About

Support NPR

Support NPR

NPR Shop

Support The Programs You Love

© NPR

Germany's Sami Khedira (right) celebrates with teammate Per Mertesacker after scoring his side's third goal during the World Cup third-place soccer match between Germany and Uruguay at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth, South Africa on Saturday. Germany won 3-2. Gero Breloer/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Gero Breloer/AP
Eugene Hoshiko/AP

A view of the personalisation of the adidas Jo'bulani official match ball for the 2010 FIFA World Cup Final between the Netherlands and Spain. This ball was named slightly different than the one that has been used throughout the tournament. Richard Heathcote/Getty Images Europe hide caption

itoggle caption Richard Heathcote/Getty Images Europe

What Physics Says About Smooth Balls

You'd assume the a new, smoother ball would make be faster and steadier. But you'd be wrong.

Listen Loading… 4:09
  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    Embed <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/128411155/128443482" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">

Let The Games Begin: Sunday's World Cup final inspired an Amsterdam shop to stage a miniature version of the game in its display window, using "comedy condoms" to represent soccer players from Spain and the Netherlands. Christopher Lee/Getty Images Europe hide caption

itoggle caption Christopher Lee/Getty Images Europe

Sea Life Aquarium's psychic octopus, Paul, chose Spain to win the semifinals over Germany.  Paul's keeper says, "he's wrong this time." Mark Keppler/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Mark Keppler/AP

Edison Cavani (far left), Edigio Arevalo, Alvaro Pereira, Mauricio Victorino, Diego Godin and Luis Suarez of Uruguay run during a training session in Cape Town. Uruguay faces the Netherlands in the semifinals on Tuesday. Roberto Candia/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Roberto Candia/AP

A moment that will not soon be forgotten: Uruguay's Luis Suarez stops the ball with his hands at the end of the quarterfinal match against Ghana on July 2, 2010. Roberto Schmidt/Getty hide caption

itoggle caption Roberto Schmidt/Getty