Every major tournament, there is some controversy or hoopla over the ball. Unpredictable flight, difficult to control bounces; they’re all complaints heard over the last few ball releases from major tournament sponsor adidas.
Coinciding with today’s UEFA Euro 2012 draw, adidas unveil the tournament’s official ball, The Tango 12. This is a bold statement as The Tango 12 takes its name and inspiration from the 1978 World Cup ball, a ball I still hold very dear to my heart. Four years spent during university and there’s nothing that felt better than pinging a Tango or the soft PU against your gloves. But that aside, of course over 20 years later, the development and the construction of the ball has changed.
adidas release a rather complicated video that runs the 2012 Tango through a battery of tests to ensure no more bitching and whining come kick-off, although you can be sure countries will be testing the ball as soon as possible. The stand-out test is a robotic leg who can reproduce the same strike time after time with final results showing that The Tango 12 always hit the target with a deviation of only 20 cm… but then again these are all laced shots I wonder how those lining up for free kicks will feel and if the real world tests will come out differently.