Group Stage Draw Today: 2003-2020 Adidas Champions League Ball History

As we eagerly await the draw of the group stage of this season's Champions League, let's take another look at how the tournament balls have evolved over the years. The Champions League star ball design is definitely the most iconic in the game.

The story starts in 2003-04, which was the first season to feature a single ball - up until then teams used the same balls they had in their domestic league games. A big thanks goes to Bleacher Report, who crafted these spectacular graphics.

Throughout the years, despite updates in panel shape and tech, the overall 'Starball' approach stayed the same and helped create what is easily one of the most recognizable football designs. It's a telling sign that Adidas, who've been the official supplier since '03, decided to keep the license while dropping almost all others - it's the only major one the company holds besides the World Cup.

A new trend was started with last year's edition: instead of featuring dark stars on a white base, the concept was reverted. It might be a good idea to go back to what worked best next season - so far, there hasn't been a leak of the 2020-21 Champions League ball.

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What's your favorite Champions League football? Are you a fan of the new 'reverted' color scheme? Comment below.