FourFourTwo - - GOLDEN BOOT -

What does a new tour­na­ment mean? A new ball. In Rus­sia it will be the Tel­star 18: in 2010 it was the Jab­u­lani, un­pop­u­lar with play­ers for chang­ing di­rec­tion in mid-air.

David Villa (right) fin­ished as joint top scorer that year, and says plenty of prac­tice with the ball was piv­otal. “In foot­ball some­times there’s a dif­fer­ent ball or dif­fer­ent weather con­di­tions, so you need to fig­ure things out,” he tells

FFT. “Of course every­body was say­ing that the Jab­u­lani was not a good ball, but that was the ball. The ball wasn’t go­ing to change, so we needed to be fo­cused on play­ing well with it.”

Villa’s prepa­ra­tion paid off – he hit five goals to help Spain tri­umph in South Africa.

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