0 The Evolution of the World Cup Ball

FIFA World Cup, soccer ball, Jabulani
[Photo credit: NYTimes]
The first World Cup soccer, or football (depending on where you're from), competition was held in Uruguay in 1930. Eighty years later, South Africa will host the 19th FIFA World Cup tournament, taking place June 11-July 11, 2010.

Today's New York Times has a neat slideshow illustrating how the official soccer ball designs have changed throughout the years. The 1970 design from the Mexican games is easily the most recognizable; it became the modern Adidas soccer ball. The 2010 ball is nicknamed the "Jabulani," which means "to celebrate" in isiZulu, the language of South Africa's Zulu people. The Jabulani has eleven colors, each representing the eleven players in every soccer team, the eleven official languages of South Africa and the eleven South African communities.

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