Football is all about physics, so, in many ways, Wayne Rooney isn't just a footballer, he's also a magnificent scientist. It is also, unfortunately, marred by biology — the most annoying of the sciences — from time to time.
Specifically when it comes to taking penalties.
It's at that point that the body begins to release unhappy chemicals into the feet, causing anything from "jelly legs" to "total mental breakdown". That's when it veers towards psychology, which isn't really a science.
Anyway, the great news for the England team is that some brainy professors at Liverpool's John Moores University have put together a simple scientific formula that GUARANTEES success from a penalty shoot-out. It goes something like this (as revealed on Eurosport):
The study found that the perfect penalty should be hit at around 65 miles per hour from a run-up of no more than six paces.
The shooter should move swiftly towards the ball and make connection either less than three seconds after the whistle is blown or more than 13 seconds after the referee indicates he is ready.
The taker should approach the ball at an angle of between 20 and 30 degrees before hitting it high to the left or right of the keeper. The ball should cross the line exactly 0.5m below crossbar and 0.5m inside either post.
So that's that, then. Absolutely no need to worry. Thanks, boffins!
This post, written by Josh Burt, is republished with permission from The Spoiler. Go there often if you like soccer stuff.