Footballs today are a multimillion-pound industry, with manufacturers the world over striving to create the perfect ball. But when does ball technology go too far to helping the players score, and do you have pity on the goalkeepers, we want to know your opinion on ball technology?
Fans like nothing better than a spectacularly swerving goal (if it's your team that's scoring!), and experts insist that these will become commonplace as ball technology advances, with manufacturers creating faster and more perfectly spherical balls.
We can see how players are benefitting from ball technology, through the likes of David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo. Beckham is the “King of Curve” and can curl the ball as though it were on elastic, whilst Cristiano Ronaldo relies more on the dip-and-swirl
method. Taking two or three paces back at a free kick, Ronaldo unleashes a ball that will wobble and deceive even the most agile and experienced goalkeeper.
The technology used in the making of footballs has advanced to such an extent, that we are seeing spectacular shots and goals in almost every game. An example of which was Liverpool full-back Emiliano Insua's goal against Arsenal, a swerving volley that rose above the height of the goal before dipping sharply into the net!
Development director with Mitre, Duncan Anderson, who supplied the ball for the Arsenal Liverpool League Cup match commented:
“Insua’s shot was preceded with a pinpoint pass, controlled layoff and an ideal bounce, with the ball falling on to the boot and then struck by a master.
“It was struck with power on the outside of the foot to give side-spin to make the ball bend left, below the centre of gravity to make the ball rise and, finally, with top spin to make it dip as it approached the goal. With 25 years developing balls, I still get a huge kick out of seeing a perfect strike make a great goal.”
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger quipped about ball technology, that “You always know when the designer has done a good job because the goalkeepers are complaining!" So here are the three culprits...
Used in the Premier League, Serie A and Primera Division. The Ascente ball travels 2.4% faster and 0.5m further than previous incarnations, made possible by a micro-texture casing.
Used in the Champions League. Ball texture, panel configuration and thermal bonding deliver optimal flight trajectory.
Used in the football league, League Cup and Scottish Premier Division. The micro-fibre outer, textured grain surface and Mitre cincap lining system deliver power and speed.
CAMERON JEROME (Birmingham City forward) - “If you hit the ball at a certain pace, it has a lot of movement and the change of direction and velocity at which it flies through the air can really aid a striker. If you really strike through the ball, it flies, and that can only be good for us front men.”
MARCUS HAHNEMANN (Wolverhampton Wanderers goalkeeper) - “Some balls are more predictable than others, that’s the ones you want. Some are terrible like plastic balls on the beach, you know, those that you kick one way and they go the other. With some balls, at corners, I can’t come for them because I just don’t know where they’re going.”
SO WE WANT TO KNOW HAS BALL TECHNOLOGY SWUNG TOO MUCH IN FAVOR OF THE STRIKERS. DOES IT RUIN THE GAME IF A SHOT WILL FIND THE BACK OF THE NET THROUGH BALL MOVEMENT. HAS BALL TECHNOLOGY GONE TOO FAR?
Article inspired by The Times original story.