Players and fans alike are gearing up for the UEFA Euro 2016 in France which promises to be a footballing event to remember. The European Cup has seen some eye-catching footballs over the years, from the colourful ‘Questra Europa’ in 1996 to the silver ‘Roteiro’ in 2004. Adidas have, yet again, come up with the brilliant ‘Beau Jeu’, the official match ball of Euro 2016.
Adidas had unveiled the new Euro 2016 Beau Jeu Ball in November 2015 in Paris in a gala event. France legend Zinedine Zidane was present in the launch alongside Spain great Xavi. The Beau Jeu Ball succeeds Tango 12 Finale which was used in Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine.
The Beau Jeu, which translates in English as ‘Beautiful Game’, is inspired by the host country France’s famed tricolour. Primarily white, the ball incorporates streaks of blue and red alongside slick silver trims symbolizing the much sought after Euro trophy. The jazzy orange highlights will enable improved in-flight visibility for the players.
The Beau Jeu features the letters ‘E’, ‘U’, ‘R’, ‘O’ and ‘2’, ‘0’, ‘1’, ‘6’ throughout the panels alongside the official tournament logo. With its geometric visuals, it bears a certain French flair opposed to the chaotic and colourful ‘Brazuca’ of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
The Adidas Beau Jeu bears the same panel design as the acclaimed ‘Brazuca’ which was used in the FIFA World Cup 2014. Much of the technology of the Brazuca is retained which includes the revolutionary six-panel construction which gives the ball perfect roundedness and true flight.
An upgrade to the popular Brazuca, The Adidas Beau Jeu has a different texture and provides improved grip. This means players will be able to have better ball control in wet conditions and dribbling with the ball will be easier.
Adidas had come under fire during the 2010 FIFA World Cup for the infamous ‘Jabulani’ ball for its unpredictability in flight. It was hugely criticized by players, with Michael Carrick comparing it to a ‘Beach Ball’ and former Brazil goalkeeper Julio Caesar calling it ‘a ball from the supermarket.’
Adidas redeemed itself by introducing the impeccable Brazuca for the FIFA 2014 World Cup which was widely praised by players. Since then, the Brazuca has been used in major tournaments where Adidas balls have been used.
The official match ball for Euro 2016, Beau Jeu was developed after testing for 18 months by top Adidas athletes in their global headquarters in Herzogenaurach, Germany. The rough texture of the ball enables it to be more predictable in-flight and stop a process called knuckling, which makes a ball have volatile swoops and knocks. Knuckling occurs more in smoother balls like the Jabulani, where the air passing over the seams tends to move the ball.
Wales forward Gareth Bale was impressed with the Beau Jeu when he put the ball to test with strikes from distance, passing and running at pace. “It performed brilliantly. I can’t wait for the tournament to start,” said Bale.
Iker Casillas, Spain captain also endorsed the ball.“As a goalkeeper, it’s important to have the chance to take goal-kicks, practice shot-stopping, punch, catch and throw any new ball,” said Casillas. “Beau Jeu is going to be great at EURO 2016,” he added.
We surely do hope so.Published 27 May 2016, 19:05 IST