Lehmann complains about match ball

German Football
By German Football May 30, 2008 01:04

Lehmann complains about match ball

Germany’s goalkeeper Jens Lehmann has admitted that he is struggling to adjust to the new ball that will be used at Euro 2008. The official Euro 2008 ball, dubbed the Europass, is made by Adidas and has a new surface structure which the makers say creates greater swerve.

The 14-panels of the Europass have been joined together using Adidas’ revolutionary Thermal Bonding Technology, which – along with the unique PSC-Texture surface structure – is supposed to ensure exceptional ball control, greater power transmission, swerve and accuracy, in all types of weather.

Lehmann’s performance in Tuesday’s friendly with Belarus was widely criticized as Germany let slip a two-goal lead to draw 2-2. Lehmann, who has scarcely featured for his club this season, conceded twice in the last 30 minutes to Vitali Bulyga to once again raise questions over his suitability as the number one keeper for Germany in Austria and Switzerland.

And Lehmann revealed this week that he was finding the movement of the new ball difficult to cope with. Speaking to Kicker magazine, he said: ‘The ball is very difficult for me. I only trained with it for the first time a week ago. It is once again different to the ones before it. I had a situation in the first half (against Belarus) where I wanted to hold on to the ball – and then it started to move around. I hope in the coming days, when also my freshness will come back, that I then have a bit of time for a lot of shot training in order to get more familiar with the ball.’

Low admitted Lehmann is still short of match practice, but claimed he had no intention of dropping him. He told the German FA’s official website: ‘You can sense that he needs games. He will definitely play in goal against Serbia on Saturday. We still trust him.’ The Germany coach has included Hannover’s Robert Enke and uncapped Bayer Leverkusen youngster Rene Adler as the other two goalkeepers on his squad.

Lehmann has not been the only goalkeeper to have complained about the new ball. The two goalkeepers on Italy’s Euro 2008 squad, Gianluigi Buffon and Marco Amelia, have also spoken out against the ball, with Amerlia calling the flight of the ball “erratic”. The build-up to big tournaments is often dominated by goalkeepers worrying about new balls, which are brought out especially for the events.

Edit: Here’s an interesting video about how the Europass ball is made.

German Football
By German Football May 30, 2008 01:04
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