On the fourth of December, exactly six years ago, FIFA unveiled the official match ball for the World Cup in South Africa. It was probably the first time a football got so much attention. This is the story of the ball with the unpredictable swerve.
adidas themselves called it a technological innovation. However despite several years of testing and tons of research, the ball never really sat well with the vast majority of players. It was very much a love/hate type of thing for adidas Jabulani. If you hit it right, the goalkeeper would end up looking like a fool, but if you hit it wrong, well then chances are it would probably end up outside the stadium.
Whether or not you like the Jabulani, it did end up being the basis for adidas’ following balls, like the Beau Jeu - next year’s official Euro 2016 football. And the unpredictable swerve? Well, it’s still there, just slightly more controlled. And ohh yeah, Jakob’s first ever WebTV assignment was reviewing the Jabulani, which is a good excuse to rewatch that old episode and laugh a little at him.
Jabulani got lots of people talking. Do I miss it? A little bit actually, because if you got lucky sometimes, you would end up looking like Cristiano Ronaldo, which feels nice!