July 13, 2004

Bend it Like Beckham Carlos: 3.4 MB mpg video of an amazing 1998 penalty kick by Roberto Carlos, and analysis of the shot's physics. [via AskMetaFilter]

posted by kirkaracha to soccer at 01:13 PM - 9 comments

Jebus crimeny, that ball hooks like a late-era Frank Tanana curveball!

posted by NoMich at 01:32 PM on July 13, 2004

That's no penalty. That's a free kick touched by God.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 03:43 PM on July 13, 2004

I can do that...

posted by StarFucker at 05:55 PM on July 13, 2004


posted by usfbull at 06:17 PM on July 13, 2004

The best I can claim is taking a corner kick when I was 16 (stronger, faster, better than I am now) and curling it off the far post and into the net. Definitely not with the massive spin that this one had, but still crazy enough to make me yell "Holy shit!" in front of my parents when I saw what I had done. I never came close to doing anything like it before or since. It was my Bob-Beamon-in-Mexico-City-moment.

posted by grum@work at 09:40 PM on July 13, 2004

I had two freak moments like that during high school P.E. One was with the inside of my right foot (which is easier to do), and the other was with the outside of the same foot (much harder to do). Inside of right foot: Just another pickup P.E. soccer game, 30 or more boys on the field. Ha! We're using field hockey goals coz we're sharing the field for some reason. Anyway, I'm standing to the left of the goal, unmarked, and my classmate is bloody dribbling the ball like he's trying to beat the entire opposition alone. Anyway, I scream "Pass the ball, asshole!", which then makes me afraid I'll get detention because probably the whole school heard it. It works, the classmate wakes up and rolls the ball to me. All I wanna do is drop a nice cross in, but I end up slicing the inside of my right foot across the right side of the ball, curving the ball high up in the air, I actually watch it spinning in the air as the poor short goalie tries to run out and jump for it, and then see it curl and drop quite wickedly into goal. It's a beaut, but I'm embarrassed that it wasn't intentional. Still, one for the ages. Outside of the right foot: It's almost end of the day, P.E. is the last period of the day. I'm having a frustrating afternoon because, while everyone else is just having fun, I take my football too seriously. Anyway, there's some goalmouth shambles, the ball drops to me dead center just outside the six-yard box, and I just run to it, point my right foot down, crook the toes downward and a little out to the right, and slice from center of the ball to the left. This makes the ball swerve from left to right, but what's remarkable is it actually gets some height, somehow curves over what appears to be a wall of classmates, and just evades the fingertips of the unsighted keeper and drops into goal. Guys were laughing and shaking their heads. Calling it a freak. Philistines. But, no, I don't think I've ever taken a kick from as far as Roberto. And Roberto didn't slice that mother, he hammered it with his insole (the laces), making contact with the ball from right of center to outer right. With his left foot. And see how he went airborne? That's the only way to keep that the ball down. Brilliant.

posted by worldcup2002 at 11:29 PM on July 13, 2004

maybe i don't watch enough footie... but i thought i'd seen more impressive kicks from closer in. he did get a great bend on it but he had a tonne of field to work with and missed the wall by a huge amount. from that distance he should he not be able to hit any point in the net if he can bend it around the wall? it did a great bend into the corner of the net but the successful bendy free kicks taken just outside the area with a huge wall essentially cutting down your target area to almost nothing... those (no examples, maybe Zidane's against England but that would have been more impressive if he had beat somebody better than David James) are impressive to me. of course i have not played soccer since i was about 7 so i have no idea how hard it is to do something like that but i am just wondering if the distance made it somehow "easier"? i'll give it a 9 out of 10. but what do i know.

posted by gspm at 01:34 AM on July 14, 2004

I had a much more modest shot in indoor soccer (five-on-five on a high school basketball court). There was about a seven-foot artificial ceiling; a high ball was a penalty. Playing goalie, I kicked the ball in a perfect banana trajectory where the maximum height of the ball was 6-1/2 feet--too high to block, too low for a penalty--and the ball dropped right into the net. For the rest of the game the opponents would yell "don't let him shoot" when I got the ball. This was especially sweet because I've always played defense and have only scored five or six goals in about 100 seasons of soccer.

posted by kirkaracha at 01:36 AM on July 14, 2004

I hear you, gspm. Yes, he did have lots of space. And to do it at a closer distance probably needs more wicked spin. But he not only had to have power on it to go the distance, but the right amount to curve it out and then back in at the very very smallest possible angle of entry (if you watch again closely, you'll see it actually goes in by ricocheting off the right post). It's one thing to just have a rocket rising out of the keeper's reach, another to go around the poor fellow. It's one thing to curve it from close in (placement), another to curve it and hit a blinder (placement + power) at the same time. That's my totally experiential and unscientific explanation.

posted by worldcup2002 at 01:19 PM on July 14, 2004

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