Depending on which player you ask, the “Fevernova” ball that sports equipment maker Adidas says provides the ultimate soccer experience is Uncontrollable, too big or just simply “stupid”. The ball also has its fans, like England’s David Beckham. but so far they seem to have been outnumbered by critics.
Adidas says the ball. splashed with gold coloring. is quite simply the best around-25 percent more accurate than the ball used at France 98 thanks to meticulous testing by scientists in Germany.
The tongue-twisting nature of its contents confirms that the World Cup ball has come a long way from the leather-and-laces variety that was common as recently as the 1960s.
The Fevernova’s secret. Adidas says. is its radically improved Syntactic foam and unique knitted Raschel fabric.
Given that this is supposed to make the ball faster and provide the free kick specialists like Beckham with more power, it may not be surprising that goalkeepers like Buffon are unhappy. Spain goalkeeper Pedro Contreras said the bail acts “strangely”, while Danish keeper Thomas Sorensen admitted gloomily that it would probably result in more spectacular goals. “As a goalkeeper, you have to live with the fact that the makers create balls for the benefit of strikers.” he said before leaving Copenhagen for South Korea.
But outfield players have also weighed in with criticism, many saying the ball is too light and therefore hard to control. “It’s big and it’s too light,” Japan’s Jiji news agency quoted Brazilian forward Edilsonas saying earlier this month. while striker Rivaldo said it soared too far when kicked.
Journalists at the main press centre in Yokohama have been given the chance to try out the Fevernova from the penalty spot, with the aim of hitting special targets in the goal. So far. few have been able to score more than five out of ten, although this may have little to do with the quality of the ball.
Putz. admits that the ball is on the light side of FIFA’s 420 to 445 gram weight requirement. but says it is no bigger than previous balls.
The controversy over the ball also has an off-pitch dimension. Industry insiders say it may be no coincidence that players from Brazil. sponsored by Adidas rival Nike, have been among the ball’s most vociferous critics.
The same might go for the praise dished out for the ball by Beckham. one of the main players used to promote Adidas equipment.