21 Jun 2010




1) The word originated from IsiZulu language, one of the 11 official languages of the Republic of South Africa.

2) It's actually a ball used for FIFA World Cup 2010 tournament in South Africa

3) Brand Adidas

4) Jabulani design is influenced by the diversity of South Africa.

  • 11 distinct tribes in South Africa (Shangaan, Zulu, Xhosa, Venda, Tswana, Tsonga, Swazi, Sotho, Ndebele, Khoisan, Afrikaner)
  • 11 official languages (Afrikaans, English, IsiNdebele, IsiXhosa, IsiZulu, Sepedi, Sesotho, Setswana, SiSwati, Tshivenda, Xitsonga)
  • 11 players in a football team

Therefore, to honour all that, Adidas used 11 colours on the ball and a graphic image that
represents the Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg
  • This is the 11th time Adidas became the official World Cup ball
  • World Cup 2010 kicked-off on 11th of June 2010
  • And the final will be on 11th of July 2010


5) Made in China
  • Thermoplastic polyurethane-elastomer (TPU) TPU 0.3 mm - Manufactured in Taiwan
  • Latex bladder - Manufactured in India
  • Ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) EVA 3.5 mm - Manufactured in China
  • Isotropic polyester/cotton fabric - Manufactured in China
  • Glue - Manufactured in China
  • Ink (11 colours) - Manufactured in China
Well, that's sure is Truly Asia.

To date, the Jabulani had attracted a mixed review from the players, notably goalkeepers and strikers. Some unfortunate goalkeepers had been on the bad receiving end of the Jabulani.

Goalkeeper nightmare :

Based on my observation, the ball have the tendency to curve upwards when kicked with high force. If the shot bounced on the ground one or two feet in front of the keeper, it tends to move or swerved a little bit which make keeper's judgment inaccurate and difficult to handle. Many experienced, top class, keeper would palm away the ball or at least they would make sure that their body is on the way to block the ball should it skidded passed their palm.

Jabulani victim :

Robert Green, England (vs USA). click here - The goalkeeper had a nightmare on his World Cup debut when a shot on goal that is seem save-able, skidded his palm and the Jabulani rolled agonisingly into
an empty net.

Faouzi Chaouchi, Algeria (vs Slovenia) - The goalkeeper thought he had it covered when a speculative shot by Robert Koren from outside of the box towards goal. Instead, the Jabulani swerved away from his hand into the goal

Richard Kingson, Ghana (vs Australia) - A free-kick shot from outside of the box bounced a couple of feet in front of the goalkeeper who think he had it covered, but the ball bounced awkwardly off the goalkeeper body into the path of opposition player, who then scored.

Free-kick takers nightmare :

World Cup always produced a wonder goal from a free-kick takers. But, not with Jabulani.. the proper word is.. not yet. The free kick up until now always going wide or ballooning pass the goal post without the goalkeeper even try to reach or dive for it. Out of 57 goals so far.. non are, to the best of my knowledge, scored from a free kick. That is unusual at the World Cup. It is a shame that David Beckham unable to pit his free kick skills against the Jabulani.

Having said that, some players had enjoyed a good return and scored some superb goal which mostly come from open play.

Super shot :

Riccardo Montolivo, Italy (vs New Zealand) - A low drive from outside of the box cannoned off the New Zealand left upright with goalkeeper already beaten and the defender hacked it into safety. A superb camera angle
revealed that, the Jabulani is actually curve inside towards goal and almost produced a very good goal.

Valter Birsa, Slovenia (vs USA) - he was allowed to turn and curling a superb shot past the helpless Tim Howard. The goalkeeper don't even bother to move. The Jabulani fly past the goalkeeper in a flash.

However, the number of goals for the 2nd round group match were kept increasing now as team started to take some risk. Surely, when players get their gripped with the Jabulani, there will be spectacular goal in store.

That would be excellent for a late night stay up spectator like me. VIVA!

Picture source : Wikipedia , ESPNSoccernet & Google

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