Brazilian Roberto Carlos’s 1997 free-kick against France was referred to as “the goal that defied physics”. The ball curved so sharply that it left goalkeeper Fabian Barthez standing still.
Now, a French team of scientists have discovered the trajectory of the goal and developed an equation to describe it.
They say it could be repeated if a ball was kicked hard enough, with the appropriate spin and, crucially, the kick was taken sufficiently far from goal.
“We have shown that the path of a sphere when it spins is a spiral,” lead researcher Christophe Clanet from the Ecole Polytechnique in Paris told BBC News.
And there we have it, it’s all in the spiral..Watch the wonder goal below.