David de Gea and Marc-Andre ter Stegen have criticised the official 2018 FIFA World Cup matchball, while Pepe Reina has called for it to be changed ahead of the tournament.
But after Spain and Germany drew 1-1 in an international friendly in Dusseldorf on Saturday (AEDT), both goalkeepers who started the game were critical of the ball.
“It’s really strange,” said Manchester United goalkeeper De Gea, who was beaten by Thomas Muller’s placed 25-yard drive.
“It could have been made a lot better.”
Ter Stegen was even more critical of the ball, telling AS: “The ball could be better; it moves a lot.”
“But I think we’re just going to have to get used to working with it – and try to get to grips with it as quickly as possible before the World Cup starts. We’ve got no other option.”
De Gea’s international team-mate Reina, however, thinks the authorities have to consider switching the Telstar 18 for a different matchball.
“I bet you as much as you like that we’ll see at least 35 goals from long range in Russia, because it’s impossible to work out,” Reina told AS.
“It’s covered in a plastic film that makes it difficult to hold on to. Goalkeepers are going to have a lot of problems with this ball.”
“They should change it. There’s still time.”