Diving in football has sadly become a consistent feature of the beautiful game. The arrival of VAR should go some way to removing the blemish of play acting, but in years prior to technological aid, we’ve seen some truly comical attempts to con the referee.
We’ve seen grown men look like a fish out of water, flopping all over the place to try and help their team prosper. We’ve seen players go down holding parts of their body that hadn’t even come in contact with boot or ball; if there’s a chance to fool the officials, some players don’t need a second thought.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most infamous dives in football…
Jurgen Klinsmann vs Argentina (1990)
Albeit slight contact on Jurgen Klinsmann from Argentina’s Pedro Monzon in the 1990 World Cup final, the West Germany man should still be embarrassed at his reaction.
A mistimed but innocent tackle from Monzon saw Klinsmann leap several feet into the air, before a series of rolls preceded a ridicolous moment in which the forward launched himself back into the air.
Monzon received his marching orders, and looked bemused to say the least.
Rivaldo vs Turkey (2002)
Another incident in which an innocent player was shown a red card for doing very little at all, Rivaldo’s juvenile reaction to Turkey’s Hakan Unsal kicking the ball at him has gone down as one of the worst dives in football.
Unsal kicked the ball at Rivaldo’s thigh as the Brazilian waited to take a corner, but strangely went down holding his face whilst rolling around.
What the linesman was doing, whilst standing right next to the incident, is baffling, as he and the referee came to the decision to send Unsal off. Brazil won the game 2-1 and Rivaldo escaped with a £5,180 fine, which he probably didn’t care too much about.
Arturo Vidal vs Real Madrid (2013)
With no Real Madrid player within five yards of him, Arturo Vidal, then of Juventus, decided to launch himself into the air after seemingly kicking the ground instead of the ball.
Whether or not his desperate claims for a penalty were merely an embarrassed reaction after his mishit strike remains a mystery. One thing is for certain however, the Chilean should hang his head in shame if he thinks he truly deserved a spot kick for his antics.
Steven Taylor vs Aston Villa (2005)
In a hilarious but unconvincing attempt to convince the referee that he hadn’t just blocked the ball on the line with his hand, Steven Taylor instead went down like he’d just been struck by lightning.
The Newcastle man clearly saves the ball whilst Shay Given is in no man’s land, before arching his body in a strange attempt to show the ref that his midriff is in pain from being struck by the ball.
Sergio Busquets vs Inter (2010)
One of the game’s biggest play actors, Sergio Busquets was at it again when Inter came to the Nou Camp in the Champions League.
After Thiago Motta brushed the Spaniard’s face in an attempt to shield the ball, Busquets fell to the ground and began to roll around.
A replay of the Barcelona man on the floor showed him removing his hand from his face for a split second to see if his antics had delivered the desired effect. They did not, and the Spanish side crashed out to the Italian giants.
Morten Gamst Pederson vs Arsenal (2009)
With Bacary Sagna in hot pursuit of him, Blackburn’s Morten Gamst Pederson was chasing a ball into the box with a lot of time and space, with Sagna was miles behind.
For some reason, however, Pederson must not have realised the Frenchman was nowhere near him. The Norwegian simply looked to have fallen over, which would’ve been a fine explanation, except for the fact that he looked around in desperation for a spot kick.
You’ve fooled absolutely nobody with that one Morten…
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