Goalkeepers face increasingly difficult tasks at World Cup competitions as balls go faster in flight, and the new model used in Qatar is no exception, according to Uruguayan goalkeeper Sergio Rochet on Sunday.
“Year after year, it gets better for the strikers and for us goalkeepers it gets very tough,” Rochet told reporters ahead of the South Americans first match of the 2022 World Cup against South Korea on Thursday.
FIFA has said that the new ball – named Al Rihla or “the journey” in Arabic – travels faster than any other in the tournament’s history.
“This is a very fast ball,” Rochet said. “We are in a process of adaptation.”
The 29-year-old, who plays for Nacional in his homeland, has established himself as the first choice keeper for Uruguay coach Diego Alonso, taking over from Fernando Muslera, 36, a veteran of three World Cups but who is likely to be sitting on the bench this time.
Rochet was speaking to reporters after a training session that ended with a series of games and jokes.
“We have a very good group. There is no doubting the quality. A good atmosphere can be a good influence,” Rochet said. “But when the time comes to work, we focus 100 per cent on what we have to do.”