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06th Jun 2015

US analysis of Lionel Messi provides fascinating science behind wonder goal

Amazing soccerball...

Nooruddean Choudry

It seems students of the game in the US are as fascinated by Lionel Messi’s wonder goal in the Copa del Rey final as we are in Europe…

So much so that ESPN’s Sport Science have given the mazy dribble their full analytical treatment by breaking down the virtuoso strike into quantifiable facts and figures.

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Although much of the analysis is superfluous and clearly aimed at an American audience, there are some fascinating snippets amongst the Troy McClure-isms.

For instance, ESPN’s John Brenkus explains that the Argentine’s acceleration of 19.5 mph is comparable to that of Kansas City Chiefs’ running back Jamaal Charles, who is known for his tremendous pace.

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Another really interesting fact is that during the 60 yard dribble to goal, the ball is only more than two feet away from Messi’s body twice, which is an amazing testament to his close control at speed.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to the garden with my Adidas Tango and a protractor…