…A Spanish Football Fan Scorned

Anger might not do justice to the feelings that many Spaniards have after watching the spectacular implosion of La Furia Roja against Chile (and earlier, against the House of Orange).

The Twitter-sphere lit up even before the end of Wednesday’s match, and continued through the night.

Here’s a brief sampling:



“Goodbye Spain”


Tika Taka is the name given to the style of play that netted Spain two European Championships and one World Cup


“You know the reason why Spain went so poorly? Here is the reason” (that’s Justin Bieber, in case you didn’t know)


no explanation needed


abdicate, of course, refers to King Juan Carlos’ own recent decision to step down from the Spanish throne


probably can get some Cameroon jerseys pretty cheap too

Someone also got to the Wikipedia page of the Chilean national football team even before the match had ended and added this tidbit:



Any more good ones out there? Tweet them to us at #WorldCupVOA.

Bend It Like Beckham

Why Exactly Does a Football Swerve Around So Much?

UPDATED (see end of post)


(graphic: Jose-Luis Olivares/MIT)

Do you know the difference between the “Jabulani” and the “Brazuca?”

Those are the names, respectively, of the footballs used in the 2010 South Africa World Cup, and this year’s tournament in Brazil. (yes, the people who inhabit the world of football are so crazy, they even name their balls…)

That’s not the only difference: They’re also constructed differently.

According to researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, that makes ALL the difference in the world in how the balls fly when they’re bending around a wall or whizzing past the fingertips of a diving goalie’s outstretched hands.

“The details of the flow of air around the ball are complicated, and in particular they depend on how rough the ball is,” says John Bush, a professor of applied mathematics at MIT and the author of a recently published article about the aerodynamics of soccer balls. “If the ball is perfectly smooth, it bends the wrong way.”

Read more about the physics of football flight here.


The U.S. space agency NASA is also making its contribution to the science of football air flow and aerodynamics, seeking to understand why footballs fly the way they do.

Check it out in this video, courtesy of NASA:

Chile (2-0) Spain

Spain Hopes To Prove Mettle Against Chile (UPDATE: Spain Loses, Is Eliminated)


Pedro Rodriguez

Spain’s Pedro Rodriguez, left, kicks the ball during an official training session
the day before the Group B World Cup soccer match between Spain and Chile, Tuesday, June 17, 2014.
(AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

UPDATE: In one of the biggest shocks of the 2014 World Cup, defending champion Spain is eliminated after losing to Chile 2-0. Spain lost its previous Group B match with Netherlands 5-1.

Previous post:

With its World Cup reputation on the line, Spain looks to Villa, Iniesta and Xabi to lead the Red Fury to a decisive victory over Chile in the second Group B match-up of the 2014 tournament. After being pounded to their knees by Arjen Robben, Van Persie (“The Flying Dutchman”) and the House of Orange, the Spaniards need the 3-point victory in order to have a chance to advance to the knockout stage.

Look for Spain to come out fast and strong in the game, which kicks off at 3 p.m. USEDT (7 p.m. GMT)

For play-by-play, minute-by-minute coverage of every ball touch, throw-in, direct kick, indirect kick, yellow card, red card, corner kick, goal kick and every other possible football feat in every World Cup match, tap into VOA’s multilingual, multinational analysis.

Click here to follow the action live, or follow along on Facebook, or on Twitter with #WorldCupVOA.

And for even more exclusive VOA coverage with a special focus on Africa’s national teams, check out VOA’s Francophone blog.