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

Sport
Radamel Falcao
footballManchester United agree loan deal for Monaco striker Falcao
Voices
A man shoots at targets depicting a portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a shooting range in the center of the western Ukrainian city of Lviv
voicesIt's cowardice to pretend this is anything other than an invasion
Arts and Entertainment
The eyes have it: Kate Bush
music
Sport
Louis van Gaal, Radamel Falcao, Arturo Vidal, Mats Hummels and Javier Hernandez
footballFalcao, Hernandez, Welbeck and every deal live as it happens
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
booksNovelist takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Arts and Entertainment
Al Pacino in ‘The Humbling’, as an ageing actor
filmHam among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
News
Fifi Trixibelle Geldof with her mother, Paula Yates, in 1985
people
Sport
Mario Balotelli in action during his Liverpool debut
football ...but he can't get on the scoresheet in impressive debut
Arts and Entertainment
Downton Abbey fans rejoice, series five returns later this month
TV
Arts and Entertainment
booksExclusive extract from Howard Jacobson’s acclaimed new novel
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

Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor