which will be hosted by 11 Russian cities in June-July 2018.