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Adidas Telstar 18: De Gea, Reina, Ter Stegen slam World Cup ball

WORLD CUP 2018

Adidas Telstar 18: De Gea, Reina, Ter Stegen slam World Cup ball

Adidas Telstar 18: De Gea, Reina, Ter Stegen slam World Cup ball

EFE

"They should change it - there's still time," Spain keeper Pepe Reina told AS. "It could have been made better," agreed number one David de Gea.

The match ball for the upcoming World Cup in Russia has come in for heavy criticism from goalkeepers David de Gea, Pepe Reina and Marc-André ter Stegen.

Given its international debut last November, the Adidas Telstar 18 is a re-imagining of the iconic ball used at the 1970 and 1974 World Cups, and was used on Friday as De Gea and Reina's Spain played out a friendly draw with Ter Stegen's Germany.

"Goalkeepers are going to have a lot of problems"

"It does strange things, its flight is unpredictable and there is a lot of room for improvement on it," was the trio's collective verdict. 

"I bet you as much as you like that we'll see at least 35 goals from long range [in Russia], because it's impossible to work out," said Reina. "And it's covered in a plastic film that makes it difficult to hold on to. 

"Goalkeepers are going to have a lot of problems with this ball."

"It's really strange," added Spain number one De Gea, who was in goal for La Roja in the 1-1 stalemate at Esprit Arena - and conceded a Thomas Müller drive from outside of the box. "It could have been made better."

Thomas Müller (second left) beats David de Gea from range in Friday's international friendly in Düsseldorf.

"They should change it - there's still time"

Ter Stegen, who also featured in Düsseldorf, told AS: "The ball could be better; it moves a lot. But I think we're just going to have to get used to working with it, and try to get to grips with it as quickly as possible before the World Cup starts.

"We've got no other option."

However, Reina disagrees: "They should change it - there's still time."

The latest on a growing list of controversial World Cup balls?

"The original Telstar is one of the most iconic footballs of all time and one which changed football design forever," Adidas' Roland Rommler had declared at its official unveiling late last year. "So developing the Telstar 18 while staying true to the original model was a really exciting challenge for us.

"The new panel structure and inclusion of an NFC chip has taken football innovation and design to a new level and offers both consumers and players a completely new experience."

But having far from earned universal approval for the balls that they have designed for recent World Cups - particularly 2010's infamous Jabulani - it appears that Adidas' 2018 effort is also in line for its fair share of controversy.

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