Five Of The Worst Divers In Football History

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With Wayne Rooney winning a penalty under questionable circumstances in the FA Cup win over Preston this week, the debate on diving has once again burst into life, if it can be said it ever went away. While opinion on Rooney has been very 50/50, the man himself has apologised for it, seemingly confirming he did hit the ground easily. Although if he had left his leg there he risked serious injury.

Thankfully though world football is not short of some truly comical actors, who leave no debate on whether or not they cheated to benefit the team. When it comes to the fine art of winning penalties, Fouls or trying to get your opponent sent off, we have seen some shameful attempts. IRZ brings you a list of 5 of the most infamous play actors the game has seen. Well it is Oscar season after all.


There can be no doubting the talent this Brazilian legend had, as he wowed fans the world over for his displays in the famous shirts of Barcelona and the Brazilian national team. He has though been known to hit the deck easily during his career, something that is associated with the South American game, and even praised if it achieves victory for the team.

Ironically for a man who had some of his best moments in World Cups, it was also the scene of his worst. While waiting to take a corner against Turkey in the 2002 tournament, Rivaldo had the ball kicked over to him by a Turkish player hitting him in the leg. Rivaldo obviously deemed the force of the kick was so great, he needed to fall to the ground clutching his face. For shame.

Cristiano Ronaldo

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The biggest thing on planet football right now has never decided to shy away from controversy, especially during his earlier years. At Manchester United, before his talent exploded, he would hit the ground at the slightest touch, and the ill feelings for those acts are still harboured towards him by many fans.

It appears CR7 never grew out if this phase though, as during a Champions League game with A.C Milan, it reared its ugly head once more. While challenging the award of a throw in, Milan full back Ignacio Abate brushed Ronaldo’s face with his hand. Queue earth shattering thud to the ground accompanied by three further rolls, with a fourth added in just in time for Howard Webb to arrive on the scene.

Gareth Bale

Ronaldo’s Madrid team mate has become his partner in crime, and makes the list on the debate he creates with his ‘dives’ He was booked more often for simulation than any other player during his last year I the Premier League, and has continued going down easily in Spain, a league that generally seams to bread this in many of its players.

A bit like the Rooney debate though, Bales efforts have usually been a matter of interpretation. He moves at such pace that players fly in at him, and hurdling them merely to keep his fitness is his only option. Does this make it less of a foul, or more of a dive? That is a debate for another day, but we have seen time and again that Bale will not hesitate to go down, whether contact is made or not.

Jurgen Klinsmann

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The German goalscoring hero has long been regarded as one of the games finest actors. For a man who could jump above all else when winning headers, he decided to switch the use of his talents from good, to evil.

Even before the 1990 World Cup Finals, Jurgen has a bad reputation for play acting, yet it was on World Footballs biggest stage that he decided to show case his talents to their fullest. The striker clearly felt Pedro Monzon as a little too close for comfort, and made a heroic leap for freedom from his overly close presence. Obviously hurting himself during this astonishing leap he then proceeded to contort his body like a top class gymnast, writhing in pain. A red card amazingly followed for Monzon, and Germany would go on to win the final. That Klinsmann’s dive remains the most memorable moment from that game should show you why it is considered the dullest World Cup final of all time.

Luis Suarez

Racially abusing a fellow player, three separate bans for biting opponents, what would Luiz Suarez’s list of crimes be without adding a little bit of diving into the mix. Often managers and players where vocal in condemning him, resulting in one memorable celebration during the Merseyside derby, right in front of then Everton manager David Moyes.

Efforts against most of the Premier Leagues team’s linger long in fans minds, such is the frequency of Suarez’s play acting offences, but his most remarkable may be against Stoke. After twisting and turning into the box with all his considerable talent, Suarez cut back and stumbled as he lost his footing. Never one to miss an opportunity, the Uruguayan then stumbled some more before arching his back and bucking into the air, like a fish that has been removed from water. Classic Suarez.

Sadly the list we made could be twice this size, but we compiled this one based on repeat offenders, but expect a list soon of the most ridiculous dives in football history – those who stood out for one hilarious moment, rather than consistent cheating and attempt to con officials. The ironic and painful thing that all these men have in common, other than simulation, is that they are some of the most talented, gifted players to ever grace our beloved game. They do say that all genius is flawed.

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