New World Cup ball 'Brazuca' unveiled to honour Brazil
Ceremony held Tuesday in Rio de Janeiro
The new ball for next year's World Cup — called the "Brazuca," in honour of Brazil, of course — was unveiled at a ceremony Tuesday in Rio de Janeiro.
The word "Brazuca" has a double meaning, used as a term for Brazilians living abroad — including its many footballers — but also as slang used to describe national pride or anything "Brazilianish."
Manufacturer Adidas said the ball offers "breakthrough innovation" featuring what it calls a "revolutionary six-panel design."
The ball is decorated with a ribbon design in shades of blue, gold and green, which Adidas said symbolizes the traditional "wish bracelets" worn in Brazil.
The ball makes its real debut on June 12 in the opening game in Sao Paulo, and will be used until the final July 13 in Rio de Janeiro.
"The FIFA World Cup match ball is the icon of the tournament as the centerpiece of every goal, every play and every touch," said Ernesto Bruce, director of football for Adidas America. "Adidas has a rich legacy at the World Cup, providing the official match ball for every tournament since 1970."
Some World Cup balls are more popular than others, with players often complaining about the feel of a new ball or the way it moves in the air. Goalkeepers often say they have trouble tracking the new models, which seem to move faster at every World Cup tournament.
Adidas manufactured a ball named "Jabulani" for the 2010 in South Africa, which was heavily criticized by some players who said its movements were unpredictable.
The "Brazuca" was unveiled at a ceremony at Parque Lage in Rio's lush Botanical Garden.