He spilled a long range effort, allowing Vassillis Torosidis to score. “It was the ball, not me. It moved at the last minute, but it is the ball we have been given and we have to play with it.”
A who’s who of world-class goalkeepers, including Spain’s Iker Casillas, Italy’s Gianluigi Buffon, and Julio Cesar of Brazil, have also laid into the design of the Jabulani, which some have likened to a “beach ball”.
But unlike in previous tournaments, it is not just the goalkeepers who are complaining – this time around strikers have been equally scathing. FIFA and Adidas expected the new ball to lead to an increase in goals. Instead it has had the opposite effect as strikers struggle to work out how to get the best out of a ball that moves through the air quicker and less predictably than the those used in European leagues.
One British paper reported that some players are calling it the Jumanji ball, after the 1995 Robin William's film, due to its capricious flight path.
The opening matches have produced the lowest number of goals in World Cup history. Shot accuracy is just 33 percent, compared to at least 40 percent for the three most recent World Cups.