25 Years Ago Today, Roberto Carlos Scored 'Impossible' Free-Kick Goal Against France
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25 years ago today, Roberto Carlos scored THAT free-kick for Brazil against France and defied the laws of physics in the process.
In the Tournoi de France (tournament of France) back in 1997, the legendary left-back rifled one in from around 40 yards out.
It looked like his rasping strike, hit at 136.7kph around the wall, was going to fly wide but then remarkably, the ball almost boomeranged back inside the post.
Fabien Barthez in the France goal didn't even move and could only watch the ball fly in.
A quarter of a century on and the goal genuinely still needs explaining.
Science behind Roberto Carlos Free-kick pic.twitter.com/YuLAB4rztG— Football Factly (@FootballFactly) April 10, 2020
Four French scientists actually put together a new equation for the New Journal of Physics because of Carlos' exploits.
But Professor Luis Fernando Fontanari of the University of Sao Paulo could only reach the conclusion that it was a "miracle".
"Although physics explain perfectly the ball's trajectory, the conditions in that moment - such as the power of the kick, the point of impact of Roberto Carlos's foot on the ball, and the distance to the goal - were so rare that we can call that a miracle," he explained.
Carlos, who won three Champions Leagues with Real Madrid, recreated his heroics in his garden years later.
Roberto Carlos casually recreating his famous free-kick against France! pic.twitter.com/jN9BytbmT9— Photos of Football (@photosofootball) August 9, 2019
In 2015, he broke down his technique for his most famous goal.
"I always struck set pieces on the valve because that's the hardest part of the ball and you get more power," he told FourFourTwo
"I always kicked the ball from its bottom-left to the top-right, which helped it swerve.
"I'll always remember the advertising behind the goal. I was aiming for the 'A' in La Poste, but when I hit the shot it was miles away from that - going towards a different advert!
"The ball boy was diving out of the way of the shot, too. He should have had more confidence in me!"
A free-kick specialist, Carlos used to do a weekly set-piece wager with David Beckham during the Galacticos era at Real.
The loser in the 30 minute contest would have to pay for the dinner and it was Carlos who won more regularly.
He told SPORTbible: "The one who lost the competition each week would pay for the dinner. I won more, he paid more!"
Roberto Carlos exclusive on practicing free-kicks with David Beckham for 30 minutes: "The one who lost the competition each week would pay for the dinner. I won more, he paid more!"@sportbible pic.twitter.com/3I34oqjEwy— Josh Lawless (@JoshLawless_) January 7, 2022