Can a 0 high-tech football produce such spectacular goals at Euro 2024?

Can a $170 high-tech football produce such spectacular goals at Euro 2024?


adidas FUSSBALLLIEBE - which means in German

The adidas FUSSBALLLIEBE — which means “love of football” in German — and the official match ball of the European Championship sits on the pitch before the Group A match between Germany and Hungary at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Stuttgart, Germany, on June 19, 2024. | Photo credit: AP

Euro 2024 has gotten off to a blistering start with some great goals being scored from all sides.

Can a $170 high-tech football be thanked for this?

“When you hit the ball it's always going to be a hit,” England captain Harry Kane said.

The adidas Fussballliebe, which means “love of football” in German, is the official match ball of the European Championship. And players have quickly mastered it with many spectacular, long-range goals.

“It's fast,” Kane said. “For me, personally, it's better for strikers or goal-scorers than goalkeepers, so I'm not going to complain about it.”

Nor are the fans excited even after such a spectacular strike.

Arda Guler scored a curling effort into the top corner from around 20 metres in Turkey's 3-1 win over Georgia. His teammate Mert Muldur equalised with a volley from the edge of the box in the same game.

Romania's Nicolae Stanciu scored another goal from distance against Ukraine, nearly scoring from a corner kick but it hit the crossbar.

Xherdan Shaqiri scored a brilliant goal for Switzerland against Scotland, and Italy's Nicolo Barella and the Czech Republic's Lukas Provod also scored.

“None of the footballs for these tournaments are made with the goalkeeper in mind,” said Denmark goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel. “They're fun to strike. You can go a good distance. They're definitely not made for a goalkeeper to grip.”

Official tournament balls have been criticised in the past. Some players complained that Adidas' Jabulani ball for the 2010 World Cup was unpredictable.

UEFA says the fussball is “designed for accuracy and stability, supporting fast, precise play with maximum shape and air retention.”

The balls are made from recycled polyester and more “sustainable bio-based materials” than balls used in previous tournaments, including corn fibres, sugar cane and wood pulp.

The ball's price was reduced to $85 and it went on sale at Adidas' online store in the United States.

It's unclear what role it played in Guller's wonder goal, but the smart technology in the balls helped VAR officials to rule out Romelu Lukaku's potential last-minute equaliser, leaving Belgium losing 1-0 to Slovakia.

UEFA is using connected ball technology for the first time at the European Championship, which can help identify every touch of the ball and send accurate data to the video assistant referee. A chip mounted on a gyroscope inside the ball sends data 500 times per second to record the point at which the ball has been kicked.

In combination with AI, it can help determine offside, but in Belgium's case it had detected a slight handball from Lois Openda before Lukaku's disallowed goal in the 86th minute.

“The sensor embedded in the official match ball from Adidas was able to accurately record the contact of a player's hand with the surface of the ball,” UEFA said. “This was the first time that fast and accurate technology supported a referee's decision during a Euro 2024 match.”



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