Soccer Ball

Almost everyone knows how a soccer ball looks like – there are several black regular pentagons on it and around each of them – five white regular hexagons. Around each hexagon there are three pentagons and three more hexagons. However, can you figure out how many pentagons and hexagons are there in total on the surface of the ball?

Let the number of pentagons is equal to P and the number of hexagons is equal to H. Then the number of edges is equal to (5P + 6H)/2 – that’s because every pentagon has five edges, every hexagon has 6 edges and every edge belongs to 2 sides. Also, the number of vertices is equal to (5P + 6H)/3 – that’s because every pentagon has five vertices, every hexagon has 6 vertices and every vertex belongs to 3 sides. Now using Euler’s Theorem we get P + H + (5P + 6H)/3 – (5P + 6H)/2 = 2, or equivalently P/6=2 and therefore P = 12. Since around every pentagon there are exactly 5 hexagons and around every hexagon there are exactly 3 pentagons, we get H = 5P/3 = 20. Therefore there are 12 pentagons and 20 hexagons on a soccer ball.

Scoring penalties

At some point in Leonel Messi’s career, the football player had less than 80% success when performing penalty kicks. Later in his career, he had more than 80% success when performing penalty kicks. Show that there was a moment in Leonel Messi’s career when he had exactly 80% success when performing penalty kicks.

Let us see that it is impossible for Messi to jump from under 80% success rate to over 80% success rate in just one attempt. Indeed, if Messi’s success rate was below 80% after N attempts, then he scored at most 4N/5 – 1/5 = (4N-1)/5 times. If his success rate was above 80% after N+1 attempts, then he scored at least 4(N+1)/5 + 1/5 = (4N-1)/5 + 6/5 times. However, Messi can not score more than one goal in a single attempt, which completes the proof.