Italy: World Cup kit 'massages' footballers

Italy's Mario Balotelli wearing the new national football kit Former Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli models the new national colours

High-tech football shirts to be worn by the Italian football squad at the 2014 Fifa World Cup can deliver massages to players during the game, it appears.

The shirts, which will be worn for the first time at Wednesday's friendly against Spain, contain a special tape that provides "micro-massages" for the wearer, Italian news website Il Sole 24 Ore reports. The massage strips "maximise muscle power" by allowing the body to recover from exertion more quickly, the manufacturer says.

Commenting on its looks rather than its hidden technology, Italian captain and Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon says he is impressed by the kit, adding the design has "a true Italian touch".

The Italian national side has lined up friendly fixtures in Spain, Ireland and Luxembourg before they face England in their opening game of the World Cup on 14 June.

Meanwhile, the kit is going on a tour of its own, with the manufacturer, Puma, taking it on a truck around Italian cities so fans "can express their passion for the national team", the website says.

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