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The physics of free kicks

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 07, 2010

Why are long free kicks suprisingly effective in soccer matches? Science explains!

For a well-struck soccer ball, the researchers estimate, one might expect a gentle arc followed by a sharp hook at about 50 meters — in rough agreement with the distance of Roberto Carlos’s free kick. In other words, if a soccer player has the strength to drive a ball halfway down the field with plenty of velocity and spin, he or she can expect to benefit from an unexpected curve late in the ball’s trajectory.

But really, this is just an excuse to show you Roberto Carlos’ amazing free kick against France in 1997:

Pure awesometown. But it might not be even be better than this one:

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