Soccer Ball #Swerve: How Will the Brazuca Measure Up?

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Four years is a long time. You might remember a World Cup was played in South Africa: Spain won, Uruguay surprised everyone, and the game ball –the Jabulani– was denounced as the worst thing to happen to the World Cup since Diana Ross tried to score a penalty kick in front of her home crowd.

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“A technological revolution”, said the creators. It appears to have been one, yes, but not a very successful one. Players complained of its strange trajectory, its unpredictable patterns and its overall resemblance to a beach ball. Scientists weighed in and analyzed the damn thing. The reason for its inadequacy, they concluded, was intricately simple: too few stitches caused too smooth a surface, and thus the airflow was disrupted and affected unpredictably. Without imperfections on the surface, there is no pace, no bend and a soccer ball behaves like a knuckleball, they announced.

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Adidas, the official manufacturer, took note and now promises the Brazuca is not that at all.

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Painted bright and kicked around to the sound of toe-tapping music, one can conclude that this new ball is, well, a ball. Even the chicken at the 0:57 mark seems to approve. Apparently, it also has science on it’s side. A few weeks ago, Simon Choppin, from Sheffield Hallam University, published an article that analyzes how this new game ball will behave compared to others, including the Jabulani. “While players and coaches may well find something to complain about with the Brazuca,” Choppin concludes, “it is certainly not a beach ball.”

And the now, the new marketing blitz includes sending a Brazuca equipped with six cameras around the world. The shots look great as this short trailer shows.

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It won’t be long, wait for it: the Brazuca selfie is coming.