Whether or not you're enthralled by the World Cup, this Roberto Carlos score — dubbed "the Impossible Goal" — is a wonder from the perspective of physics.

I grew up an American football fan, so my love of sport comes attached to things I can easily understand: speed, power, strategy, and absorption of pain. But as age comes upon me, I've begun to reassess sports that I brushed aside. The skill it takes to return a 90-mph tennis forehand, one with upwards of 2000 rpm of topspin, while sprinting across clay, and place that three-inch ball on a three-inch line 40 feet away. The steel nerve it takes to hurl one's self down a mountain with an incline of 50 degrees, filled with blind rises and covered with ice, with no brakes and little but the sharp edges on two strips of metal to guide your way.

And, yes, the preternatural ability to squeeze a soccer ball into a goal with a window of opportunity less than one degree wide. Play on, footballers. Play on.