Football is often compared to the theatre and is fortunate to play host to some of the best practitioners in the business, some of whom take their craft a little too seriously.
In a game with many forms of foul play, the dive now inspires a particular moralistic outrage. Like it or not, simulation is part of football.
Manchester City, Manchester United, Barcelona and Real Madrid players are among the many to have stuck in our memory for diving.
In a sport in which players are actually told by referees that they must make any foul as clear as possible, there is never a shortage of theatrics.
Here, we’ll take a look at the biggest culprits in the game when it comes to exaggerating this particular aspect of the sport, looking at everything from the frequency with which they dive to the sheer stupidity of their worst offences.
Right in front of the official and everything. Louis van Gaal made a name for himself with his touchline antics during his early days in Manchester United. He vehemently disagreed with a refereeing decision late in the second half and subsequently protested with fourth official Mike Dean.
Luiz was seen laughing as he lay at the feet of referee’s assistant Sian Massey when Howard Webb showed Rafael a straight red card. He later claimed that his smile was for Manchester United supporters calling him Sideshow Bob.
He might well have established himself as one of the finest defenders on the planet in recent years, but this isn’t great from Sergio Ramos. They say centre halves are supposed to be big and strong…
Anything Ramos can do…
Coming from South America, Neymar brought with him one of the most promising futures and the potential to become one of the finest players of his generation. However, like so many other young talents, that future is being harmed by a rising habit for diving. Against the club who later chose to pay £200million for him.
Some people have wanted to see more gamesmanship from English players for years. To others, Alli is “shameful”. You can’t please everyone…
This was in a friendly.
Quite astonishing that a dive can win a penalty, spark a mass brawl, and get two opposition players booked as well as yourself. The pure rage from Middlesbrough’s players to is something to behold.
Oh, he thought he was going to get left out.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s talent needs no defending, his blend of blistering pace, defence-daunting power and superb shooting ability making for a player whose claim to the throne of best player in the world is a valid one. Another one with a plethora of options, but a derby, the pure distance from the defender and the fact that the referee is so close and does nothing makes this exemplary.