With the final of the Champions League taking place in just three short weeks I thought it would be perfect time to dig into some hard hitting analysis. Unfortunately, not being a huge football fan myself, this would likely involve some weekly backed up stats and a general gut feeling that Liverpool will likely win owing to the fact that I don’t trust Tottenham’s goal threat to deliver consistently. So instead of all that I’ve decided to get into the nit and gritty of a part of the game in which I’m much more well versed. The dive. Dive, flop, attempt by a player to gain an unfair advantage by falling to the ground and possibly feigning an injury, to give the impression that a foul has been committed. Whatever your preferred nomenclature, we can all agree its a nuanced and under appreciated aspect of the beautiful game and it would be great if somebody could explain it in more detail whilst simultaneously ranking some its best examples.
Explaining diving in more detail whilst simultaneously ranking some of its best examples
4. The ‘Whats that on my back, better hit the deck just to be safe’
Certainly a classic. Often used to get out of a tight situation down the defensive end of the pitch. Any touch to the back of top level player will immediately be result in a collapse as if located somewhere back there is a switch to turn off the use of there legs. No some may argue that to avoid this simply stand off the player slightly and force them to clear the ball. Simple yes, wrong. They just cant bloody resist it.
3. The ‘He’ll probably foul me here so I’ll just jump to make sure, oh crap I went to early’
This typically takes place in open play after an attacker gets the better of the defending player. He can see the swinging leg coming and simply has to wait for the contact and he will be awarded a foul. Instead he sees his chance to make the absolute most of it and like the heralded double-bounce on a trampoline, knows that if he can add his momentum to this equation he make the collision look 100% worse. Problem is when you go to early you just end up looking like a twat.
2. The ‘I can hit you but you can’t hit me’
Also known as the ‘Little Sibling’ all kids know this move. The culprit will go in and antagonise the older brother/sister may even poke and prod them a little. Then the moment they retaliate, waterworks. Dads going to hear it, he’s definitely going to come over to investigate and he going to see you standing over your little sibling whilst they weep on the floor. Is he going to ask who started it. Is he F**k. That retaliation is getting you grounded. Job done for the little sibling.
(for those not following along the referee is the Dad in this analogy and grounded is a red card. The little sibling? Well thats almost always Sergio Ramos.)
- The ‘I definitely got hit somewhere, better hold my face just in case’
My personal favourite here at number one. Football is a contact sport. Theres going to be coming togethers, late or mistimed challenges. Most of it however simply warrants a free kick and getting on with the game. Although as we all know the aim of football is to get as many yellow and red cards handed out to the opposing team as possible and there is one type of foul which can help deliver this better than any other. Getting hit in the face. Now being a sport played predominantly with the feet it isn’t always possible to achieve this contact but that wont stop the best players from getting the ref believe it. A professional these days can make a kick to the ankle look a punch in the nose with a well timed clutch of the face as they hit the deck. Maybe even through in a few rolls afterwards. Really show your lower body is fine and it must have been a vicious attack to the eye area that caused you to scream with such agony.
The ‘I forgot I’m not actually a player but the Manager of the team’
Very rare to see which makes it all the more special when it does happen. We are living in a golden age people. Don’t take it for granted.