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The worst and most memorable dives in football

September 17, 2015

- Grant Whittington

Ah diving – the single most contentious issue in football. It has become a common feature of the English game in the Premier League era, which in turn has forced old-school professionals to yearn for a time of integrity and when goals were celebrated with a brisk handshake. While diving may be something of an epidemic sweeping the national game, however, it is fair to some players are more synonymous with this practice than others.

The Hall of Shame: Listing the Most Prolific Divers in Football    

To explore this further, the team at Bethut have plumbed the depths of football folklore to uncover the worst and most memorable dives (and divers) of all time. Here are our favourites: –

Jurgen Klinsmann (Germany v Argentina, 1990)

German forward Jurgen Klinsmann was more than aware of his reputation as a diver, as he celebrated his first goal in English football with a theatrical dive against Sheffield Wednesday. His most famous (or should that be shameful) dive came during the 1990 World Cup final, when the talented forward fell theatrically after a challenge by Argentine defender Pedro Monzon. While there was undoubtedly contact of some description, Klinsmann’s reaction was exaggerated in the extreme with an impulsive jack-knife and a series of rolls that Greggs would be impressed with. The response also earned Monzon a red-card, and helped Germany on the path to victory.

Kyle Lafferty (Rangers v Aberdeen, 2009)

During an SPL game in 2009, Kyle Lafferty clashed with Aberdeen defender Charlie Mulgrew after a robust tackle by the Don’s player. The two briefly brushed foreheads during a coming together on the touchline, and the incident would have been forgotten but for Lafferty’s decision to hurl himself to the ground as he feigned heavy contact and injury. A bemused Mulgrew was then dismissed, while Lafferty faced a huge backlash from fellow professionals and teammates alike. Lafferty’s wink to a teammate afterwards hardly helped his cause, and he was subsequently sanctioned by authorities.

Rivaldo (Brazil v Turkey, 2002)

While Rivaldo was a brilliant player and former Ballon D’or winner, one of his most memorable moments involved questionable acting skills rather than sublime ability with the ball. During a game with Turkey in Brazil’s successful World Cup campaign of 2002, Rivaldo was shaping to take a corner when opposing player Hakan Unsal kicked the ball towards the forward in a frustrated and slightly aggressive manner. Despite the ball barely grazing his knee, Rivaldo dropped to the floor clutching his face and earned a red card for his opponent. The Brazilian was subsequently fined for his actions, however, although this did not stop him earning a winners’ medal.

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