EURO match balls: A full history

Take a walk down memory lane as UEFA.com looks back at the history of the UEFA European Championship match ball.

There is no record of a bespoke design or name for the official match ball used in 1960 or 1964.

The adidas Telstar was named after the Telstar communications satellite, which was roughly spherical and dotted with solar panels – somewhat similar in appearance to the football.

The tournament ball in Belgium was a new incarnation of its predecessor four years earlier; the Telstar Durlast featured a new coating and upgraded technology which increased its resistance to water.

Jose Martinez Pirri, Uli HoenessJose Martinez Pirri, Uli Hoeness

West Germany and Spain competing during EURO 1976 / Getty Images/Getty Images

Further lamination of this ball made it even more resistant to water intake.

The first of the new Tango designs used for a EURO. It had also been deployed at the 1978 FIFA World Cup and referenced the culture of the hosting nation, Argentina.

The first non-leather ball, featuring a new material and an enhanced layering system to augment its cushioning. This was the first official match ball to incorporate a bespoke EURO design for the tournament.

An enhanced coating and seam sealing was added to protect the ball against water penetration.

Jan Wouters, Flemming PovlsenJan Wouters, Flemming Povlsen

Etrusco Unico was also used at the 1990 World Cup and the 1992 Summer Olympics / Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Also utilised at the 1990 World Cup in Italy and the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, this ball took its name and intricate design from Italy’s ancient history and the art of the Etruscans. Three Etruscan lion heads adorn each of the 20 Tango triads.

The first official EURO match ball featuring colour, this was a variant of the Questra used at the 1994 World Cup in the United States. The EURO ’96 design came with lions and red roses, symbolic of hosts England.

The title and design of this ball related to the waterways of host countries Belgium and the Netherlands. It marked a technological breakthrough for adidas, a new outer layer making the ball softer to the touch, easier to control and more accurate.

Zinedine ZidaneZinedine Zidane

Zinedine Zidane with the Roteiro at EURO 2004 / Claudio Villa/Getty Images

The Portuguese word Roteiro translates as ‘road map’ or ‘navigation chart’ and referred to the discoveries made by Portuguese explorers – notably Vasco da Gama – in the 15th and 16th centuries. For the first time in a major tournament, every individual match ball was inscribed to display the names of the teams, the date, the stadium and the coordinates of the centre circle.

Made up of 14 panels rather than the usual 32, the Europass boasted a special texture on its surface which was designed to provide goalkeepers and outfield players with even more grip. A silver Europass Gloria ball was deployed for the final.

Signalling the return of the Tango series of the 1980s, the UEFA EURO 2012 match-ball design included a coloured outline inspired by the flags of co-hosts Poland and Ukraine. Etched into the Tango design were three bespoke graphics celebrating the decorative art of paper cutting, a tradition in rural areas of both host countries.

Used for the EURO 2016 group stage, the Beau Jeu – which translates as ‘beautiful game’ – was blue, white and red in honour of hosts France’s Tricolour flag. It also integrated silver highlights in reference to the UEFA European Championship trophy. A design variant of the Beau Jeu, the Fracas came into play for the knockout stages.

Revealed in November 2019, the Uniforia is named after both the unity and the euphoria that top-level national-team competition can bring. EURO 2020 will take place across 11 European countries and the Uniforia is designed to celebrate this inclusiveness.

Its design shows bold, black brush-stroke style lines running across the ball, symbolising the blurring of boundaries and crossing of borders as reflective of the competition’s new transcontinental format. These broad strokes are interspersed with flashes of bright light colours, representing the tournament’s diversity and the coming together of different cultures.

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