Ed Fontes has posted a super cool blog post on COMSOL blog about the physics and engineering of the new 2014 FIFA World Cup ball. Definitely check out the article for in-depth analysis and really nice illustrations and figures!
The Beckham and Maradona curl obtained with the inside of the soccer cleat (football boot), and the curl by Eder, Nelinho, and Roberto Carlos with the outside of the cleat, is due to the Magnus effect. The effect is named after the scientist who first observed it in a laboratory in the 1850s. The Magnus effect explains the side-force on a sphere that is both rotating and moving forward. Here, we use it to analyze the World Cup™ match ball.