The new ball for next year's World Cup - called the "Brazuca," in honour of Brazil, of course - has been unveiled at a ceremony in Rio de Janeiro.
The word "Brazuca" has a double meaning, used as a term for Brazilians living abroad - including its many footballers - but also as slang used to describe national pride.
Manufacturer Adidas said on Tuesday the ball offers "breakthrough innovation" featuring what it calls a "revolutionary six-panel design".
New ball for the World Cup: Cafu, Hernane and Clarence Seedorf juggle the Brazuca. Photo: Getty IMNages
The ball is decorated with a ribbon design in shades of blue, gold and green, which Adidas says symbolises the traditional "wish bracelets" worn in Brazil.
The ball makes its real debut on June 12 in the opening game in Sao Paulo, and ends its tour July 13 at the final in Rio de Janeiro.
The ball for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, known as the Jabulani, came under fire from players and coaches.
Many players likened the Jabulani to a "supermarket ball", saying it was too unpredictable and flew through the air too easily.
Denmark defender Daniel Agger said at the time the ball made some outfielders look like "drunken sailors".
Adidas has made the World Cup ball since 1970 and is contracted through to 2014.
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
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