Behold, the Adidas Brazuca. It is the official match ball of the 2014 FIFA World Cup to be held in Brazil. For a whole month, this ball’s maneuvers will capture the world’s attention.
The term Brazuca is defined by FIFA as “the informal term used by Brazilians to describe national pride.” Incidentally, the definition also resonates among the citizens of the small industrial town of Sialkot in Pakistan. Companies such as Forward Sports are producing millions of footballs every year. This year, they get a chance to produce the most important ball of all: the Brazuca itself.
Pakistan, the country torn apart by terrorism and internal strife, is making a comeback in the world sports industry with the production of the official World Cup ball in the industrial town of Sialkot.
The journey of poor Pakistani workers from hand-stitched balls World Cup balls in 1982 to thermo-bonded Brazuca in 2014 has been phenomenal. They lost the contract in 2009 to China due to child labor in spite of cheaper production costs. However, the country is now back in the game.
Not only has Pakistan proved itself a world leader in sports manufacturing, it has also an enormous reserve of talent which is evident from its bronze medal in the Street Child World Cup.
“Brazuca was supposed to be made in China alone but the design was so good and response was so overwhelming that Adidas decided to have as second source in order to boost production,” Aziz ur Rehman, Adidas’ Director Sourcing Pakistan, said. “Forward Sports is one of the top notch factories and it was an easy decision to have it as a second source.”
The country’s progress in the field of manufacturing has certainly put Maradona, Argentina’s 1986 World Cup-winning captain’s statement to shame. The legendary footballer famously said that Argentine soccer chiefs knew even less about the sport than the people of Pakistan.
It may be time for him to rethink his words.
Check out this video for an insight into how the ball is made:
(How it’s made)