Beau Jeu and Fracas: some marvels of technology
Each European, or World Cup has its own ball. And each ball has a name! For the Euro 2016, they are two! Called Beau Jeu and Fracas, all eyes have been on these little marvels for the past months!
Much like "Brazuca", the official ball of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, "Tango 12", the official ball of the Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine, and many other official balls of various cups and championships held over the past 30 years, Beau Jeu and Fracas, the official match balls of the Euro 2016 were the result of a collaboration between Adidas and Covestro.
And much like their illustrious predecessors since 1986, their outer shell is made from polyurethane, a special coating that ensures optimum contact with the player's boot and great control regardless of the weather conditions.
Although the balls have undergone many changes over thirty years and have become true marvels of technology, it took 18 months to develop the official match balls of the Euro 2016, which build on the best features of the Brazuca, which in turn took two years to develop, by adding a "French touch" with a little red white and blue and improvements in terms of adherence, trajectory and visibility.
Like Brazuca, they are made up of six pieces of polyurethane, but with a few improvements: out of the five successive layers of polyurethane in varying thicknesses, one intermediate layer is made from a foam containing millions of spheres, offering super elasticity and improving its impact resistance.
The engineers and technicians were able to create perfectly round balls by juxtaposing six square faces with curved edges through a process of thermal welding. Thanks to it, the balls do not absorb moisture and their weight only increases by 1% in rain.
In order to achieve controlled trajectories, the balls' external layer is made up of minuscule polyurethane crosspieces on a special polyester-cotton substrate. And to ensure that the balls do not glide, the tiny bumps disrupt the drag and enable the players, skilful in well-placed free kicks, to make the balls revolve and reach the top corner of the goal by tricking the goalkeeper.
One thing is certain: regardless of the results of competition, there is a Beau Jeu at the Euro 2016, Fracas demontrates it with flying colours!
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