The art of diving to win advantageous free-kicks or penalties has been a thorn in the side of football for many years. I use the phrase ‘thorn in the side’ largely due to the controversial nature of the issue. Universally acknowledged as being an underhand tactic; diving, or ‘simulation’ as FIFA prefer to describe it, has become more prevalent than ever.
Players who do appear to regularly throw themselves to the floor have been lambasted by the media (in the UK especially) and vilified by fans. However, such is the level at which football is played in the modern era, is it time that we concede that this is one evil that will never be eradicated?
Last week, the Premiership’s perennial pantomime baddie character of El-Hadji Diouf admitted to the media that he has no shame in partaking in ‘simulation’. The Senegalese international proclaimed, “Sometimes I need to dive to have a penalty. It’s just football. The best footballer is very clever like that.” There is a certain school of thought that Diouf relishes the reaction he receives from opposition supporters, and so would willingly court such controversy.
However, it must in some way be acknowledged that he is not alone in going to ground in order to ‘con’ an official. The Bolton man goes on to state that reputation could influence how certain players are viewed on this issue, “It’s not just me who dives. If you see Wayne สูตรลับของ UFABET Rooney, how often does he dive to get a penalty?” Without obviously pointing any accusing fingers in the direction of Mr Rooney, it could be argued that it is not merely the vilified that dive.
It is without question that the art of pretending to be fouled is something that has come into the English game from the continent. This is further ammunition for the many sceptics that claim that our leagues have been damaged by the influx of foreign players, but regardless of ones stance on that particular ‘hot potato’, it is clearly a by-product of this infiltration.
When Tottenham Hotspur secured the signature of Jurgen Klinsmann in 1994 there was a whirlwind of press attention, not least because the North London outfit had, somewhat surprisingly, gained the services of one of Europe’s most respected forwards, but also due to the Germans’ reputation for feigning injury and diving in order to gain advantages for his team. Only the season before he had managed to fool a referee into dismissing AC Milan’s Alessandro Costacurta for an alleged head-butt that was later proven to have never occurred.
Klinsmann, clearly more than aware of both his own reputation and the English philosophy upon him, reacted by scoring a powerful header on his debut, and subsequently celebrating the goal with a self-mocking dive. Almost insta