10 Worst Dives in the History of Football

Ryan Bailey@ryanjaybaileyFeatured ColumnistJanuary 24, 2014

10 Worst Dives in the History of Football

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    Thanks to the exploits of Luis Suarez, diving has turned into a hot topic recently. A comment on his perceived flop against Aston Villa, in fact, sparked an unpleasant chain of events that led to front page news for Bleacher Report's Stan Collymore.

    Clearly, simulation is a highly divisive part of the modern game—and something that many players rely upon to gain an advantage.

    While you lament this sad-but-true facet of the modern game, take a look through a selection of the worst dives from football history...   

10. Jurgen Klinsmann vs. Argentina, 1990

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    Let's kick this list off with a classic from one of the forefathers of simulation.

    During Germany's win over Argentina in the 1990 World Cup Final, Jurgen Klinsmann raced down the right wing and faced a challenge from Pedro Monzon.

    The tackle was a little late and deserving of some punishment, but Klinsi's incredibly pained reaction—which involved three tumble turns and a fish-out-of-water-style body spasm—helped him see red. 

    When he came to play in England, Klinsmann famously celebrated goals with a dive in a cheeky reference to his reputation. 

9. Ashley Young vs. Real Sociedad, 2013

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    Manchester Utd winger Ashley Young dives more often than Tom Daley, so it would be remiss not to include one of his efforts here.

    When the Red Devils visited San Sebastian to face Real Sociedad in the Champions League last November, Ash was very lightly brushed by Markel Bergara, who received a yellow card and conceded a penalty thanks to some fairly unsubtle trickery.

    The Gods of Karma were watching on though, as Robin van Persie missed the resulting spot kick. 

8. Sergio Busquets vs. Inter Milan, 2010

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    In the 2010 Champions League semi-final second leg clash with Internazionale at Camp Nou, Thiago Motta earned a second yellow card when he appeared to strike Sergio Busquets in the face.

    However, replays suggested he actually only brushed Busquets' neck with his fingers. The Spaniard's painful dramatics became less convincing when he was clearly seen peeking through his hands to gauge the referee's reaction. 

    He has also been shown pulling the same move against Real Madrid. 

7. Fernando Torres vs. Chile, 2010

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    At the 2010 World Cup, back in the heady days when Fernando Torres was really good at football, El Nino pulled off a spectacular dive in Spain's group match with Chile. 

    Chilean defender Marco Estrada looks like he didn't actually touch Torres, but rather than try and score a goal, the star striker kicked the back of his own leg and threw himself into the air. 

    Those diving Karma Gods struck the Spaniard with vengeance two years later, when he was sent off for picking up a second yellow for this flop

6. Kyle Lafferty vs. Aberdeen, 2009

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    In a 2009 match between Aberdeen and Rangers, striker Kyle Lafferty made it look as if his Dons opponent Charlie Mulgrew had given him a "Glasgow kiss." In reality, he barely touched him. 

    The referee bought it and sent Mulgrew off and Rangers went on to beat their 10-man opponents 2-1. The Scottish FA, however, later rescinded the card and gave Lafferty a two-match ban. 

5. Bryan Carrasco vs. Ecuador, 2011

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    Chilean international Bryan Carrasco definitely wins the originality prize when it comes to diving. 

    While contesting a throw-in during an U20 match with Ecuador, Carrasco grabs the arm of the opponent marking him and uses it to punch his own face!

    Perhaps he sought inspiration from the scene in Fight Club where Edward Norton starts beating himself up in his boss' office.  

    The referee awarded the free kick, perhaps because he respected the audacity of a player using someone else's arm to punch themselves. 

4. Oleksandr Aliyev vs. Arsenal, 2008

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    When Dynamo Kiev visited Arsenal in the Champions League in 2008, attacking midfielder Oleksandr Aliyev was either attempting to con the referee Alain Hamer with a feigned injury, or he possessed super human healing powers.

    Aliyev was sent off later in the game for shoving the ref—perhaps feeling that was the only way to get his attention.  

3. Knut Anders Fostervold vs. Stabaek, 1999

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    During Molde's 1999 Tippeligaen match with Stabaek, midfielder Knut Anders Fostervold was hit in the face by opponent Petur Marteinsson. Such was the shock of the blow that he waited a few seconds before clutching his face and falling to the ground.

    The hilariously bad fall became so famous that John Carew later parodied it during a goal celebration. 

    Fun fact: Fostervold retired from the game in 2003 and became a professional cyclist. 

2. Morten Gamst Pedersen vs. Arsenal, 2009

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    Not long after Aliyev's aforementioned trickery at the Emirates, Morten Gamst Pedersen went down in a hilariously unconvincing fashion on the same field.

    With Bacary Sagna a few paces behind him, the Norwegian Blackburn midfielder checked over his shoulder, tripped himself over and then instantly turned around on the floor to catch the referee's glance. Thankfully, the official wasn't conned.  

1. Rivaldo vs. Turkey, 2002

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    The most notorious pretend injury in the game might be Rivaldo's faux face malady during the 2002 World Cup finals.

    In a group stage match with Turkey, the Barcelona playmaker was hit in the thigh by a ball passed by defender Hakan Unsal. But he famously fell to the ground clutching his face as if he'd been shot, earning Unsal a red card.  

    Rivaldo was subsequently fined by FIFA, but he still tried to defend himself after millions of people all around the world watched him cheat:

    Obviously the ball didn't hit me in the face, but I was still the victim. I did not hit anyone in the face! Nobody remembers what that Turk did to me. I'm not a player who fakes fouls.

    Where does one even start to unravel that statement? 


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