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Alves: Waiting to play with Brazuca

Rio de Janeiro: The latest army of Brazil fans born in the country have been offered a free World Cup ball by German sporting goods maker Adidas, as part of the official launch of the Brazuca.

The company’s chief executive Herbert Hainer said earlier this week that he expected Adidas to sell a record number of soccer balls next year when the tournament kicks off. However, any child born in Brazil on Tuesday, when the ball was launched, can be the proud owner of a Brazuca, named in 2012 after a public vote in Brazil involving one million fans.

The name comes from an informal local term meaning “Brazilian” and refers to the Brazilian way of life. It is also used to compliment a skilful move on the pitch. The colours and ribbon design on the ball symbolise the traditional multi-coloured wish bracelets worn in the country.

The ball was tested for two-and-half years by more than 600 players and 30 teams in 10 countries across three continents, including Argentina’s Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi and European champions Bayern Munich. It was also used in several internationals, with a different design, including a Sweden-Argentina friendly in February.

Adidas has made every World Cup ball since 1970 and recently extended its partnership with soccer’s world governing body Fifa till 2030. That includes the supply of the official match ball.

The company said in a press release that the ball has “a new structural innovation with a unique symmetry of six identical panels alongside a different surface structure will provide improved grip, touch, stability and aerodynamics on the pitch”.

Brazil fullback Dani Alves said: “...we’re going to have a lot of fun with it. Most importantly, it plays well on the ground and in the air. It’s increased my levels of excitement even further and I honestly cannot wait for the opening game... Cannot wait to play with it.”