The Science of Soccer / La física de fútbol (Synopsis)

“Soccer matches should be something special, something people eagerly look forward to, something that brightens life.” -P. J. O’Rourke

Well, my World Cup fanatics, the time is upon us. The 2014 World Cup is here and off to a spectacular start! No doubt, some of you have incredibly fond memories of previous soccer/fútbol matches; for me, it's the most incredible set shots that stand out the most. No doubt, many among you (especially the Brits) will remember this gem from 2006.

But how do you bend the ball like David Beckham? The secret lies in the physical phenomenon of the Magnus Force, which -- although is a little complicated -- requires just two things: a hard, solid kick and a rapidly-rotating ball in the right direction!
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons user Rdurkacz. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons user Rdurkacz.

How does it all play out? Go read the whole thing and sate your World Cup curiosity!


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The Pirlo shot is more of a knuckleball, you can see that it only rotates twice from the time he kicks it until it reaches the crossbar