Brazuca Can Only Be an Improvement on Jabulani as 2014 FIFA World Cup Ball

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Brazuca Can Only Be an Improvement on Jabulani as 2014 FIFA World Cup Ball
Alexandre Loureiro/Getty Images

The Jabulani football—a term that can send chills down your spine despite the fact that we are four years removed from its monstrosities.

FIFA engineer and manufacture a new "World Cup ball" every time the tournament rolls around, and to the organisation it represents a canvas on which culture, history, tradition and flair can be brought to the fore.

The 2010 World Cup saw the Jabulani ball introduced, and a sleek-looking design was crafted upon a "new-age" ball that represented a technological breakthrough.

At its unveiling it was described as a "revolution."

Unfortunately, the ball was terrible, woeful and largely uncontrollable even for the likes of Lionel Messi and Wesley Sneijder.

There were a select few who got the hang of it—namely the entire Germany squad plus Uruguay's Diego Forlan—but for the most part we endured a month of skied shots and free-kicks soaring into the stars.

Indeed, purchase one for yourself and have a look at what happens when you strike it firmly; it appears to catch wind that isn't actually there, swerving violently to deceive goalkeepers and—at times—nestling into the corner of the net. The other 99 attempts go into the bushes.

We witnessed some absolutely stunning goals, not least the opener from Siphiwe Tshabalala, but we also saw some horribly botched hits from Frank Lampard and Co.

A World Cup should bring fans happy memories and have them talking excitedly on the streets. Instead, most grumbled for 30 days about the "glorified beach ball" they were kicking round and the noise of the vuvuzelas.

The "Brazuca"—FIFA's chosen ball for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil—has one simple task: Do not stoop to the basement levels of the last tournament's ball.

It cannot be squishy, forget about aerodynamics for the time being and make sure players can manipulate it properly when they strike it.

The Brazuca's design is seriously slick and extremely attractive, but none of that will matter if it changes direction six times in the space of 20 yards. Please, FIFA, do not mar another prestigious tournament with a horrendous engineering flaw.

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