The 25 Worst Dives of the Season in GIFs
Diving is, outside of Joey Barton's Twitter account and Charlie Adam's head, the ugliest part of football. Sometimes even the dives themselves can be very ugly indeed.
It seems like seldom a game goes by without a player being accused of diving. In fact, it feels like it's becoming more and more frequent.
So before FIFA brings in regulations to help prevent diving (don't hold your breath for that), we'll run through the 25 most ridiculous dives of the season so far. And, like Olympic diving, we will score them out of 10 for terribleness.
The more obvious and comical the dive, the more points will be awarded.
Many thanks to 101greatgoals.com for being the source of most of the GIFs.
25. Jose Bosingwa
Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images
Not sure if QPR's Jose Bosingwa took a terrible dive or if he just tried kicking the ball (one of the primary tasks in his job as a professional footballer), missed and fell on his backside.
Anyone who has seen Bosingwa play this season will know how likely it is that it was the latter.
It did get Everton's Steven Pienaar sent off, however, so no matter how unintentional it was, it had the characteristic of a successful dive.
However, due to it probably being an accident, it doesn't score big. We need criminal intent in this list to reach dizzy heights.
Scott Heavey/Getty Images
This effort from Santos' Neymar doesn't rank very highly as it's actually quite a convincing dive.
It is a dive; unlike Bosingwa, there's every intent to go down without being touched. But it isn't very funny, it isn't very rubbish and it's actually quite an accomplished piece of cheating.
Don't worry, Neymar fans—this isn't the last time he'll be on this list. He'll have chances to better his score.
23. Yaya Toure
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
Sometimes you're running so fast that even the thought of a defender touching you is enough to make you hit the floor.
When Yaya Toure, the man who shares a first name with the way Lil' John says "yes," saw man-mountain Rafael run at him in December's Manchester derby, he imagined what it would feel like to collide with him. That in itself made him fall over.
However, Toure was running far too fast for this to ever be considered one of history's truly horrible dives. It could even be conceived he legitimately lost his balance.
Poor showing—hang your head in shame, Yaya.
22. Gareth Bale
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
Cards on the table. You're going to see quite a bit of young Mr. Bale on this list.
Here is a perfect example of why. His predatory instinct isn't just confined to looking for a goal-scoring opportunity; he is constantly on the hunt for a reason to hit the floor.
See here. A Sunderland player puts his arm near his tummy? Of course he's going to go down. This isn't Gareth's first rodeo. Although, heaven knows how he'd react if a bucking bronco actually/nearly touched him.
Again, this doesn't crack the top 20, because it is a quite convincing dive; from the right angle, a referee could be legitimately fooled into thinking this wasn't cheating
Come on, Gareth, we know you can do better.
21. Jordi Alba
David Ramos/Getty Images
Either Barcelona's Jordi Alba overreacted at this collision or this slow motion GIF does not do justice to a challenge that was executed with the speed and force of a Japanese bullet train running over a packet of Doritos.
This El Classico dive won't be considered a classic dive, due to there actually being significant contact.
No matter how much Alba milked it.
20. Jamie Murphy
Mark Runnacles/Getty Images
Motherwell's Jamie Murphy here is diving in the same way stuntmen jump through giant windowpanes in action movies.
It's a funny dive, but too close to convincing to be a real contender.
Not a bad effort, Jamie, but nothing to put on your CV.
19. Danny Welbeck
Image via feintzebra.co.uk
Michael Regan/Getty Images
Danny Welbeck felt very silly after realizing that despite running really fast, he wasn't actually a drag racing car. So when the parachute he expected to deploy behind him didn't go off, he tried halting his pace with his arms.
It didn't work, so he just fell over.
An accomplished dive, but nothing that will really grab the headlines.
18. Carl Jenkinson
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
In this effort from Arsenal's Carl Jenkinson, he kicks his marker with the same force he'd test the temperature of a swimming pool with his foot, then falls to the floor with the grace of a ballerina falling through a trap door.
He did try to get a touch and to make it look like a convincing dive. The truly historical divers don't.
However, at 21, Jenkinson is still relatively new on the diving scene and, with a bit of practice, should be challenging the top 10 next year.
17. Mario Balotelli
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
Mario Balotelli here with a dive that's madder than Mario Balotelli.
He just seems to knock the ball to his right so he can run into David Luiz's shoulder then drop to the floor like he'd been stabbed in the stomach with a samurai sword.
He does make contact, though, and we'd prefer it if he didn't, so he doesn't make the top 10 this time.
16. Lee McCulloch
Ian MacNicol/Getty Images
Everyone knew the Rangers were going to walk the Scottish Third Division.
But could anyone have predicted Rangers' Lee McCulloch would walk into a Stirling Albion player, while a corner is being taken and react like Tom (from Tom & Jerry fame) standing on a rake in a hope for a last-minute penalty?
Again, this doesn't challenge for the top 10 due to the contact. No matter how slapstick, the real contenders on this list will always be miles away from any convincing challenge.
15. Leonardo Bonucci
Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images
We're in the top 15 already, and we're really stumbling across (or pretending to stumble about a mile away) some premium dives.
Here is Juventus' Leonardo Bonucci with some excellent delayed reaction in his dive. He's too close to the goalkeeper when he does goes down to be a top-10 contender, but it really is an extremely comical dive.
If he keeps this up, Bonucci is going to soon become one of diving's elite names.
14. Gareth Bale
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
This dive looks like the world's worst display of stage fighting.
Gareth Bale times his fall perfectly with the swing of Aston Villa's Brad Guzan's leg. If only Guzan wasn't yards away, it would be quite a convincing spot of simulation.
Again, a real grade-A dive that is unlucky not to make the top 10, but you have to believe that Bale was moving so fast that in real time it could be argued that Bale fell over because he was worried he would be kicked.
The argument wouldn't be very convincing, but it definitely has the potential to happen.
13. Burak Yılmaz
Lars Baron/Getty Images
This is just lovely diving.
Galatasaray's Burak Yilmaz performs a textbook "gone down like you've been shot by a sniper" dive that will bring a smile to the faces of diving traditionalists everywhere.
However, points are taken off for lack of originality. We're big fans of the classics, but you can't beat a dive with a bit of a unique flair.
If Yilmaz worked on his own personal style of cheating, he'd definitely be looking at a podium finish.
Lintao Zhang/Getty Images
Neymar seemed, after a challenge was made, to all of a sudden try to do the "running along the walls" trick from The Matrix. However, halfway through the move he realized he'd struggle due to there being no walls near him.
So he just fell over.
It misses out on the top 10, purely due to the quality and comedy of the dives above it.
But as a move to Europe looms for Neymar, and he'll inevitably get more exposure on the mainstream football scene, we can be excited about some truly horrific dives from this young man.
11. Glen Johnson
Alex Livesey/Getty Images
Just missing out on the top 10 is Liverpool's Glen Johnson.
It seems like a miracle a player of Johnson's (lack of) ability has already managed to "earn" 47 international caps.
So when the laws of logic are so loosely enforced, you can't blame Glen for thinking "if a player of my quality can become an England regular, anything is possible. Let's fall down in the box, in stages, with no one near me and see if I can get a penalty."
We love an ungraceful flop to the floor, and Glen does not disappoint. However, there's nothing too spectacular about it.
10. Olivier Giroud
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
So you've knocked the ball past your defender.
The only problem is, you've knocked it too far in the wrong direction and you've hit it so hard you couldn't catch up with it if you'd been drinking rocket fuel all night (a quiet Tuesday night in for Charlie Sheen).
So what do you do?
Just fall over.
This really is tactful diving from Arsenal's Olivier Giroud and has truly earned himself a place in the top 10 worst dives of the season.
9. Santi Cazorla
Clive Mason/Getty Images
An Arsenal double (three words that haven't been used since 2002 there) with Santi Cazorla performing a flawless "war hero" dive.
The key for a good "war hero" dive is to hit the floor like an enemy combatant has just thrown a grenade in front of you and you are bravely jumping on it, sacrificing yourself, for the safety of your colleagues.
Cazorla, divers everywhere salute your heroism.
8. Joao Pereira
Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images
Did Joao Pereira dive or did a supervillain with an invisible lasso throw it around his leg and start dragging him away while an Atletico Madrid player was walking past?
This really is top quality diving. Unfortunately for Pereira, this masterpiece came in a year when the art of diving has reached new levels of hilarity. Any other year, this would have been a top-three contender.
7. Jeronimo Neumann
Morne de Klerk/Getty Images
It's fitting that, when jumping out of planes, people yell "Geronimo!" as Jeronimo Neumann, when in the box, hit the floor like he'd just dropped from the sky when playing for Australian A-League side, Adelaide United.
Despite this being incredibly ridiculous and no player near him, he managed to get a penalty and a man sent off for it.
So this top-10 entry isn't just for Jeronimo, but for the referee who dropped this massive clanger too.
6. Gareth Bale
Stu Forster/Getty Images
Oh, Mr. Bale. With these dives you really are spoiling us.
A lovely edge to this dive. If the '90s grunge rock movement could be encapsulated in a dive, it would be this one.
He's running to his right, and despite not being touched, he takes a little jump and rolls to his left. It doesn't seem like the most natural dive; it doesn't seem conventional. But that's why we're putting it in the top 10.
5. Alen Halilovic
image via http://hercegovina.info
At just 16, Croatian wonderkid Alen Halilovic has been attracting the attention of some of Europe's biggest clubs.
He's also on the radar of some of Europe's biggest fans of hilarious dives.
In this effort, he either made a terrible dive or suddenly got possessed by a demon mid-Cruyff turn.
4. Luis Suarez
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
It was only a matter of time before we were joined by a certain Mr. Suarez.
Liverpool's Luis Suarez is known for dazzling defenders, so when Stoke City visited Anfield this year, he decided to take his opponents completely by surprise by attempting the dance move "The Worm."
His dance moves didn't quite go to plan, so he just trying claiming a foul.
Suarez is still getting ribbed for his lack of dance ability; however, Branislav Ivanovic is regretting saying "Luis, your moves lack bite."
3. Gokhan Inler
Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images
Just magical aerobics from Napoli's Gokhan Inler here. Really wonderful scenes.
Inler feels a hand on his hip, so what does he do? Jump into the sky and flip forward like it was the botched show-stopping finale to his street-dancing crew's latest routine.
From a slight touch to acrobatic fireworks, in the words of Ron Burgundy, "that escalated quickly."
2. Stephan Lichtsteiner
Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images
After a slight push on Celtic captain Scott Brown causes him to dive, Juventus' Stephan Lichtsteiner, in true Crocodile Dundee fashion, declared: "That's not a dive, this is a dive."
Lichtsteiner just puts so little effort into this dive, it really is a work of art. He isn't near Brown, he doesn't even hit the floor particularly fast and the rubbish forward roly-poly is just sublime.
In fact, there's absolutely no logic to this dive whatsoever. It is flawed in every way. It's enough to bring a tear to your eye.
1. Stephen Colbert
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Barcelona, Manchester United, Bayern Munich—a footballing giant needs to sign up Stephen Colbert pretty fast. He can dive with the best of them.
To prove a point about simulation in the beautiful game during an interview with former US international and bearded soccerlord Alexi Lalas, Colbert completely Gareth Baled it.
Not only was the contact minimal, but it wasn't even on a football pitch, and one of the people isn't even a football player.
It puts Swansea ballboys to shame.