New Ball Bamboozling Keepers: Abbondanzieri

Argentina’s goalkeeper Roberto Abbondanzieri says the high number of goals scored in this Copa America is down to the lightness of the tournament ball.

The Boca Juniors keeper said the ball frequently moved in flight, bamboozling goalkeepers.

“They are very light. Give this a hard whack and there’s no doubt the ball is going to move around,” Abbondanzieri said. “There are a lot of goals. Look how many goals there are in this Copa America. It’s impressive.”

The goals-per-game ratio at this tournament is a surprisingly high 3.4, far higher than any recent World Cup. Argentina have scored eight of the 47 goals in two games but they have also let in three and Abbondanzieri will feel he should have stopped at least one of them.

“If you hit the ball right and hit it well and if it is on target then it is very difficult for the keeper,” Abbondanzieri said. “The weight really grabs your attention. It’s so light. It’s something that makes the football better, but it is bad for the goalie.”

Nike admitted that their ball, named the Mercurial Veloci, was designed to be 4% faster than average.

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