Yes, we all know and are probably sick to death of hearing that the Adidas Brazuca — the official football for the 2014 FIFA World Cup is made right here, in Pakistan.
But putting that aside for a minute, let’s take a look at what actually makes the ‘Brazuca’ so special…
Dubbed ‘the most aerodynamic ball ever created’ the Brazuca is not your ‘regular’ football. Traditionally, footballs are stitched using 32 hexagonal panels that come together to give it its perfectly-round shape. But unlike ‘traditional’ footballs, the Brazuca has been designed with six thermally-bonded polyurethane panels in order to improve durability, grip, feel, control and aerodynamics.
Pakistan’s football-making industry started back in the 1850s, when British soldiers stationed in Sialkot would take their balls to a local shoemaker to have them stitched. But one should never underestimate the ingenuity of the Pakistani people… Sure enough, it wasn’t long before that same shoemaker eventually learned to make his own. The rest, as they say is history…
We’re all familiar with the figures. Producing up to 60 million footballs a year, Sialkot’s football-manufacturing industry is so large, 7 out of 10 footballs in the world are made here.
But what is perhaps most impressive has to be the manufacturing process itself: Each of the six panels for the ball are cut, painted, baked, stamped, heated, stamped again, heated again to 150-degrees, glued, put-together, taped, blow-dried, inflated, picked, inspected, wiped, polished and weighed… A process so meticulous it ensures each ball is exactly the same as the next.
A mega-blower then shoots the ball at a speed of about 45 mph – roughly the same speed a top-striker would deliver a devastating blow. Each ball is tested 5000 times to ensure it can handle the power delivered by the World’s best footballers.
To think football greats Lionel Messi, Neymar, Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, Andrea Pirlo, you name it – if they are playing in the World Cup, will be scoring goals with footballs made right here, on home soil.
Pakistan may not be participating in the tournament, but its presence is already being felt in every match… Such a beautiful feeling!