Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar have been accused of diving over the years
Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar have been accused of diving over the years

5 world-class players who are accused of diving frequently


Diving has become more of a common occurrence in football, and at this point, it's really just a part of the game. It's now an art that requires training and plenty of practice to produce falls that can trick even the best referees in the sport.


Rolling on the ground while grimacing in pain and clutching the ankle (even though the opponent made slight contact with the upper thigh) can be the difference between one point and three points. Whether you're annoyed by footballers who circumvent the rules by getting a spot-kick with a dive, or you find it funny, there's no argument that even the best players in the world can be caught partaking in such antics.

Football legends like Pele and Diego Maradona weren't notable for rolling around in the grass when a defender got close to them, but it didn't matter too much. After all, the latter had his "hand of God" moment that brought a goal rather than a freekick or a penalty.

It's been exactly 35 years since Diego Maradona scored with 'The Hand of God' against England 👀

In 2018, Maradona was asked what would have happened if VAR existed at the time:

"I would have been arrested. Because you can't steal in front of 80,000 people." 🎥
5:39 AM · Jun 22, 2021

Many former footballers have enjoyed their fair share of diving in recent decades. Jurgen Klinsmann notably made fun of his diving by creating a goal celebration out of it. Robert Pires also managed to annoy Arsenal's opponents with a couple of dives, alongside all his goals and skills.

15 – Robert Pires provided the most assists in the 2001-02 Premier League, with the Frenchman winning the FWA Footballer of the Year despite his season being cut short due to injury. Super. #OptaPLSeasons
10:45 AM · Apr 3, 2020

Without further ado, let's take a look at five top players who have been accused of diving in more recent years.


#5 Mohamed Salah | Liverpool

Leicester City v Liverpool - Premier League

Call him what you will, the Liverpool talisman is arguably one of the best players ever to grace Anfield. His dribbling is electric and his goals have been brilliant, but he's been accused of diving a fair few times over the years. In fact, Premier League fans have argued that Mohamed Salah is the worst diver in the league's history. While that might not be true, the Egyptian international is clearly capable of hitting the ground at any touch.

Earlier this year, Mohamed Salah notably went down hard in the penalty area after making contact with Leicester City's Ricardo Pereira. The referee (and VAR) saw through the ruse and ignored the calls for a penalty. His opponents haven't always been so lucky though: West Ham conceded a penalty that brought Liverpool a win last season, and Salah's dive was so controversial that Jurgen Klopp had to speak in the star's defense.


#4 Harry Kane | Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur v Brighton & Hove Albion - Premier League

The embattled Spurs striker might be struggling to find his form this season, but his efficiency in front of goal last season was unparalleled. But it was his ability to sneakily snatch up the occasional spot-kick that stole a few headlines last year. The star has even managed to trick VAR as well!

Harry Kane's most notable diving event came during a controversial penalty call during Tottenham's game against Brighton last December. He notably initiated the foul by bending over slightly - rather than jumping for the ball - and allowing Adam Lallana to jump on him. His goal from the spot gave Tottenham their first home win in the Premier League last season.

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Edited by Vishal Subramanian
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