Soccer-Euro-Italy reserve keeper Amelia complains about ball

FLORENCE, Italy, May 27 (Reuters) - The official match ball for Euro 2008 will cause goalkeepers more problems than usual because of its erratic flight, Italy’s reserve keeper Marco Amelia said on Tuesday.

The build-up to big tournaments is often dominated by goalkeepers worrying about new balls, which are brought out especially for the events.

The official Euro 2008 ball, EUROPASS, is made by Adidas and has a new surface structure which the makers say creates greater swerve.

“It changes direction. To not make a mess trying to stop it, it’s better to beat it away,” Amelia told Italy’s La Repubblica Web site (

The world champions have been using the new balls at their training base near Florence since Sunday. They face Belgium in their final friendly on Friday before heading to Austria and Switzerland for June’s tournament.

Amelia is unlikely to feature at Euro 2008 unless Gianluigi Buffon, widely regarded as one of the world’s best keepers, is injured or suspended. (Writing by Mark Meadows in Milan; Editing by Sonia Oxley)