History of adidas COPA MUNDIAL

“Released” could mean “launched,” but I don’t think adidas had moulded studs model with kangaroo leather yet in 1979.

The current model of adidas COPA MUNDIAL was improved around 1994 and has been produced with little change up to the present.
Before that, especially when it was made in West Germany at the time of its debut (around 1982), there were various minor changes, which we introduced here. However, there seems to be a misunderstanding about the year of its debut, and it is often referred to as “1979” overseas.

Wikipedia also says adidas COPA MUNDIAL was Released in 1979, and the citation is here. Even since 1994, when the current version of the type was introduced, almost 30 years have already passed, so few people know about what happened before that, but I would like to correct what is wrong.
Recently, an overseas football boots enthusiast wrote an article here, which included the following

adidas COPA MUNDIAL, released in 1979 and designed for the 1982 World Cup in Spain, were used by most of the players in each national team, and one of the goals in the final, in which Italy was crowned world champions, was also scored by Marco Tardelli in the adidas COPA MUNDIAL.

Fig. 3: Tardelli (Italy) in the final of the 1982 World Cup. I believe that the percentage of players using replaceable studs boots was over 80% among those who used adidas in this tournament.

In the 1982 tournament, Tardelli used the old “WORLD CUP” model with the changeable studs model with Adi Super Sole for all games, but if someone unfamiliar with the football boots of the time were to look at images from the 1982 World Cup  tournament, it might indeed appear that many players were wearing adidas COPA MUNDIAL.

One of the main reasons why people who do not know the time may mistakenly believe that the COPA MUNDIAL debuted in 1979 is because of the blue fabric on the shoe’s tongue markings.
Around 1975, the Adidas moulded studs flagship model, the “WORLD CUP WINNER ,” was released, but around 1979, it had the same shoe’s tongue mark as the “World Cup 78” .
Furthermore, around 1980, the “SUPER CUP,” which had the same upper as the WINNER but with a newly developed “2-material sole,” made its debut and was used by Kamamoto in Japan. Probably, those who do not know the existence of WINNER and SUPER CUP before the debut of COPA MUNDIAL would mistake these for COPA MUNDIAL.

WORLD CUP WINNER (right) and a replica model of the SUPER CUP (left). The actual SUPER CUP has “SUPER CUP” printed on the side and 12 black studs.

The COPA MUNDIAL is now a really simple construction, but the pattern of curved double stitching across the toe was very rare at the time, and probably a very elaborate technique in its own way.

SUPER CUP replica (left) and early COPA MUNDIAL model. The SUPER CUP and WINNER were in Adi-calf leather, and, to repeat, the COPA MUNDIAL was the first adidas moulded studs model with kangaroo leather upper at the time.

I believe the COPA MUNDIAL made its debut in the 1982 World Cup tournament, but I think very few players actually used it.
Although the new WORLD CUP boots with 3-material soles debuted at the event, the old WORLD CUP boots was still very popular, as shown by Tardelli.

As far as I could tell, the teams with players wearing adidas black moulded studs were Peru, Honduras, El Salvador, New Zealand, Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, and Brazil. All were in the minority within their teams, but the Peruvian team had several players wearing the black moulded studs model in some games.

Peru-Cameroon match in the first round of the 1982 World Cup. It was a rare tournament to see two players wearing boots with black adidas moulded studs in the same image.

However, it is very difficult to determine with the resolution of the image at the time whether all the black studs models were COPA MUNDIAL. As shown above, there are several differences between the SUPER CUP and the COPA MUNDIAL besides the leather, such as the stitching on the toe, the heel construction, and the thickness of the three lines, but honestly they all look the same in the images of the players in the game.

Peru’s national team player, Cueto. The heel construction suggests COPA MUNDIAL?

The Italian national team, which won the championship, also wore black moulded studs models by Cabrini and Oriali.

Cabrini in the second round league match against Brazil. It appears that the black studs model was used only for this match. The lettering on the sides and the heel appear to be SUPER CUP.

Oriali in the final against West Germany. He used the black studs model only for this match, but he seems to have changed to the changeable studs model in the same match. This one looks more like COPA MUNDIAL.

Incidentally, the referee in the final was also a black studs model.

What is the model of the chief referee for the finals? Is it a SUPER CUP?

Littbarski in the above figure used both the new model and the old WORLD CUP (changeable studs). None of the West German players used black studs, and the moulded studs type lovers (Breitner, Rummenigge, and Muller) were all all white Adipan-sole models (see here).

The SUPER CUP is now a very rare model due to its short production period, but there were more complicated models abroad as shown below.

SUPER CUP owned by an Italian collector. The specifications are clearly different from the Adi-calf leather model sold in Japan, and it looks almost exactly like the COPA MUNDIAL. If this had been used at the ’82 tournament, it would really be indistinguishable from the COPA MUNDIAL.

For me, the COPA MUNDIAL is my very favorite model, and I have no objection to its debut at the ’82 World Cup. However, the situation of football boots production at the time of its debut was very chaotic, and it didn’t make such a big splash and was used by many players with great acclaim from the start.
It was probably used in conjunction with older models and gradually became a standard moulded studs model as its merits spread among top athletes.