Jabulani worries Marchetti
Federico Marchetti (AFP)
Irene - Italy's Federico Marchetti admitted on Thursday that he is worried about the official Jabulani ball ahead of his first ever World Cup start.
The 27-year-old Cagliari goalkeeper replaced first choice stopper Gianluigi Buffon at half-time of the world champions' opening Group F match against Paraguay on Monday.
He had little to do in those 45 minutes and now, with Buffon ruled out with a herniated disc in his back, he is set to start on Sunday against New Zealand in Nelspruit.
But while he seems calm enough, it is the unpredictable nature of the flight of the ball which has got him biting his nails.
"We know the ball does unexpected things and the goalkeepers, like defenders and strikers have to expect a change of trajectory or a strange bounce," he said.
"The pitches are heavily watered so the ball skips off the surface really quickly and hence that makes things much harder."
Marchetti also agreed with England coach and compatriot Fabio Capello that this is the worst ball he's ever played with.
"It's a difficult ball, I think it's the worst. Gigi (Buffon) and Morgan (De Sanctis) who have played in previous World Cups and have the experience of other balls say it's the worst of all time.
"The thing that makes you understand just how bad it is, is that all players are complaining about it.
"The flight changes unexpectedly. High balls, low balls, the flight is not that of a normal ball.
"It's difficult to read and goes faster than normal balls."
And what happened to England's Robert Green is fresh in Marchetti's mind but he acknowledges that that is the risk you run when playing between the sticks.
"It's normal, the goalkeeper is the last line of defence and if you make a mistake, it's a goal," he said.
"It's normal that it weighs heavy and I'm sorry for what happened to the England goalkeeper but that's part of game."
Marchetti's route to this point in his career has been an at times bumpy one and he was once involved in a serious car crash, which makes him appreciate even more what he has gone on to achieve.
"I had a bad crash five years ago, when death flashes before your eyes something happens that's difficult to explain," he said.
"It was a terrible experience that I carry inside and is a part of me."
Only two years ago Marchetti was playing in the Italian second division with little-known AlbinoLeffe since when his rise through the ranks has been startling.
And he is hoping that a good performance in the World Cup could put him in the shop window, even if he doesn't want to think about a transfer at this time.
"I know this is a very important opportunity and I want to make the most of it," he said.
"But as far as the transfer market is concerned, I'm not thinking about it right now, I'm just thinking about this World Cup and the opportunity I have and doing the best I can."