The Beautiful Game is played on a beautiful field, typically one comprised of grass. So when ESPN commentator Adrian Healy said two million artificial fibres were woven into the Moses Mabhida Stadium pitch this morning, I was dubious. No longer:
You see, for all intents and purposes, the field is predominantly grass. Beautiful Game integrity intact! However, strengthening that grass are the two million artificial turf fibres that Healy had alluded to during the Slovenia/Algeria match this morning.
The tech is called GrassMaster (a brand name), and it's the work of Desso Sports, an artificial turf company that's been in the biz for about 20 years.
And yes, ignorant is me, as major teams like the Denver Broncos and Premiership clubs in Chelsea and Arsenal have also installed the grass-turf hybrid in their respective stadiums.
Oh well I learned something, and maybe you did too. European readers who knew about this stuff all along can feel free to lambaste yet another ignorant-about-football American. Free shot, but in my defence I have played for more than 20 years - just never on turf. [Desso]