16 February 2018

Ronaldo's PK: Black Magic or Simple Physics?

Did you see the crazy penalty kick Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo let loose against Paris Saint-German this past Valentine's Day?  In the 45th minute, Ronaldo blasted the ball into the left side of the net.  What made people's jaws drop was what happened to the ball just prior to Ronaldo's famous right boot making contact with the ball.  The ball popped off the turf!  You can see the video here where "black magic" is referred to.

I did a frame-by-frame analysis for i News in the UK.  There was, of course, no black magic involved!  Check out the images below (click on image for a larger view).
As Ronaldo planted his left boot, a pressure wave was initiated in the turf.  A crinkle was all it took to get the ball to hop off the turf about a centimeter.  Click here for more details in the story by Will Magee.  Getting ball off the turf prior to kicking saved a little energy loss from friction between the ball and turf.  Hard to stop that shot!

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