Thursday, 17 June 2010

[WC2010] Marchetti wary of Jabulani ball

Italy goalkeeper Federico Marchetti has conceded that he is worried about the Jabulani matchball ahead of their second game of the World Cup.

The Cagliari 'keeper is expected to replace No1 Gianluigi Buffon after the talismanic Juventus shot-stopper's injury during the first half of their 1-1 draw with Paraguay ruled him out of their second Group F game against New Zealand on Sunday.

Marchetti played in the second half of their opening game, giving an assured performance despite his surprising call to replace Buffon, who is understood to have a herniated disc, at half-time.

Despite appearing calm, Marchetti did admit that much of the speculation and controversy regarding the ball has made him nervous ahead of the game.

"We know the ball does unexpected things and the goalkeepers, like defenders and strikers, have to expect a change of trajectory or a strange bounce," he said.

"The pitches are heavily watered so the ball skips off the surface really quickly and hence that makes things much harder.

"It's a difficult ball, I think it's the worst. Gigi (Buffon) and Morgan (De Sanctis) who have played in previous World Cups and have the experience of other balls say it's the worst of all time.

"The thing that makes you understand just how bad it is, is that all players are complaining about it.

"The flight changes unexpectedly. High balls, low balls, the flight is not that of a normal ball.

"It's difficult to read and goes faster than normal balls."

The ball has already caused problems during the tournament, with Algeria goalkeeper Faouzi Chaouchi conceding from Slovenia's Robert Koren and England's Robert Green failing to hold on to a simple shot from USA midfielder Clint Dempsey.

"It's normal, the goalkeeper is the last line of defence and if you make a mistake, it's a goal," Marchetti added.

"It's normal that it weighs heavy and I'm sorry for what happened to the England goalkeeper but that's part of game."

Marchetti's rise through the ranks to the highest level has been a rapid one as he has become one of Italy's most consistent keepers after playing in the second tier of Italian football just two years ago for AlbinoLeffe before earning a move to Cagliari.

He admitted he felt lucky to be in his current position, but was also mindful of impressing some of Europe's top clubs should his performances be up to a high standard.

"I know this is a very important opportunity and I want to make the most of it," he said.

"But as far as the transfer market is concerned, I'm not thinking about it right now, I'm just thinking about this World Cup and the opportunity I have and doing the best I can."

Source: Sky Sports

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