Rants and musings from the magazine team
As Arsenal’s appeal against UEFA's Eduardo ban is miraculously upheld, Dan Ross looks at 10 dives that could justify some retrospective action…
Roma vs INTER, April 2007
Despite all the discussion of Eduardo's actions (and the subsequent reactions), few have mentioned a very similar if not identical case took place in Serie A in 2007.
Trailing Roma by one goal, Inter striker Adriano is played through in exactly the same way as the vilified Gunner. In the same position, he feels the same breath of the goalkeeper on the same bit of shin, and produces the same tumble.
The outcome was the same – penalty given, penalty scored, then a two-match penalty for the con-artist. Except Adriano didn't appeal...
WATCH IT HERE
2. Emerson Acuna
ATLETICO JUNIOR vs America, December 2008
From the country that's the capital of crackers, Colombia, comes possibly the most hilarious dive seen in professional football. With Atletico Junior being held at home to America, ‘Piojo’ [Parasite] decided to change the game.
Clear of the last man (and probably offside) he tries to latch onto a through ball, but is savagely hacked down... by Casper The Unfriendly Ghost.
Crazier still is that the referee awards a penalty – one that is, as ever, duly converted by the unashamed recipients.
WATCH IT HERE
3. Morten Gamst Pedersen,
Arsenal vs BLACKBURN, March 2009
It takes something truly astonishing to draw some life and personality from MotD's wooden puppet Alans, and this Morten Gamst Pedersen effort nearly managed it.
Messrs Shearer and Hansen joined the nation chuckling in disbelief after Pedersen brought the ‘Emerson Acuna’ to the Emirates.
Disappointed to be several yards clear of any defender, the Norwegian realises that angles are on his side; he delays until Bacary Sagna is behind him, checks that the referee is in position and leaps. Points for sheer audacity.
4. Alberto Gilardino,
Celtic vs MILAN, February 2007
There seems to be something about Celtic that brings the worst out of people.
This footage proves that Eduardo’s August antics may have been homage to Alberto Gilardino, the Milan striker who wound up Bhoys fans in 2007 with his dramatics... no, cheating. We'll see you in court, Albert.
In this clip, a light-footed run into the box is followed by an overly heavy touch to take the ball past the oncoming Artur Boruc.
Perhaps Gila realises it take a miracle to score from the angle about to be created by his lack of pace; perhaps he assumes the Celtic keeper will randomly hurl himself at the striker’s feet.
Either way, he executes a remarkable desperate/anticipatory sprawl – and earns not a penalty but a yellow card.
5. Steven Taylor,
NEWCASTLE vs Aston Villa, April 2007
Not a dive in the winning-a-penalty sense, but surely one of the most amusing acts of ‘simulation’ the Premier League has ever seen – this time at the other end in a desperate attempt to prevent an inevitable punishment.
With Shay Given rounded, only one man stands between Aston Villa’s Darius Vassell and a certain goal – Steven Taylor.
The Geordie realises his hidden goalkeeping talent and produces a fine left-handed parry; immediately realising what he's done, he twists and writhes like an extra in an am-dram Platoon, clutching his stomach in the vain hope that he can either avoid a red card or win an Oscar.
He manages neither.
6. El-Hadji Diouf,
Blackburn vs BOLTON, January 2005
"Sometimes when I need to dive to get a penalty it's because, for me, the best footballer is a footballer who is very clever."
Spitting, growling, fighting and diving, El Hadji Diouf is followed wherever he goes by controversy (and angry mobs).
That he has now rejoined Sam Allardyce at Blackburn is all the more remarkable for his actions in a 2005 Lancashire derby at Ewood Park.
Rounding goalkeeper Brad Friedel in the 77th minute, the then Bolton striker decides not to risk a shot attempt, preferring instead to take an acrobatic leap to the deck, ‘earning’ a penalty that goes on to win the visitors the match.
The technique of the extra step and powerful take-off make this one flawless. Cheating aside, obviously.
7. Jürgen Klinsmann,
GERMANY vs Argentina, July 1990
Like Alexander Graham Bell and the telephone or Thomas Alva Edison and the lightbulb, sometimes you don't actually need to invent something to be inextricably linked with its genesis.
Players must have dived before Jurgen Klinsmann, but he's regarded as the father of the theatrical tumble, partly due to his excellent application of the artform on the biggest stage of all.
It's the World Cup final at Italia 90, and an ugly West Germany side are struggling to break down an even uglier Argentina.
Gathering the ball on the right, Klinsi drives towards the area – and the looming bulk of Pedro Monzon. The Argentinian's nasty challenge is skilfully avoided by an aerial deviation from the blond bombshell, whose outrageous subsequent fish-on-dry-land flips lead to the dismissal of Monzon, eventual victory for the Germans – and a subsequent crowd-friendly self-deprecating goal celebration for Klinsmann.
8. Diego Simeone,
England vs ARGENTINA, June 1998
Remember when the nation treated David Beckham like a banker, with effigies hung in the streets and dartboards of his face printed in national papers?
He owes all that publicity not to Victoria, or Simon Fuller, but Diego Simeone.
With the France '98 Second Round match poised at 2-2 as the second half begins, Beckham is felled from behind by Simeone.
Irked at getting soil on his fringe, Beckham flicks out a petulant foot in the general direction of the retreating Argentinian. Spying his opportunity, Simeone expertly combines an exaggerated topple with an exquisitely wounded appeal to the lurking Kim Milton Nielsen.
"I took advantage," Simeone later admits. "I think anyone would have done so." No, Diego, they would not.
Except the people on this list, obviously.
BRAZIL vs Turkey, June 2002
Sometimes we get an injury in one place, but our body feels the pain somewhere else.
For instance, it's not unusual to feel a chest injury in our abdomen. Feeling a leg injury in the face, however, is somewhat strange.
With the favourites 2-1 up deep into injury time, Rivaldo is in no hurry to take a corner, and when Hakan Unsal hoofs the ball into the Brazilian's knee the former World Player of the Year spies a golden opportunity to soak up a few more seconds by making out like he's been punched in the schnozz.
Unsal collects a second yellow; Brazil collect the three points; Rivaldo collects the opprobrium of a tutting world (and a retrospective £5,000 fine, proving FIFA have working video players even if UEFA don't).
10. Knut Anders Fostervold,
MOLDE vs unknown, 1994And finally, an example that many experts describe as the worst dive ever.
You know you’ve made it when your name is known worldwide, despite it being rather unwieldy and you only playing for Molde FK. Such is the case for Knut Anders Fostervold, whose attempted deception has received 700,000 YouTube hits and rising.
Stuck in a midfield battle in a Norwegian match of such little import that the opponents are unknown, Fostervold notes his foe is squaring up to him. Cue an 180-degree aerial twist as if he's been hit by the Hayemaker.
So bad is the dive that John Carew subsequently parodies it in a goal celebration.
FourFourTwo.com: More to read...
The Tuesday 10: Football lyrics in rockThe Tuesday 10: Changing the course of historyThe Tuesday 10: Football forfeitsThe Tuesday 10: Goal celebrations
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That was awesome. My personal favourite is Gilardino, he doesn't even appeal because he's realised the stupidity of his dive, he fiddles about with his boot, all innocent like.
But on a serious note, it's highlighting how many con artists ply their trade in the football industry, may I suggest an honesty blog next time? To restore the good/evil balance. Perhaps featuring paolo di canio catching the ball, or robbie fowler telling the ref not to give a penalty, bless.
Brilliant list, Klinsmann's 'back-stand' attempt in particular would make a Platoon extra blush
The 'unknown' Norwegian team is actually Stabæk, reigning champions in the Norwegian premier division. Just FYI.
Great list, though!
Klinsmann as a dive? Really? In two of the replays in the video you linked, it's pretty obvious that Monzon catches him in the shin as he's in the air. Going in on a late tackle with studs waist high is most definitely an automatic red card, Klinsmann's theatrics aside, and to suggest that there was no contact made and that it was a pure dive is absurd. Good article aside from that though.
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