Corner Kicks & Crosses: Jabulani Match Ball Review • Latino Sports

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Corner Kicks & Crosses: Jabulani Match Ball Review




Adidas has been making soccer balls since 1963 and they’ve been the official match ball of the FIFA World Cup since 1970. Making its debut with the “Telstar” in the 1970 World Cup Mexico, Adidas has added meaning and life to the soccer ball. Prior to the Adidas-FIFA partnership, soccer balls didn’t have a personality and that was a travesty considering that the soccer ball is the heart & soul of the game.

Since 1970, each Adidas created World Cup ball has a history to share… where the Finals were played, the technology used in creating the ball, and the reason behind the design of the ball. The best thing about the World Cup match ball is that everyone has an opportunity to own and play with one. The reality is that for a lot of soccer fans, owning an authentic World Cup ball is far more affordable than attending the World Cup itself. In addition, it’s a beautiful souvenir that will symbolize one’s person memories. With the 2010 World Cup approaching us, Adidas has given us their eleventh straight FIFA approved World Cup ball, the “Jabulani”.

Jabulani means “to celebrate” in Zulu and that’s what the entire planet is going to do this coming June. The “Jabulani” is greatest soccer ball that’s ever been invented to date and it’s not an exaggeration. Because of the technology the Jabulani possesses, this World Cup may be one of the highest scoring World Cups of all time. The only people who will criticize the ball will be the goalkeepers if they’re unable to stop the opposition from scoring.

With its colorful four triangle-shaped designs, the Jabulani symbolizes everything that is beautiful and diverse about soccer. The 11 colors utilized in the Jabulani cleverly illustrates the 11 official languages of South Africa, the eleventh Adidas match ball used in the World Cup, the 11 South African Tribes, and the 11 players in each team. Along with the beautiful color scheme and design of the Jabulani, the Grip ‘n’ Groove technology has revolutionized the soccer ball itself. Tested at Loughborough University in England and the Adidas football laboratory in Germany, the Jabulani is the most accurate and stable ball ever assembled. In addition, players will have total control of the Jabulani because the “goose bumps” surface provides excellent grip.

How good is this ball for a novice player? If you wonder what it takes to be a professional, the Jabulani will give you an idea. If you wish to better your game, then I recommend you get the ball because once you train/play with the Jabulani, it’s going to be extremely hard to train/play with any other soccer ball. The Jabulani is the best soccer ball out there and I was fortunate enough to test it.

With the horrendous weather that’s recently hit New York City, I tested the ball in the cold, rain, and snow. I was blown away by how the “goose bumps” surface made it easy for me to have excellent ball control. Whether I was passing, dribbling, or shooting I was able to move efficiently under frigid conditions. The only thing that surprised me about the Jabulani is that it’s extremely easy to clean with warm water and a sponge. I’ve had soccer balls that once it’s been used; it’s permanently scarred and dirty. Sure the ball is slightly scarred but at least it’s clean and the colors didn’t fade. I would recommend the Jabulani to anyone because:

  • You’ll easily be pumped for the World Cup!
  • You’re guaranteed to play in any pickup games by default.
  • It’ll provide you the opportunity to create a weekend team.
  • It creates conversation with random strangers. Every where I’ve taken the Jabulani has resulted in soccer talks with either hardcore or novice fans.
  • It’s cool to tell family and friends that you’re training with the same ball that Kaka and Michael Ballack will be playing with at the World Cup.

It’s cheaper than a gym membership and the results are better. Trust me you will get a full body workout if you train with 2-3 times a week with the ball. Here’s my workout, dribble the ball to the other end of the field 10 times and do 10 pushups, 10 situps, and 10 squats each time you reach the other side.

In closing, I want to thank Adidas for sending me an authentic ball to test and review. I had a great time testing the Jabulani and everyone who joined me agrees. The last time I was excited about receiving something in Christmas was in 1985 when my parents gave me a Super Friends Batmobile. So thank you Adidas and thank you FIFA World Cup!


Cesar Diaz covers Soccer for Latino Sports ( Send Cesar a question or comment for potential use in a future column at [email protected]


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