Footballers debate Teamgeist by Adidas

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> The football introduced by Adidas at the World Cup is a strikers dream but a goalkeepers’ nightmare.

Updated: February 25, 2007 11:35 IST
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New Delhi:

The football introduced by Adidas at the World Cup is a strikers dream but a goalkeepers’ nightmare. The difference of opinion has also crept into the Indian football team. The Teamgeist as the ball is known, is made up of just 14 panels as opposed to conventional balls, which have a 26 or 32 panel hexagonal pattern. That makes the ball far more spherical in shape and lighter than the traditional one. It is therefore less stable in trajectory and unpredictable in flight. Unpredictable design It’s the unpredictability that led goalkeepers like Paul Robinson and Jens Lehmann to criticise the Teamgeist even before the world cup began and their footballers seem to agree. But the Indian football team trains with the Nike ball, as the company is the current sponsor of the team. "We have practiced and played with the new ball in Japan, we find it difficult to get the grip even with less power the ball swings too much," said Sandip Nandy of Mahindra United and India. "In the world cup the new ball have been giving problems to all the goalkeepers." Adidas defends Teamgeist But designers say that in laboratory tests, the Teamgeist proved three times better in trajectory and accuracy than other footballs used in top-level competition. And if the new technology leads to more goals being scored this World Cup, its natural that the goalkeepers will be the only ones complaining. "Adidas says the new ball does not do anything extra ordinary in all circumstances they have tested it, but goal keepers like to have excuses when the ball goes in to the goal," said Indian football coach Bob Houghton. However soccer analysts believe the new ball is just part of efforts to make the game high-scoring and more action packed.

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