Arturo Vidal and 10 of the World's Most Embarrassing Dives

Ryan Bailey@ryanjaybaileyFeatured ColumnistOctober 24, 2013

Arturo Vidal and 10 of the World's Most Embarrassing Dives

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    Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

    During Juventus' Champions League defeat to Real Madrid on Wednesday, Arturo Vidal was subjected to a terrible foul—performed by the Bernabeu turf.

    The Chilean midfielder immediately appealed for a penalty after tripping up on the grass, in what is surely one of the most embarrassing dives in world football history.

    But Vidal is not alone: Here are 10 other players who have shown themselves up with some unconvincing simulation...

Morten Gamst Pedersen

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    While representing Blackburn in a match against Arsenal in 2009, Morten Gamst Pedersen pulled off a shamefully cynical dive in the penalty area. 

    With Bacary Sagna a few yards behind him, the Norwegian winger looks over his shoulder—possibly to spot the referee—and then hits the deck like a sack of potatoes.

    Once on the floor, the fact that he immediately turns his head with a look of outrage shows exactly what he is trying to sell. Fortunately, the ref didn't buy it. 

Oleksandr Aliyev

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    In the 2008/09 Champions League, the Academy Award for diving went to Dynamo Kyiv's Oleksandr Aliyev.

    During a match with Arsenal at the Emirates, the Russian forward writhed around in apparent pain from a challenge, but as soon as he saw the referee had not been conned, his injury magically disappeared. 

    Aliyev was sent off later in the game for pushing the referee. He was probably angry that the official had not fallen for his ploy. 

Bryan Carrasco

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    Chilean U20 international Bryan Carrasco used a very interesting tactic to win a free kick in a match against Ecuador: He used an opponent's trailing arm to punch himself in the face!

    The referee was conned into awarding the free kick, but perhaps it was simply out of respect for the sheer originality of this flop. 

Fernando Torres

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    Fernando Torres has been known to go down a little easily, but his most obvious flop came in Spain's 2010 World Cup group stage match with Chile. 

    Midfielder Marco Estrada didn't have to make very much contact before Nando lifted his heels in the air in search of a free kick. 

    In 2012, diving karma caught up with the Spanish striker when he was awarded a second yellow for simulation in a match against Manchester Utd. 

Knut Anders Fostervold

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    While playing for Molde, defender Knut Anders Fostervold pulled off one of Norway's most notorious dives in a match with Stabaek. 

    Petur Marteinsson did slap Fostervold across the face, but his delayed reaction suggested he wasn't hit with as much force as was implied.

    The dive was so infamous that John Carew later parodied it in a goal celebration.

    These days, Fostervold is a professional cyclist—hopefully he doesn't go down quite as easily in his new line of work.


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    One of the most notorious dives of all time occurred in the 1998 World Cup, during Brazil's group game with Turkey.

    When a Turkish defender kicked a ball to Rivaldo to take a corner, the Brazilian went down clutching his face in agony, but the ball had actually struck his shin. The defender was subsequently sent off.

    It's a ballsy move from the former Barcelona star, who went down right in front of the linesman and dozens of cameras in the world's most popular football competition. Inevitably, Rivaldo was fined 11,670 Swiss Francs by FIFA for his antics. 

Jurgen Klinsmann

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    Jurgen Klinsmann was one of the forefathers of modern simulation, who even celebrated goals with a self-referencing dive when he came to the Premier League. 

    His most incredulous move came in the 1990 World Cup Final against Argentina, when Pedro Monzon challenged him. The tackle was late and probably deserving of punishment, but Klinsmann's theatrics surely helped him earn a red card.

    The German dramatically rolled over three times after his body spasmed in the air like a panicked fish out of water. 

Alberto Gilardino

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    Italian striker Alberto Gilardino appealed for a penalty during a Champions League match with Celtic, but ended up receiving a yellow card for his efforts.

    Perhaps if the Milan star had not taken a few extra steps after being challenged, his flop would have been a little more convincing. 

Kyle Lafferty

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    In May 2009, Aberdeen's Charlie Mulgrew was given a straight red card for "headbutting" Rangers striker Kyle Lafferty. On closer inspection, Mulgrew hardly touched his opponent, and certainly didn't give him a "Glasgow kiss."

    Rangers went on to win the match 2-1, but the Scottish Football Association subsequently rescinded the card and gave Lafferty a two-month ban for his naughty actions. 

Cristiano Ronaldo

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    A list about diving simply wouldn't be complete without something from one of its foremost practitioners. 

    During a 2010 Champions League match with Milan, Cristiano Ronaldo went down after feigning a painful hit to the face from Ignazio Abate.

    Clearly, the Milan players weren't falling for his over-the-top reaction, with Gennaro Gattuso feeling particularly displeased with his theatrics. 

    To see more of Ronaldo's work, check out this three-part simulation compendium


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