There are 4 things that come to mind about the World Cup in South Africa: Spain, Shakira, the vuvuzela and the Jabulani. The most interesting World Cup of all time was held in 2010.
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The Jabulani could go down in history as the best soccer ball of all time, if the players didn't hate it because of its unpredictable movement. Jabulani means "Let's be happy!" it brought smiles to many, but it also became a nightmare for goalkeepers in a short time. Brazilian goalkeeper Julio Cesar described it as a cheap supermarket ball. However, the majority of field players loved it.
The ball consisted of fewer and fewer panels compared to its former counterpart, now consisting of only 8 units. In terms of design, due to a new type of layering technique, the ball showed no signs of wear even after a lot of use. Regarding the pattern, we can't talk about anything special, it is characterized by black and white, mixed with the colors of the host country.
What stands out about the ball are the 3D panels, which in this case meant that the equal thickness of the polyurethane material was embossed with a forming tool. It's like a fingerprint on the ball, it just stands out from the plane. This 'Grip n Groove', according to adidas marketing, results in better shots, which was developed in collaboration with Loughborough University.
The ball was also tested by NASA after the tournament and they came to the conclusion that, if the ball flies in the air without any rotation it can moves in unpredictable directions. This kind of motion depends on many thing, but overall if the player who kicks the ball around 90-110 km/h without any swerve the ball can do those kind of wavy moves. Some of the players learnt how to shoot that type of knuckleball. Most famous ones are Cristiano Ronaldo, Honda, Juninho.
Interesting fact based on the feedback, that FIFA together with adidas replaced Jabulani for the 2012 European Championship. Previously, the ball of the European Championship and the World Championship was the same, with some facelifted detail and new painting.
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