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The Jabulani

by Oscar Mario Rosas Tabera
(Chofu, Tokyo, Japan)

The Jabulani ball, the most perfect ball of all time.

The Jabulani ball, the most perfect ball of all time.

The Jabulani ball, the most perfect ball of all time. Robert Greene failed to stop the shot. It's considered the big blooper of the world cup. The Jobulani ball used only in the final match. In memory of Nelson Mandela, because without him, South Africa wouldn't be as we know it now.

It was June 11th, 2010 when the FIFA World Cup in South Africa started its first match: South Africa vs. Mexico!

I remember it very well. I was watching the match in my living room, and maybe many people don't remember the first goal, but it was a real masterpiece, and then, many players realized that this world cup wouldn't be so easy, and this was because of the ball, the all-mighty Jabulani.

The Jabulani ball was the most perfect ball in soccer history. Its roundness and characteristics made the game more difficult as the goalkeepers and players could not predict the flight of the ball. Jabulani means "celebrate" in Zulu, and it was used in every match during the championship. But, some people might have noticed, the ball used during the final match was the golden version of the Jabulani, the Jobulani (its name comes from the capital of South Africa, Johannesburg).

If you remember the first goal of the competition (in the match between South Africa and Mexico), you noticed that the ball kept a linear trajectory, but then, due to the speed, it curved and then got into the goal. Many players (especially the goalkeepers) argued that everything was perfect except for the Jobulani. In fact, this controversial ball was studied by NASA, where they realized that the ball's behavior followed something called the knuckle effect, where at high velocities (above 70 km/h), the flight of the ball becomes unpredictable.

The 2014 World Cup championship in Brazil will have a new ball, the Brazuca. It is said that it is more efficient, more round, and it seems that we can enjoy again some curious and amazing goals in South Africa's world cup.

Do you remember what were you doing at the moment of the 2010 World Cup?

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