Gloves are off as Robinson insists new ball is keeper's nightmare

At the England team's Mittelbergstadion training base yesterday, Paul Robinson was well aware of the irony that this World Cup is designed to complicate matters for him. The eve of a major international tournament is invariably the time for the goalkeepers' union to issue warnings about the unpredictable nature of the official match ball.

Lighter, faster, though capable of generating immense power ­ as the female Japanese journalist who took one full in the face from a John Terry shot yesterday can testify ­ the adidas Team Geist World Cup ball has already generated criticism from glovemen who say it is designed to favour strikers.

Robinson said: "The ball is two-piece and glued together, rather than stitched together. It moves a lot, it's very light and like a volleyball. When it's wet it's even worse as it has a plastic coating."

The Spurs keeper, who is studying DVD compilations of the Paraguay players' penalties and set-piece routines ­ has given himself the best chance of dealing with the problem.

"I had the foresight that the ball would not be what we are used to and with four or five weeks to go of the Premiership season I got half a dozen of them," he said. "I mixed them in with my training balls at Spurs so I have been training with them since then."

Robinson has also devised a training plan to make life even more difficult for England's possible penalty takers, after misses by Frank Lampard and Peter Crouch last week.

"I've told the lads to tell me where they're putting it and I won't dive until they hit it. That way it's harder for them to score and they learn to put it right in the corners," he added.

Seamless transition: The new design

The World Cup ball made by adidas has 14 hand-stitched panels instead of the usual 32 and fewer seams.

Strange as it may seem, it is much rounder, being only one per cent off being a perfect ball. The aim has been to increase a player's accuracy and skill.

The ball weighs between 441g and 444g, which is one gram less than the Fifa standard weight. It also spins more through the air. This is down to the polyurethane-based syntactic foam, which is applied to an adhesive layer that bonds the outer skin to the ball.

The foam consists of millions of gas-filled microspheres. "This ensures the ball quickly returns to its original round shape after becoming deformed when kicked, and it is this that gives it an optimum trajectory," says Thomas Michaelis, the manager of the World Cup Ball project.

The smooth kicking surface enables every pass and shot to be accurate, powerful and fast.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Bafetibis Gomis of Swansea City is stretchered off at White Hart Lane
Jerry Seinfeld Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee
peopleSitcom star urges men to be more supportive of women than ever
Life and Style
Living for the moment: Julianne Moore playing Alzheimer’s sufferer Alice
Jay Z
businessJay-Z's bid for Spotify rival could be blocked
Louis van Gaal is watching a different Manchester United and Wenger can still spring a surprise
The spider makes its break for freedom
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
Arts and Entertainment
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle v United player ratings
Life and Style
love + sex
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
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