Kasper Schmeichel claims the Euro 2020 semi-final match ball was ‘like a BAR OF SOAP’ after the Denmark keeper failed to hold on to Harry Kane’s penalty against England… and insists he would have saved it if he played with the group stage balls
- England beat Denmark 2-1 in the summer to reach Euro 2020 final at Wembley
- Kasper Schmeichel failed to stop Harry Kane penalty, which was rebounded
- He said he would have saved it if the balls were the same as in the group stage
- Schmeichel called the new balls ‘horrendous, awful’ and ‘like a bar of soap’
Kasper Schmeichel reckons he would have held Harry Kane’s Euro 2020 semi-final penalty – if the match ball was the same as the one that had been used earlier in the tournament.
Schmeichel saved Kane’s initial effort but was unable to gather the ball in and the England captain converted the rebound to send Gareth Southgate’s side into the final against Italy at Denmark’s expense.
Leicester goalkeeper Schmeichel has explained in detail how throughout his career he has alter which gloves he wears depending on the competition and the ball being used.
Kasper Schmeichel claims the Euro 2020 semi-final ball was ‘awful’ and ‘like a bar of soap’
England beat them 2-1 at Wembley after Harry Kane tucked home his penalty from a rebound
And the change of Adidas ball for the semi-final and final of Euro 2020 to one that felt like ‘a bar of soap’ had significant consequences, especially with Schmeichel also missing the gloves he had originally planned to use at Wembley.
‘For the semi-final they used a silver ball and that was completely different,’ Schmeichel told The Goalkeepers’ Union podcast.
‘The ball for the group stages and quarters was the best ball I’ve ever played with. Without question. The best ball to strike with, the best grip, everything was perfect with it. And then they changed it for the semi-final to a silver ball and I remember two days before we got the ball to train with and they were like a bar of soap.
‘Horrendous. So we had to fly to England and my gloves got stuck in customs after Brexit so I couldn’t get any gloves to work on this ball so I had to play with the ones I had and it was awful. Really, really awful.
Schmeichel believes he would have held on to the spot-kick if the balls had not been changed
‘It is like the last little percentage. I back my handling with anything, I back them without gloves so I wasn’t too fussed about that. The one thing I will say and it might sound strange and people who don’t understand goalkeeping might not believe it but I do believe with the other ball, if we’d played with the previous ball and not the silver ball, I would have been able to hold Harry’s penalty.
‘That would have made a difference for sure because that ball was so slippy it was incredible and I felt I really had to get something behind it to stop it I didn’t want to take the chance of having to catch it so I was trying to trap it which makes a slight bit of difference.’
Schmeichel described how the current Nike Premier League ball is a nightmare to deal with and revealed he is far from the only top-flight player who has been left unimpressed.
He said the balls used in the group stage and knockouts were the best he has ever played with
He added: ‘The Nike ball in the Premier League at the moment that’s the worst ball they’ve ever made. It’s an awful, awful football compared to what they have made in the past. I’ve not heard a Premier League player say anything good about it.
‘Two seasons ago they made an incredible ball. If you notice this one it’s so hard to do the sidewinder [clearance] and get it far.
‘I call it a moody ball because it doesn’t always do what you want it to do. Particularly when you try and hit it hard it won’t really work.
‘The Adidas one I could take goal kicks and land it on the edge of the other box. With the Nike one I can barely get it over the half way line sometimes. Particularly if it’s cold. Then it really changes.’
To listen to the full interview with Kasper Schmeichel visit – https://playpodca.st/goalkeepersunion