MOSCOW: The official matchball for next year’s Confederations Cup in Russia has been formally launched under the name Krasava.

The name is Russian slang praise for a player achieving a beautiful goal or an amazing run.

Alexei Smertin former Russia captain and 2018 organising ambassador, said: “The words ‘krasava’ and ‘krasivyi’ [beautiful] have the same root in the Russian language. I don’t doubt that fans from all over the world will approve of the name because it sounds pleasant not only for Russian speakers.”

Confederations Cup matchball

A FIFA statement explained: “The pattern on the ball developed by FIFA partner adidas features a striking red design with jagged lines running through it, designed to represent the design of a Russian ruby and the metaphorical jewel of the game.

“The structure of the ball incorporates innovative and widely-praised panel shape which offers premium surface structure, enhanced grip and in-flight visibility.”

The Krasava will be trialled in live conditions by six continental champions – Australia (AFC Asian Cup winners), Chile (Copa America winners), Mexico (CONCACAF Gold Cup winners), New Zealand (OFC Nations Cup winners), Portugal (UEFA EURO 2016 winners) and the yet-to-be-decided Africa Cup of Nations winners – plus world champions Germany and Russia.

The World Cup hosts will be the first to try out the ball in a friendly against Romania in Grozny on November 14.

Smertin added: “Every major tournament simply must have a fantastic ball.

“The unveiling of Krasava is yet another important step on the road to the FIFA Confederations Cup, which I’m sure Russia will host to a high standard.

“We can’t wait to welcome fans and football stars from all over the world. I hope this tournament will help people discover many things about Russia and learn a bit more of the language”.