Adidas Jabulani

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The Adidas Jabulani is the official match ball for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.The ball has been a hot topic among high-profile players, receiving mostly harsh criticism.


  • It is very sad that a competition so important as the world championship will be played with such an inadequate ball.
  • It is a special ball, they do this to make a goalkeeper's life complicated, so that more goals are scored (…) Time and time again they make a keeper's job more difficult.}}
  • This ball gives goalkeepers nightmares: as a goalkeeper thinking about the way this ball moves keeps you from sleeping because you are thinking about tomorrow and how you are going to manage to play with this ball.}}

Spanish goalkeeper

  • It's terrible, horrible. It's like one of those balls you buy in the supermarket.
  • They're doing anything but staying in my gloves. It's hard work with them, but good fun. It makes the game exciting and I think that's what they are trying to do with it.
  • Sometimes the ball has a genuine flight and other times it has a mind of its own so it has taken time to adjust and it will take us time still now.

American goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann replied to the ballmaker Adidas saying:

  • "Technology is not everything; scientists came up with the atom bomb, doesn't mean we should have invented it." ---[[{{{2}}}]]

Serbian goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic: [1]

  • "I have played with many different balls in my time—those that swerve a lot, change direction, fly awkwardly—but this one is definitely the worst of all." ---[[{{{2}}}]]

South African goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune: [2]

  • "It’s a little sad that in a competition as big as the World Cup to have such a poor ball. It’s not just the goalkeepers complaining, but the outfield players as well." ---[[{{{2}}}]]

Nigerian goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama: [3]

Outfield players[edit]

  • The new balls are a disaster. It's not only a problem for goalkeepers, but also for us strikers. When a cross comes in, you go to head the ball, but it moves half a meter and you end up just shaving it on contact.
  • For sure the guy who designed this ball never played football. But there is nothing we can do, we have to play with.
  • The ball is very complicated for the goalkeepers and for us [strikers].
  • If you just hit it solid, you can get a good knuckle on the ball (...) you've just got to pay a little bit more, you know, attention when you pass the ball sometimes.}}
  • There is no way to hide it, it's bad for the goalkeepers and it's bad for us. It's really bad. The players try to cross it and it goes to the opposite direction they intended it to go.
  • "It seems to have been made more with strikers in mind than defenders or keepers, because it is so crazy and unpredictable." ---[[{{{2}}}]]

Paraguayan striker Roque Santa Cruz insists that the players will need more time to adjust to the new Adidas Jabulani ball saying: [4]

  • "Everyone is complaining about the ball, but players like to complain about everything. I think that we need time to learn the intricacies of the ball.

We’re starting to get used to it eventually. I can imagine it’s been a nightmare for goalkeepers but for forward players when you get your shot off it’s an advantage I feel. So I think we’re getting more used to it with every day that goes by." ---[[{{{2}}}]]

  • Now is not the only goalie who just complain, outfield players were like that too. Disappointed taste of World Cup competition as important as having a vital element of the ball with an odd characteristic.

American striker Landon Donovan: [5]

  • Once you have learned to make proper contact with the ball, you can make it travel very fast. It’s a case of catching it right. You learn how to do that with practice. We are confident about scoring with this ball.

  • All of a sudden it changes trajectory on you. It’s like it doesn’t want to be kicked. It’s incredible, it’s like someone is guiding it. You are going to kick it, and it moves out of the way. I think it’s supernatural; it’s very bad. I hope to adapt to it as soon as possible, but it’s going to be hard.


  • I think it’s the worst ball we have played with at a World Cup. It’s impossible to control the ball for the keeper. For **the players it’s not easy. I’ve seen that the ball arrives really fast and the players are having problems controlling it. For the keepers it is terrible because it is always moving.
  • You can see in matches and in shooting practice in training that the ball swerves. Goalkeepers are not happy about it at all. It's late to do anything about it for this World Cup but it should be discussed by the authorities. Everyone should listen to the top keepers in the world, this doesn't do them any favours at all.
  • We played with an impossible ball and we need to get used to it.}}


  1. Stojkovic blasts Jabulani ball: 2010 World Cup: News: The World Game on SBS. (2010-06-04). Retrieved on 2010-06-17.
  2. Bafana Keepers Unhappy With Jabulani Ball. Retrieved on 2010-06-17.
  3. Nigeria/South Africa: Enyeama - Jabulani Will Disgrace Keepers. (2010-06-09). Retrieved on 2010-06-17.
  4. Santa Cruz: Players Need Time To Adjust To Jabulani Ball | Sports | Retrieved on 2010-06-17.
  5. Murphy, Dan. More Jabulani match ball chat, now from a U.S. player perspective. Daily Soccer Fix. Retrieved on 2010-06-17.
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