Brazuca: Lionel Messi helps Adidas unveil the official ball for World Cup 2014

Adidas consults with top players over 2014 football to avoid repeat of South Africa issues

Once the World Cup draw is over, the plastic capsules containing the teams will be forgotten and only one ball will matter. That is the Brazuca, the official ball for next summer's World Cup that has been revealed by adidas.

This new ball is the most intensely tested football of all time, having been worked on for the last two and a half years, and used by more than 600 players across 10 countries. After round after round of field and lab tests it was secretly used in an international game to test its suitability, as everything possible was done to avoid the problems that afflicted the Jabulani ball at the 2010 World Cup.

A disguised version of the Brazuca was used for the friendly between Sweden and Argentina in February and then for the Under-20 World Cup in Turkey last June and July, and the feedback from the players was positive.

All of adidas's biggest ambassadors have tried and endorsed it – Lionel Messi, Steven Gerrard and Robin van Persie went to the company HQ in Herzogenaurach to do so – though adidas have made it clear that of the 280 player interviews they conducted, 30 per cent were with players contracted elsewhere.

There is some hope that this ball will not go the same way as the Jabulani, which was widely criticised, especially by goalkeepers, by the end of the last World Cup. Iker Casillas described it as "appalling" while Gianluigi Buffon said it was "very sad" that the World Cup was played "with such a horrible ball" that many said did not fly true through the air. This time Casillas and Spain compatriot Pepe Reina have been involved in testing and helping to ensure the ball meets the criteria of fairness, consistency and reliability.

This is a different ball from the Jabulani, after all. It is closer in development to the popular Champions League ball and the Tango ball used at Euro 2012. The main difference is that the Brazuca is made up of six panels, rather than the Jabulani's eight, as well as undergoing fine tuning of the ball's material. Underneath, it has the butyl bladder and PU-based foam that has been used before. At 437 grams it is a gram lighter than Jabulani – but two grams heavier than the 2006 Teamgeist ball, at the higher end of what Fifa guidelines stipulate.

It is being launched with some fanfare but when the tournament begins its makers must hope that the ball does not attract the same attention that the last one did.

Lionel Messi launches the adidas Brazuca, the official match ball of the Brazil 2014 Fifa World Cup, visit: www.adidas.com/lovemeorloseme

Life and Style
love + sex
Life and Style
Tikka Masala has been overtaken by Jalfrezi as the nation's most popular curry
food + drink
News
people
Voices
A propaganda video shows Isis forces near Tikrit
voicesAdam Walker: The Koran has violent passages, but it also has others that explicitly tells us how to interpret them
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn