Soccer / free kick

The Magnus Effect: The Science Behind Roberto Carlos' Free Kick
It was 1997, a year prior to the 1998 World Cup in France. The French held a warm-up tournament called the Tournoi de France where four countries participated; France, Brazil, England, and Italy. The tournament was long forgotten, but there is something that will always be remembered from the tournament: Roberto Carlos' impossible free kick. The kick that 'defied' the physics. The opening game was between France and Brazil, a game that ended with a score of 1-1. A game that will be remembered forever, unlike the tournament. Roberto Carlos was preparing himself to take a free kick while four French players were trying to block his way. Fabien Barthez was busy giving instructions to his teammates. The distance was about 35 meters. Carlos prepared the ball carefully, he then stepped back a few meters before rushed to the ball and kicked it. The goal stunned many people, the ball was clearly going to off the goal, but suddenly it changed its direction and hit the net. People then called it as an impossible kick, and the kick that defied the physics. Roberto Carlos himself thought that the ball would hit the 'A' character in LA POSTE ad behind the goal. But then the direction of the ball changed and hit the net. Source: FourFourTwo But nothing escapes physics law. The Magnus effect is the science behind the incredible free kick. Carlos hit the side of the ball so the ball spun and followed the curve path because there was a difference in the speed of the air between two sides of the ball. Source: The Sun This is also the science behind other footballers' free kick like David Beckham' and Lionel Messi', but no one did it like Roberto Carlos. Even Roberto Carlos himself couldn't replicate the kick. He is still impressed every time he watches the footage. It has been 22 years, yet the goal is still considered as one of the best goals in history. Roberto Carlos' name will be remembered forever because of the kick.