World Cup Balls Guide: Before the Brazuca, fans salivated over Jabulanis, Aztecas and Tangos

Below is our guide to the World Cup's previous balls.
Below is our guide to the World Cup's previous balls.

The official 2014 World Cup ball for Brazil is called Brazuca.

The word "Brazuca" has a double meaning, used as a term for Brazilians living abroad - including its many footballers - but also as slang used to describe national pride or anything "Brazilianish".

Christmas is coming though, and we just want our Brazucas. When the World Cup comes around every four years, the humble ball is on the wish list of every fanatic and kid.

In previous World Cups, the ball has had different names. Different designs. Different state-of-the-art materials.

Here below, is our guide by Derrick Ho, to the World Cup's previous balls.


We asked some players from Singapore about their thoughts on previous World Cup balls launched.

"I've played with the 2006 Teamgeist and 2010 Jabulani, and it's a nightmare for goalkeepers. I think those balls are made for strikers to score more goals.

"The ball moves sideways in mid-air, especially if it is hit with a lot of power. It can look like it's headed for the top corner, but end up somewhere in the middle.

"What I love about the balls is the grip, which is good. It fits very well in my gloves. Given a choice, I'd pick the Jabulani over the Teamgeist, although I really wouldn't want to face strikers with those balls."

- Hassan Sunny, goalkeeper, Warriors FC

"I've found the recent World Cup balls to be much lighter. It's nice for strikers to shoot - it moves faster, and seems to have a life of its own after you strike it.

"As a striker, I do like to play with the ball. It's definitely more advantageous for us, although I can't say the same for the goalkeepers."

- Indra Sahdan Daud, striker, Home United


Our own writers - who are football fanatics - have also reminisced on previous footballs below.

My Most Memorable Ball

Shea John Driscoll, digital sub-editor: "I'll always have a soft spot for the 2002 Fevernova. Generations of children kick light plastic balls around, trying to emulate their footballing heroes, so it was nice of Adidas to give the pros a light plastic ball as well.

"I held it responsible for the monumental upsets at the 2002 World Cup - Senegal beating France! South Korea beating Italy and Spain! My first World Cup then was and remains the most unpredictable I've watched, all thanks to that ball."

My Most Memorable Balls

Ernest Luis, communities and data analytics editor: "Unlike now, many school kids like me back in the 1980s couldn't afford to buy World Cup replica balls. So we relied on $1 plastic balls from the mama shop. Legendary stuff. The marketing principle behind that ball: Aim at the goal, and you will never score. But aim at the corner flag, and you will score!

"I really do like a ball with some weight for added cushioning feel. So my favourite ball is the adidas Tango. The first World Cup I followed was in 1982 and tango wasn't a dance to me then. We looked forward to school, only because there was a chance of our school captain showing off by bringing the replica ball to play with after classes."