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Top 3 divers in modern football

Ronnie Evans
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FIFA World Cup 2014 Brazil - 'Netherlands v Mexico'

The dark arts have been part of football from time in memorial. These are basically tricks and antics that go against the rule book. Footballers and managers have intentionally used the lighter dark arts to give their sides some sort of advantage in a match.

Have you ever watched a neatly played match that has one team with countless 'injuries' at the death right after they score? It is common in football to see goalkeepers take a little bit of time to deliver goal kicks especially when their team is leading.

Managers have also been notorious for using the 'legal' dark arts such as making substitutions to take some few seconds off the clock. Others such as Jose Mourinho has perfected the art of game management.

At one time, it was revealed that Mourinho instructed one of his players to be intentionally booked so as to serve a one-match suspension. Sergio Ramos was then eligible to play in the second match which was of course key.

Darks arts stretch into the 20th century when pint-sized Diego Maradona somehow out-jumped England goalkeeper Peter Shilton to score with his hand in the 1986 World Cup. Argentina won that semi-final match 2-1 en route to winning the title.

Diving has always been a dark art in football and has paid off for some players. Diving is basically when a player goes to the ground with seemingly little or no contact from the opposing player. The primary goal is to win a penalty or free kick and by doing so deceives the match referee. These three players have been notorious for taking a tumble too easily over the years.

#3 Neymar Jr.

Serbia v Brazil: Group E - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
Neymar rolls theatrically after a foul at against Serbia

The Brazilian superstar is known for his impeccable skills on the ball and ability to score goals. Over the years, he has been the target of many fouls and contact from opposing players. In fact, in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, he became the most fouled player since the 1998 edition. There is no doubt that his talent and speed genuinely attracts contact. However, he has at times made the most out of situations.

In the just concluded World Cup, he attracted a lot of criticism for his diving and general theatrics even when little contact was applied. This was common in the matches against Costa Rica, Mexico, and Belgium.


In the Belgium match, he went down too easily in the box after a challenge from Thomas Meunier. Maybe if one is used to being fouled so much then taking advantage of the situation can often come to mind right? Only Neymar knows even as he recently mocked his own theatrics at the World Cup on social media.

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