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Germany's Golden Boy Displays New Golden Balls

DW staff (nda)
April 19, 2006

Not content with being rounder than any other soccer ball ever created, the Teamgeist Berlin -- the official ball of the World Cup final -- will also be golden.

Who else would you get but the man with the Midas touch to present the Teamgeist Berlin?Image: AP

In a surreal ceremony before the Brandenburg Gate in the German capital, the World Cup host country's own golden boy Franz Beckenbauer pulled a gilded cloak off a 2.2-metre diameter representation of the new ball in its first public appearance.

If the glittering performance of the Kaiser and the gold-painted Greek warriors which flanked him weren't enough to signal the uniqueness of this particular ball, then the fact that the golden orb will only be used in the last game of this summer's tournament, surely elevated it status beyond all expectations.

Golden ball "Made in Germany"

BdT Fußball WM Fußball vor Brandenburger Tor
The ball for the final will be made in the host countryImage: AP

In addition, the 15 golden balls which will be on duty during the last game of the championships will not be made abroad but in Germany, the home of the finals in 2006 and the creators of the ball, adidas.

"It only surprises me that no one thought of it before," Beckenbauer said. "The final is such a special occasion for the players, the coaches and the fans around the world. Creating a special ball for this match, the most important match every four years, was a great idea."

Adidas chairman Herbert Hainer told the assembled journalists that he could see a new tradition being born with the introduction of the Teamgeist Berlin concept. "We would definitely like to see this as the start of a new tradition for the final match," he said. "We'll do this again but try to come up with something special for each final."

Traditional black and white balls get special touch

Der offizielle WM-Ball Teamgeist von Adidas
There's nothing plain about the monochrome versionImage: Adidas

No plain black and white balls from Thailand for the World Cup final then. While the Teamgeist Berlin will have six of its 14 panels colored gold, the plain old Teamgeist balls used in the 63 other matches will be in traditional monochrome.

However, even these will be special. The sets of 15 balls for each match at the tournament will for the first time have the names of the teams, venue, date and kick-off time printed on them.

Each of the 32 teams at the World Cup will receive 40 black-and-white and 20 golden balls to practice with.

Adidas has provided the balls for the World Cup since 1970 and has the rights until 2014. The German sports giant hopes to sell 10 million World Cup balls to the public, at a cost of 150 euros ($185.25) each.

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