World Football Floppers: The 15 Biggest Divers in Soccer

Andres EhrliCorrespondent IIIAugust 16, 2011

World Football Floppers: The 15 Biggest Divers in Soccer

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    Every football player dives. That's something we have to live with. But even among a sport full of divers, there are some repeat offenders that have done it more than others.

    Diving has always been frowned upon, but truth is it's part of the game. And as part of the game, this list will rank the best 15 divers in world football. 

    That not only means ranking how often they do it, but whether they succeed at it, and where on the pitch they try to do it. Obviously extra points will be given on the difficult area for opponents red carded and penalties awarded for their efforts.

    So with no further pause, let's start ranking the world's top divers!

15. Fernando Torres (Chelsea)

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    Frequency of Dives: 6.2 

    Torres dives five to ten times per season. So, he gets a low score here.

     

    Diving Success Rate: 5.5

    Torres is usually caught flopping, sometimes yellow carded. Low score. 

     

    Degree of Difficulty: 9.3

    Usually goes for the penalty or red-card, so bonus points there for "El Niño".

     

    Final Diving Score: 6.2+5.5*9.3 = 57.53

    Torres isn't an effective or recurrent diver, but he fancies the technically hard ones and usually tries to trick referees into giving him a spot kick or sending off and opposing player. 

14. Milos Krasic (Juventus)

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    Frequency of Dives: 8.0 

    Krasic is not as dive-prone as now might think. He still enjoys the flop every couple of weeks, though.

     

    Diving Success Rate: 5.5

    Very low success rate. Points deducted for getting suspended two matches for getting caught.

     

    Degree of Difficulty: 9.5

    If he flops, he's going for the PK.

     

    Final Diving Score: 8.0+5.5*9.5 = 60.25

    Loses points for getting caught flopping. A good diver should never get caught. 

13. Marcelo (Real Madrid)

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    Frequency of Dives: 9.32 

    Marcelo is not only fierce at challenging rivals when they flop themselves, he also likes to dive a time or two per game.

     

    Diving Success Rate: 9.5

    Because he does them only to get offensive fouls or relatively unimportant tackles, he's very effective at what he does.

     

    Degree of Difficulty: 6.1

    Usually goes for easy fouls behind the midfield line, so his score is quite low on the difficulty scale.

     

    Final Diving Score: 9.32+9.5*6.1 = 67.27

    High success rate and frequent diving takes Marcelo up a nodge even if he doesn't like others flopping the other way around. Marcelo's motto: "I dive, but nobody can do it but me".

12. Luis Suarez (Liverpool)

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    Frequency of Dives: 8.0 

    Luis Suarez is frequent with his dives. Sometimes he can even flop two or three times per game.

     

    Diving Success Rate: 6.5

    Low success rate for Suarez here because most of his dives are in opposing team's danger areas.

     

    Degree of Difficulty: 9.6

    Luis likes to go for the penalty. 

     

    Final Diving Score: 8.0+6.5*9.6 = 70.4

    Suarez loses some points because of his low success rate.

11. Steven Gerrard (Liverpool)

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    Frequency of Dives: 7.2 

    Steven Gerrard doesn't overuse his dives. One very other game is more than enough for him.

     

    Diving Success Rate: 8.2

    His good reputation gives him some credit with the refs. He seems like such a nice lad, doesn't he?

     

    Degree of Difficulty: 7.8

    Stevie G usually prefers to go for the penalty. But he'll take the unimportant foul on a flop too.

     

    Final Diving Score: 7.2+8.2*7.8 = 71.16

    Gerrard dives likes he plays football: he's a solid flopper in all aspects.

10. Emmanuel Eboue (Galatasaray)

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    Frequency of Dives: 9.1 

    Eboue is a very frequent diver. He just has to do it every game. 

     

    Diving Success Rate: 9.6

    Staying away from the preferred "diving" areas makes Eboue quite effective with the refs.

     

    Degree of Difficulty: 6.5

    Normally he uses high percentage dives, but he can go for the odd dive inside the box, though.

     

    Final Diving Score: 9.1+9.6*6.5 = 71.5

    Eboue gets his points due to his perseverance in diving in unsuspecting areas of the pitch.

9. Alberto Gilardino (Fiorentina)

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    Frequency of Dives: 5.0 

    Gilardino is not a recurrent diver. One or twice will do for him per season. 

     

    Diving Success Rate: 7.5

    Hit or miss here for Gilardino. Sometimes he gets the call. Sometimes he doesn't.

     

    Degree of Difficulty: 9

    "Gila" does like to go for the penalty when he flops though. Even when nobody's a mile around him. Extra points for that one. 

     

    Final Diving Score: 5.0+7.5*9 = 72.5

    Gila gets lots of points for his efforts to trick a ref into buying his nonsense. 

8. Nani (Manchester United)

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    Frequency of Dives: 9.0 

    A Cristiano Ronaldo pupil himslef, Nani knows the importance of diving and carries it out in almost every game he plays in. 

     

    Diving Success Rate: 7.0

    Nani's exaggerations don't serve him well in this department.

     

    Degree of Difficulty: 9.1

    Nani always dives for penalties, red cards, or free-kicks in dangerous positions. Anything else is for amateurs.

     

    Final Diving Score: 9.0+7.0*9.1 = 72.7

    He learned from the best, but his over the top play-acting cost him some points. Even flopping has some standards to respect, you know?

7. Dani Alves (Barcelona)

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    Frequency of Dives: 9.7 

    Dani Alves likes to dive. A lot. 

     

    Diving Success Rate: 8.7

    He usually gets the foul because he protests like crazy and fakes injuries for fouls that mean no danger to his rivals.

     

    Degree of Difficulty: 8

    Alves usually prefers to flop in areas of no concern, but he does go for the red card simulation quite often.  

     

    Final Diving Score: 9.7+8.7*8 = 79.3

    Dani's Alves all-around efforts land him a very good grade for a defender. 

6. Didier Drogba (Chelsea)

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    Frequency of Dives: 9.1 

    Didier Drogba needs no reason to go down. So he goes down. 

     

    Diving Success Rate: 7.3

    He dives so much that his success rate takes a big dip. 

     

    Degree of Difficulty: 9.6

    Didier loves to go for the penalty.

     

    Final Diving Score: 9.1+7.3*9.6 = 79.18

    Didier doesn't need (or want) a reason to STOP going down. 

5. Neymar (Santos)

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    Frequency of Dives: 10 

    If you get close to Neymar he either dribbles you, or he dives. There is no other option.

     

    Diving Success Rate: 8.7

    Neymar's very effective because of his talent. Refs feel they need to protect him.

     

    Degree of Difficulty: 8.3

    Not his strong suit, he usually gets fouled close to the sidelines. He does occasionally flop inside the box though.

     

    Final Diving Score: 10+8.7*8.3 = 82.21

    Neymar is one of the best divers in the world right now.

4. Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich)

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    Frequency of Dives: 9.7 

    Robben dives every single time he doesn't get past an opponent.

     

    Diving Success Rate: 8.3

    Arjen's play-acting and fake injuries go a long way towards tricking the Ref. Still not his strong suit though.  

    Degree of Difficulty: 9.3

    Robben loves penalties. The moment he's in the area, a flop can always be expected.

     

    Final Diving Score: 9.7+8.3*9.3 = 86.89

    Truly a dual threat: great at dribbling, fantastic at flopping. 

3. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)

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    Frequency of Dives: 8.1 

    Once the best in the world in this department, Cristiano Ronaldo has regressed a bit here

     

    Diving Success Rate: 9.3

    He dives less, but when he does, Ronaldo now has a very high percentage of calls going his way.

     

    Degree of Difficulty: 9.1

    CR7 goes for reds, penalties and dangerous free-kicks.  The odd game-breaking foul is not out of the picture either.

     

    Final Diving Score: 8.1+9.3*9.1 = 92.73

    One of the most complete floppers in the world, no doubt. 

2. Sergio Busquets (Barcelona)

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    Frequency of Dives: 7.5 

    Not the most frequent diver, Busquets waits out his moment to flop on the pitch.

     

    Diving Success Rate: 9.5

    A master at timing rivals into falling into his trap, Sergio will fall to the ground the very moment he feels a hand in his face, having a never-before-seen rate of getting opponents red carded.

     

    Degree of Difficulty: 10

    It's red card or bust for Busquets.

     

    Final Diving Score: 7.5+9.5*10 = 102.5

    The best red card specialist in a long time. 

1. Angel Di Maria (Real Madrid)

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    Frequency of Dives: 9.9 

    For Di Maria, it's almost always a dive.

     

    Diving Success Rate: 9.5

    He won six out of Real Madrid's 10 penalties last season and was the player with most penalties awarded in the world. He's not perfect though, and did get some yellow cards and no-calls.

     

    Degree of Difficulty: 10

    If Di Maria's in the area, he will dive. Make no mistake about it. Sometimes he can't make it inside the box and takes a dive to set up dangerous situations. 

     

    Final Diving Score: 9.9+9.5*10 = 104.9

    If you want a penalty for your team, Di Maria's your man.