10 Biggest Divers in World Football

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistNovember 11, 2013

10 Biggest Divers in World Football

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    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    Football is often compared to 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.

    Diving has once again been thrust into the public eye of late, thanks to a string of game-altering moments of alleged simulation.

    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.

    Entrants must still be playing some level of professional football to be included and if you feel anyone deserves a place or perhaps isn't criminal enough to have warranted their spot, feel free to share in the forum below.

Honourable Mentions

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    Thibaut Courtois

    Easily one of the most promising young goalkeepers in the world, Thibaut Courtois is testament to the fact that diving is far from limited to just outfield players.

    The 21-year-old Belgian showed against Real Madrid earlier this season just how talented he can be when feigning injury, the video above proving just how little contact he made with Gareth Bale.

    David Luiz

    At no time is the offence of diving any worse than when it results in a member of the opposition getting punished for their "crime."

    David Luiz helped in seeing Rafael sent off during an encounter with Manchester United last season and seemed to forget that in football, nothing is missed, as he clutched his ankle on the floor, only looking through his Brazilian locks to eke out a sly chuckle.


    It was Ramires' dive this weekend that ensured Chelsea received the late penalty that preserved Jose Mourinho's unbeaten record at Stamford Bridge (now at 66 matches), but not without its share of controversy.

    Ramires isn't particularly renowned for his diving habits and certainly doesn't commit the crime with as much propensity as some others on this list, but certainly looks guilty of using deception for personal gain on this occasion.

10. Gareth Bale

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    Simulation was an offence that Gareth Bale would be found guilty of as often as any other in the last year or so of his Premier League tenure.

    Since then, the Welshman has transferred his trade to La Liga and it seems one can't have the good without the bad, fans as likely to see "contact-less fouls" as they are fine pieces of dribbling or a Bale scorcher.

    The Spanish top flight has developed a reputation for its players going over a tad easier than in other divisions, and Bale's ongoing theatrics aren't exactly improving that image. 

9. Neymar

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    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, the most recent offence coming just last week in Barcelona's Champions League tie against Milan.

    Unfortunately for Ignazio Abate, the referee went along with the fall and awarded a penalty that would eventually go on to tell the tale of La Blaugrana's victory.

    From Santos to Spain and back again, 21-year-old Neymar has made his moves an international occurrence.

8. Bryan Carrasco

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    Famed as quite possibly one of the most ridiculous dives in recent history, Bryan Carrasco actually utilised the limb of an opponent in order to get his way during an Under-2o's fixture against Ecuador several years ago.

    The only thing worse than the Chilean's absurd gesture is that the official actually rewarded him with the free-kick.

    The Audax Italiano wide man is yet to pop up for further diving offences since then, but Carrasco will forever be remembered as the man who brought a new meaning to the question "Why are you hitting yourself?"

7. Sergio Busquets

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    It's been said before, but sometimes it's as if professional footballers forget they're playing the most popular sport in the world, regularly watched in the hundreds of millions and with cameras capturing every moment of the action.

    However, Sergio Busquets is one of those who has shown himself to either not mind the attention or that it simply slips his mind.

    The Spaniard's worst offence is by far the moment he peeked out from under his hands to see just how the referee had judged his diving effort in a Champions League tie with Inter, but it's a lengthy list in Busquets' case.

6. Cristiano Ronaldo

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    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.

    However, it's just a shame that pedigree is spoiled by a penchant for going down a little too easily, the attached video being from a fixture against Getafe from just over a month ago.

    Ronaldo's defence might be that he gets targeted for these kind of offences, but when they happen to occur as often as they do around one man, coincidence only remains an excuse for so long.

5. Dani Alves

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    Of course, one thing that goes hand-in-hand with the initial dive sometimes is the ensuing "roll about on the floor and pass the injury off as something far worse than what it actually is" act.

    Dani Alves demonstrated this in an El Clasico fixture with Real Madrid in 2011, where simply allowing the ref to make up his own mind based on the "foul" he'd seen simply wouldn't have been enough.

    Clearly influenced by the extent of the "injury," the official saw fit to show Pepe a red card despite replays showing no contact was made on this occasion, but it's not the first time Alves has obscured his talent by playing up to the cameras.

4. Didier Drogba

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    You can't teach an old dog new tricks, the saying goes, but it seems you also can't make him forget those he already knows.

    Despite only being back in England for a week to play in the Emirates Cup, Didier Drogba couldn't stay out of the diving spotlight and managed to haunt Arsenal once more as a result of his skills in deception, this time with Galatasaray.

    The Ivorian of course has a well-chronicled past with going down a little too easily, however, something Chelsea fans will be all too familiar with.

3. Joel Campbell

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    There's not many instances where Joel Campbell has been caught out for diving, but the Costa Rican gains a priority place on this list down to one, ludicrous act that came earlier this year.

    The Arsenal striker, on loan at Olympiakos, couldn't have been more deceitful if he tried when attempting to get Matt Besler in the referee's book during a World Cup qualifier against the USA, succeeding in his efforts.

    As Ed Malyon of the Mirror reports, the youngster was reprimanded by FIFA after being caught in the act, but Arsene Wenger will be hoping this isn't the beginning of something terrible.

2. Ashley Young

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    One who's particularly relevant regarding the topic of diving lately is Manchester United's Ashley Young, who just can't seem to get on the good side of anyone except the referees these days.

    The former Aston Villa trickster did have his controversial moments in Birmingham, but scrutiny over his acts have since gone into overdrive since moving to Old Trafford.

    Particularly clumsy in the penalty box for some strange reason, Young has teed the likes of Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney up for a few penalties in the last three seasons as a result of being "fouled" in the area.

    However, replays aren't always kind to the 28-year-old, the worst aspect being that their frequency appears to be increasing if nothing else.

1. Luis Suarez

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    While he might be going through one of his more amicable scoring patches right now, it goes without saying that things haven't always been so smooth for Luis Suarez.

    The Liverpool talisman has created a name for himself when it comes to drama, so much so that an advertisement making light of his offences was actually made for television in his native Uruguay.

    All jokes aside, though, Suarez is the worst culprit in the world for diving, being caught out regularly and with sometimes ridiculous attempts at that.

    Just watch the attached video for what's possibly his most laughable yet.


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