In the book Evolution of football photographer Jens Haylmann collects photograph of the balls used at the FIFA World Cup since 1930. The gallery below, taken from the author's website, shows how the ball evolved from what looked like a disgusting lump of leather in 1930 to a shining Adidas designed JABULANI ball used in South Africa in 2010.
Adidas started to make soccer balls in 1963 but made the first official FIFA World Cup ball in 1970. The first ball used in the World Cup to use the Buckminster type of design - ball with 32 black and white panels. The TELSTAR was more visible on black and white televisions (1970 FIFA World Cup Mexico was the first to be broadcast live on television).
Adidas introduced a new ball in 1982 which had rubber inlaid over the seams to prevent water from seeping through. The first ball with water-resistant qualities. General wear from kicking however meant the rubber began to wear after a short time and needed to be replaced during the game. The last genuine leather world cup ball.
The FIFA World Cup Mexico in 1986, saw the introduction of the first polyurethane coated ball which was rain-resistant. The first synthetic match ball, with good qualities on hard and wet surfaces.
The ETRVSCO was the first ball with an internal layer of black polyurethane foam.
FIFA World Cup USA, 1994, official ball which was enveloped in a layer of polystyrene foam. This not only made it more waterproof but allowed the ball greater acceleration when kicked. The new game ball felt softer to the touch. Improved ball control and higher velocity during play.
By 1998, FIFA World Cup France was played with a ball which sported the French red-white-blue tri-color. A complete departure from the old traditional black and white pattern. The first official World Cup colored soccer ball. The TRICOLORE used underglass print technology with a thin layer of syntactic foam.
For FIFA World Cup Korea Japan, 2002, Adidas created a new ball made up of thicker inner layers to increase the accuracy of the ball in flight.
Source: Soccer Ball World
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