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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Rate the New World Cup Ball

Yahoo! Sports - Several players are going all out against the new World Cup ball, with more than one comparing it to those bought at a supermarket.

And this time it’s not only goalkeepers who are complaining. Strikers, defenders and midfielders are also lashing out at the Adidas ball just a few days before the monthlong tournament is to begin in South Africa.

The ball is called Jabulani, which means “to celebrate” in isiZulu, but not many are celebrating it so far. It’s hard to find a player who is happy with it, and those who don’t like it are not saving adjectives to describe their feelings.

“It’s very weird,” Brazil striker Luis Fabiano said Sunday. “All of a sudden it changes trajectory on you. It’s like it doesn’t want to be kicked. It’s incredible, it’s like someone is guiding it. You are going to kick it and it moves out of the way. I think it’s supernatural, it’s very bad. I hope to adapt to it as soon as possible, but it’s going to be hard.”

Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar on Saturday called the ball “terrible” and was the first to compare it to those plastic ones bought on a supermarket. Italy striker Giampaolo Pazzini said the same thing, calling it a “disaster.”

“It moves so much and makes it difficult to control. You jump up to head a cross and suddenly the ball will move and you miss it,” Pazzini said. “It is especially bad for the goalkeepers if it means they concede a goal because they can’t judge the trajectory.”

Adidas traditionally launches new balls for each World Cup and they usually cause controversy because of the changes prompted by the new technology being introduced. Most of the time the ball becomes speedier and goalkeepers are the ones most affected by it. But this time the livelier ball is causing problems to field players, too.

“There is no way to hide it,” Brazil midfielder Julio Baptista said. “It’s bad for the goalkeepers and it’s bad for us. It’s really bad. The players try to cross it and it goes to the opposite direction they intended it to go.”

Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas also expressed his anger at the design of the ball after the European champion’s 3-2 friendly win over Saudi Arabia on Saturday.

“It’s sad that that such an important competition like the World Cup has such an important element like this ball of appalling condition,” he said.

Hey, tell us how you really feel, guys. I mean, I have to agree. After seeing the ball from the 2006 World Cup, I think adidas needs to relax. Yeah, they look cool, but they really do feel like they're coated in plastic, and just don't feel natural. But hey, the people are buying them, so I guess you can't really point the finger at them. It is rather unfortunate that the players have to deal with it, but everyone has to make the adjustment, not just a few of them, so get over it.

1 comment:

  1. I've played with the ball, and I agree wholeheartedly. It is terrible. People buy it because it's the world cup ball, but it's aweful. They had the same problem last year with the ball moving all over the place. As a goalkeeper i can empathise because every shot knuckles in odd directions. It is very difficult to judge the ball. I can see why strikes are upset as well. I feel like we will see a lot of set piece goals direct in from the likes of steven gerrard, christiano ronaldo, and didier drogba.