The World Cup balls are getting faster and faster, says the Uruguay goalkeeper

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Goalkeepers face an increasingly difficult task during the Qatar World Cup 2022 tournaments as the balls move faster and faster and the new model used in Qatar is no exception, said Uruguayan goalkeeper Sergio Rochet.

FIFA has said the new ball – dubbed Al Rihla or “the journey” in Arabic – travels faster than any other in the tournament’s history.

“Year after year it gets better for the attackers and for us goalkeepers it gets very tough,” Rochet told reporters on Sunday ahead of the South Americans’ first match at the 2022 World Cup against South Korea on Thursday.

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“This is a very fast ball,” said Rochet. “We are in an adjustment process.”

The 29-year-old, who plays for Nacional in his home country, has established himself as Uruguay coach Diego Alonso’s first-choice goalkeeper, succeeding Fernando Muslera, 36, a three-World Cup veteran but this time on the bench.

Rochet spoke to reporters after a training session that ended with a series of games and jokes.

“We have a very good group. There is no doubt about the quality. A good atmosphere can have a good influence,” said Rochet.

“But when it’s time to work, we focus 100 percent on what we need to do.”

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The Uruguayan team has arrived in Qatar with a mix of youth and experience leading some commentators to believe they are someone to watch at the World Cup.

After the match against South Korea, two-time world champions Uruguay will face Portugal and Ghana in Group H.

The team’s Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani will compete in their fourth World Cup as the Uruguayan side look to lift the trophy for the first time since 1950.

“You always dream and hope to get as far as possible in the tournament, but we have to go step by step,” Rochet said on Sunday.

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“It’s a very difficult group where any team is capable of beating any rival, so we just have to focus on the road ahead and think about South Korea now, and that’s our only focus,” he said .

“Then, after Korea, we will start thinking about Portugal and that’s the way to go into every match with confidence, because I think we have a very good team.”

The post World Cup balls are getting faster, says Uruguay goalkeeper appeared first on Al Jazeera.

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