The group stages of the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia got over on Thursday. The final 16 teams will now compete in the knockout stage and the first match is scheduled for June 30 between Uruguay and Portugal. The match will have a new ball which the manufacturer, Adidas, has named Telstar Mechta.
Adidas Telstar Mechta will replace the Telstar 18 match ball used in the group stages. While the Telstar 18 featured a black and white pattern, the Telstar Machta comes with a new vivid red design. Adidas claims the new combination is inspired by the colours of the host nation, as well as the rising heat of the knockout-stage of FIFA World Cup 2018.
Mechta in Russian means dream or ambition. Telstar Mechta has been constructed with the same design elements as the Telstar 18 while it has a brand-new skeletal that retains the best of the Brazuca, the match ball of the 2014 FIFA World Cup held in Brazil. Similar to the Telstar 18, the Telstar Mechta has six textured panels and they are not stitched, but seamlessly glued together.
One of the salient features of the Telstar 18 and Telstar Mechta is the embedded near-field communication (NFC) chip. The chip helps to interact with the ball using a smartphone to access content and information that is unique to that ball such as the number of kicks or headers.
"The Telstar 18 was a huge step forward technically when it came to official match balls," said Dean Lokes, VP Product from Adidas. "With the Telstar Mechta we have taken that same innovative design and re-imagined it, creating a ball that perfectly suits the pressures and opportunities of the FIFA World Cup knock-out stage."