TERESOPOLIS, BRAZIL - Brazilian goalkeeper Julio Cesar has backed the official World Cup ball, playing down possible worries over the performance of the Adidas-made Brazuca.
"The ball is a good one, we had contact with it today," the former Inter Milan and Queens Park Rangers player said of the Brazuca, which is a playful slang word for native Brazilians.
"I think the outfield players are going to like it, too," he added.
His comments at Brazil's training camp just outside Rio de Janeiro were in sharp contrast to four years ago when he and other players criticised the Jabulani ball, which was used in the South Africa World Cup.
That ball, he said, was too light and moved about in the air. It was "terrible, horrible, like a ball you buy in the supermarket," he added.
Julio Cesar had a miserable campaign at the 2010 World Cup, where his mistake contributed to Brazil's elimination by the Netherlands at the quarterfinal stage.
But the 34-year-old, who is now plying his trade with Toronto FC in Major League Soccer, said he had worked hard to recover his confidence after that career low point.
"Sometimes too much confidence can trip you up, and I say that from experience," he said. "After the World Cup, in addition to our elimination, I had problems with Inter and with Queens Park Rangers. I had to be very strong in order to be here today.
"I am a much better player than four years ago," he said. "Although I had the rank of best goalkeeper in the world in 2010 I feel like I am much better prepared today. You always have to take something positive from adversity."