Admittedly, I haven’t put a foot on the World Cup soccer ball this year. And until I actually have that opportunity, it will be impossible to know for sure, but ...
It sure seems like the fuss over the ball was legitimate.
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A number of players and goalies criticized the ball in the days leading up to the World Cup, and usually there’s nothing to that.
The reason why I believe that the ball (adidas’ Jabulani) is not right is because there haven’t been many well-struck free kicks. Or long-range shots. The last World Cup opened with Germany’s Philip Lahm scoring on a laser beam from well outside the penalty area.
Then against the United States, Tomas Rosicky of the Czech Republic hit an absolute bomb from downtown in a 3-0 win. And away we went.
Those goals haven’t come this year. Even the cross-field passes are off every once in a while, which seems odd for a World Cup game. Ditto for the mis-timed jumps by goalies on corner kicks and defenders and attackers on crosses into the box.
This could be about the altitude making the ball carry, but something seems off, and I’m pointing to the Jabulani. But that’s just one man’s opinion.
Anyone else have any ideas or thoughts?
| Pete Grathoff, firstname.lastname@example.org