Michael Owen mocked by Twitter for obsession with Champions League match balls during Chelsea vs PSG

Viewers were left bewildered by Owen's comments about the official match ball

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The Independent Football

Michael Owen comes in for some unfair criticism when analysing games in his co-commentary role on BT Sport but for once, the viewers’ bemusement may be justified.

In the opening minutes of Chelsea’s round-of-16 second leg against Paris Saint-Germain at Stamford Bridge, the former Liverpool striker quite literally started talking balls.

"The balls are light so it will be a quick game," he told those watching at home, without prompt from chief commentator Ian Darke or any event on the pitch inviting his analysis.

Viewers were largely left confused at the relevance of Owen’s throwaway comment and many took to social media to register their bewilderment.

Social media's reaction

Strangely enough, this is not even the first time Owen has felt the need to comment on the weight of Adidas’ official Champions League match ball.

It did not go down too well on previous occasions either.

Which prompts the question: what is Michael Owen’s problem with the Champions League’s official match ball?

Controversies over the weight of official match balls is relatively common, to be fair to the BT Sport analyst. Most recently, the 2010 World Cup in South Africa was dogged by claims that Adidas' ball, the 'Jabulani', was too light and unpredictable in the air. 

Some goalkeepers at the tournament compared the 'Jabulani' to a beach ball, while Owen's punditry colleague David James called it 'dreadful'.

Similar controversies surrounded the official match balls used at the 2002 and 2006 World Cups, both of which were also manufactured by Adidas.