In a book written by University of Bath physicist Ken Bray, Cristiano Ronaldo's free kicks have been lauded as physical anomalies.
In a book written by University of Bath physics professor Ken Bray, Cristiano Ronaldo has been praised for the challenges his free kicks pose to goalkeepers because of the physical properties of the ball's flight.
In How to Score: Science and the Beautiful Game, Bray discusses the scientific connections between football and nature's natural laws, analysing the ball's trajectory when struck by some of the best free-kick takers in the world, including Didier Drogba, David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Of 'CR9', the professor is quoted by AS as saying: "Cristiano takes free kicks in a special manner; the ball barely rotates after being struck. When Cristiano shoots, the ball acts similarly to a baseball and because of this, its trajectory is difficult to discern.
"To our eyes, some goalkeepers may appear stupified, but in truth they are not at fault. If they are headed towards goal, the Portuguese's shots are very difficult to save. No one shoots like this, except perhaps Sunderland's Kieran Richardson. And the goals have nothing to do with luck", says Bray, an admitted fan of Fernando Torres.
What is even more worrisome for 'keepers is that Bray predicts CR9 will only improve his technique over time, making his free kicks that bit more lethal. Bray's mention of Ronaldo is the latest in a series of studies highlighting the winger's play. Two weeks ago, German magazine Der Spiegel released a study listing Ronaldo as the fastest elite player in the world.
Cyrus C. Malek, Goal.com