Stunning display of Subbuteo balls and one is worth a fortune

A Subbuteo collector has showcased an incredible collection of balls sold by the table football brand over the last 75 years.

Italian collector Francesco Cyterszpiler shared his collection of Subbuteo balls in a fantastic display and revealed he had just three left to complete the set. However, one of the balls is a lot rarer than the others and is found so rarely it has not appeared for sale on auction websites for several years.

Francesco’s set features balls from the very early days of Subbuteo in the late 1940s and 1950s and on to the introduction of the first yellow balls and the ‘continental’ red, blue and green balls sold in the 1970s and beyond.


It also features some balls with an interesting history including the Ariva balls – a brand invented and trademarked by Subbuteo to feature in the short-lived US indoor soccer league sets of the 1980s.

Fans can see classic Diadora, Adidas and Mitre balls right up to the start of the Premier League era and it is one of the famous Adidas Subbuteo balls that really catches the eye. The Adidas Tango is one of the world’s most popular ball designs and while the iconic orange version is beloved by all Subbuteo fans the ‘Alicante’ yellow version is actually much rarer.

A yellow Tango will fetch upwards of £10 on eBay but one with the Adidas Trefoil logo will likely fetch a lot more. That is because it is one of the rarest Subbuteo balls ever made.

Subbuteo historian Peter Upton says: “These were another Tango ball, this time in a particularly lurid yellow colour. These balls do not have the same length of service as their white and orange brothers. They arrived in 1986, but departed in 1989 to make room for the Italia 90 balls – 61220.”

The balls rarely come up for sale on sites such as eBay and are some of the rarest you will need to get your hands on if you want to replicate the display.

However, there is one ball that is significantly rarer. In the 1990s Subbuteo released a Euro 96 catalogue that featured balls with the Euro 96 logo. However, when sets were released the balls simply had the words ‘Euro 96’ on them and there was no sign of the logo.

The ball from the photoshoot did survive, as revealed by The Hobby, when a former worker revealed he had one. He later sold it on eBay for charity and is featured here.

The collection also includes modern additions to the set including the number 10 Maradona ball released in a dedicated set for the Argentinian World Cup winner, as well as Manchester United, Juventus, Inter Milan and AC Milan balls featured in club sets.

Stephen Hurrell
Stephen Hurrell
Stephen is the founder and editor of The Hobby Online and The Hobby by Subbuteo.Online print magazine. He is a giant nerd and specialises in Subbuteo, retro football kits and consumer stories. A journalist and editor of 15 years, he has written about football for some of the UK's biggest publications.

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