Jabulani: The official matchball

On the day of the Final Draw for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™, the official ball for the competition has been unveiled. The adidas Jabulani, which means ‘to celebrate’ in isiZulu, is the 11th edition of adidas's FIFA World Cup balls.

The 11 colours that are present on the Jabulani pay tribute to both football and the country in which Africa’s first-ever FIFA World Cup will be held. They represent a colour for each team player, every official South African language and for each of the 11 South African communities that will welcome the world next year. The design celebrates two of the most important facets of the South African nation - diversity and harmony - as it is these principles that make it such a colourful and welcoming nation.

Grip 'n' groove
Jabulani ushers in some major advances in football technology. Running your hands over the ball, the first impression is the grip’n’groove texture, which allows for maximum control, stable flight and perfect grip under all conditions.

The grip ’n’ groove’s profile circles twist around round the entire ball in an optimal aerodynamic way and the integrated grooves provide unmatched flight characteristics, making this the most stable and most accurate adidas ball ever.

Minimal seam, more perfection
As opposed to the flat-paneled molding of previous adidas footballs, Jabulani comprises eight thermally bonded 3D panels that have been, for the first time ever, spherically molded to make this ball a perfectly round football that is more accurate than ever before.

"According to the rigorous FIFA specification range for footballs, we have created a ball that is small and heavy allowing for maximum accuracy, perfect grip and exceptionally stable flight," said Thomas Van Schaik, the adidas Head of Global Public Relations.

A number of the world’s best players have echoed Thomas’s sentiment. Frank Lampard remarked: “It's a very strong ball, true to hit.” While on the receiving end of one of Lampard’s strikes goalkeeper Petr Cech said “You can feel the energy coming towards you, like a shot.”

Football history
From as far back as the Telstar used at Mexico 1970, the first ever adidas FIFA World Cup ball, adidas have been dedicated to propelling football technology into the future, always innovating and never settling for the ordinary.

The distinct 32 white and black leather panels that comprised the Telstar made it the roundest ball of its time. Meanwhile the Tango used at Argentina 1978 was so futuristic that it formed the blueprint for the next five FIFA World Cup footballs. The 2002 and 2006 editions of the FIFA World Cup ushered in football revolutions in their own right, showing adidas’ ability to keep ahead of the game, in a world in which technology is changing faster than ever before.

From that first 32 white and black paneled Telstar to the eight-paneled synthetic masterpiece that is ‘Jabulani’, adidas have maintained a standard is line with their core value “impossible is nothing.”