To many Isaac Newton is most famous for having an apple fall on his head but ask someone to explain any of his 3 laws of motion and they will stare off into the distance and mumble something about gravity.
The World Cup is the perfect excuse to bring Newton's laws of motion to the masses by showing them in action and sneakily educating the nation.
First Law: 'A body at rest will remain at rest, and a body in motion will remain in motion unless it is acted upon by an external force'.
This simply means that things cannot start, stop or change direction all by themselves and requires a force acting on to cause such a change. This can be shown by a Lionel Messi free kick where he will aim the ball (the body) towards the goal and the ball will keep going towards the net (be in motion) unless a defender or a goalkeeper (an external force) causes it to stop or change direction.
Second law: 'The acceleration of an object is dependent upon the net force acting upon the object and the mass of the object'.
What this comes down to is how much force it will take to accelerate a body to reach it's target taking into account the weight of the body and any external force. Consider Italy's Andrea Pirlo who spent the three games spraying passes around the pitch. If he was passing the ball a few metres he would kick (accelerate) the ball with a small amount of force to propel it to a teammate taking into account the friction of the ball rolling across the grass pitch (force acting upon the object) but the further his pass had to go he would have to apply more force (kick it harder) but with enough force that the ball would not only reach his teammate but be hit hard enough to allow for friction of the pitch and gravity if he lifted the ball that it would arrive at his teammates feet but not too hard so that it sailed over his head into the crowd.
Third law: 'When one body exerts a force on a second body, the second body simultaneously exerts a force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction on the first body'.
The third law means every action has an equal and opposite reaction so consider Wayne Rooney's header against the Uruguayan bar. He headed the ball (exerted a force) and the ball hit the bar and rebounded back onto the pitch (opposite reaction) with an equal amount of force as Rooney exerted on the ball and in the opposite direction as to which Rooney directed it.
So even with the man who came up with the rules of motion on the side of the English, this was not enough to overcome the first law of football, a manager and decent players who know what they are doing.
Lucy & Joswell 'Jossy' Blair