Roberto Carlos Impossible Soccer goal "no fluke" - say Physicists

In 1997, Brazilian soccer player Roberto Carlos scored on a free kick that first went right, then curved sharply to the left in what looked like a physics-defying fluke. We’ve finally discovered the physics equation that shows it was no fluke.

Physicists have explained one of football's most spectacular goals.

Abstract. We discuss the trajectory of a fast revolving solid ball moving in a fluid of comparable density. As the ball slows down owing to drag, its trajectory follows an exponential spiral as long as the rotation speed remains constant: at the characteristic distance \mathcal{L} where the ball speed is significantly affected by the drag, the bending of the trajectory increases, surprisingly. Later, the rotation speed decreases, which makes the ball follow a second kind of spiral, also described in the paper. Finally, the use of these highly curved trajectories is shown to be relevant to sports. For more information visit New Journal of Physics website.
Here’s the original “impossible” kicks:


Playing With Pain: Harmful Effects Of an NFL Football Career

The toughest part of an professional football career in the NFL is the stress it puts on the human body. Football players are more prone to dangerous ailments due to the severity of the injuries the receive from playing each week. Check out this infographic on the harmful effects of the career in the NFL.


How much are national football teams worth?

Statisticians and data freaks are already doing the World Cup number crunching – possibly the most interesting piece of statistical information that has surfaced from the torrent of World Cup data feeds comes from a study that recently carried out an analysis of the economic value of the players from some of the World Cup’s most successful teams.