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Has it really been 15 years since the world first saw Teamgeist? The revolutionary design pioneered by adidas took the world by storm and instantly became an icon of football – the game and the fashion. We talk to Jürgen Rank, Senior Design Director Football at adidas, to discover all about that classic, timeless style: Teamgeist.

How it all started

Ever since the 1970 World Cup in Mexico, the official FIFA match football had more or less stayed the same. In 2006, adidas took on the challenge of reinventing the ball, and it ended up reinventing the game. Jürgen explains: "Teamgeist is the result of a lot of development, ideas and inspiration. We left behind the old hexagonal 32-panel construction and created a brand-new 14-panel design. This gave the ball an attractive, modern and stylised look, but it also made the ball much smoother – which improves players' ball control and makes the game more dynamic." In this way, Teamgeist truly was a watershed moment: it ushered in a new generation of World Cup action.

From the football... to the kit

For adidas, the innovative Teamgeist ball was an invitation to reimagine the design of players' kit and other football fashion items. The iconic Teamgeist panel shape, affectionately called the "8Shape" by the design team, became the centrepiece of a new design philosophy. Jürgen remembers: "We realised that at the heart of the beautiful game of football, which brings players, fans and nations together, is the single most important element: the ball itself. No ball, no football. So we decided to bring the elements of the Teamgeist ball to every item we created for the next-generation kit. We experimented endlessly, playing it big and small, bold and subtle, until we found the perfect design language that tied everything together."

Reviving a classic

Teamgeist is now revived by SHUKYU Magazine in Tokyo, for a new generation of fans worldwide. For Jürgen, it was a joy to work on the new, updated version of the collections. He says: "We went back to the original drawings from 2006, which was very special. And we used the same design approach, for that truly original, authentic feel. Many fans still remember that era fondly, and younger people will also fall in love with the timeless Teamgeist aesthetic. It really is a classic for all ages, and it resonates with everyone who loves the game." Because in the end, that is what matters most. The game of football may evolve and change over time, but its power to bring people together has only gotten stronger.