The German brand took over the contract from Nike in 2000. They became the new official supplier of Champions League balls. Adidas Finale is the name of the first ball. It is based on the Adidas Terrestra Silverstream, the official match ball of the Euro 2000 in the Netherlands and Belgium.
Adidas Finale is first introduced in 2000-01 Champions League semi-finals. During its early days, we only see the ball during latter stages of the Champions League. Prior to 2006, it’s not uncommon to see other balls in early stages, provided by suppliers for the domestic league of the home team.
The ball uses a traditional truncated icosahedron panel design. I know, the name is strange, so here’s a picture to better understand. Adidas Finale is softer, faster and offers more accuracy compared to any other Adidas ball created before.
Adidas Finale 2: Full black stars.
Each season, the color of the stars is changing. Adidas introduces the second Champions League ball during the 2002-03 season. They opt for classic black stars. The panel design is unchanged compared to the first Adidas Finale.
As I say it, Adidas Finale 2 is the first football replica that I got. When nostalgia kicks full mode, I will buy it back and feel all the good moments I had playing with it between the communist style apartment blocks of Bucharest.
Adidas Finale Manchester: a dark shade design.
Adidas Finale Manchester is the third ball created by Adidas. They kept the same shape, but with a slight change in the star colors: dark blue shades replace the previous black color.
I remind all the Il Calcio fans that Juventus and Milan played with this ball during the 2002-03 final. If you don’t remember, the final was decided after penalties. I recommend you the Adidas Finale Manchester if you want to play with the same ball as the legendary Del Piero, Nesta or Inzaghi had.
Adidas Finale AufSchalke. A special print for the final played at Gelsenkirchen.
Adidas uses the same dark blue starball design, but adds a special print for the 2003-04 Champions League final played at Shalke04 headquarters, Gelsenkirchen.
Now, there are 3 similar balls serving different purposes:
- Adidas Finale Manchester, for the 2002-03 final
- Finale 3, used throughout the 2003-04 competition until the final
- Adidas Finale AufSchalke, the ball of the 2003-04 Champions League final
All the balls are from the same Adidas Terrestra Silverstream/ Fevernova family with improved technology.
Adidas Finale 4. New color and technology
Adidas tried for the first time a more colorful design for the 2004-05 Champions League edition. The Adidas Finale 4 embraced a red design for the starball. Who knows, maybe Adidas read in the stars and guessed that two red teams would play the final of Istanbul.
The ball paneling is new, following the notorious Adidas Roteiro. After a suit of more conservative designs for the Euro competition, Adidas proposed a fresh concept for the final tournament organized in Portugal.
The Roteiro is the second replica ball that I got. I purchased it together with my brother. We played many games together and he enhanced his football skills: beautiful memories.
Adidas Finale Istanbul: the best Champions League final
Liverpool vs Milan is my all-time favorite Champions League final. For the first time since its partnership with UEFA, Adidas differentiates the final ball with more elements.
It may interest you:Liverpool vs AC Milan 2005 – the best final I ever seen
Light blue stars contoured by darker tones are replacing the solid red ball design, and the Istanbul venue appears under a half Champions League trophy logo. Finalists names appear on the ball, AC Milan on the left and Liverpool FC on the right.
It’s a special ball designed for a magic game. Every true fan should buy it one day. Adidas proposes the same ball for the next season, but without the special patches added for the Istanbul final.