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Physics of free kicks: The hidden advantage of long-distance soccer shots

from Scientific American

When Brazilian defender Roberto Carlos struck a powerful free-kick from about 30 meters out in a 1997 international match against France, he could not have known that scientists would still be discussing his feat more than a dozen years later. Indeed, he could not even have known that the ball would improbably find the back of the net. But find the net it did, swinging well wide of a wall of French defenders, hooking viciously to the left, and glancing off the inside of the goalpost. The French goalkeeper could only turn and watch in apparent disbelief as the ball came to rest in his goal. more

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