Italians are the current World Champions as of 2006, but they are also the kings of the dive and dramatic turn, with maybe the Spaniards a not too distance second. However, a Brazilian, who’s logged significant time in Europe, and the is the keeper for AC Milan might just top the list. A Celtic fan ran on to the pitch and into Dida's goal area, lightly slapping him. Dida then gave chase after the fan but then fell down as if he'd been stabbed a few seconds later - see Dida's dive .
The worst part of diving is the player who is coughed or sneezed at or not even touched, and drops in the penalty box like a brick in a pond. It's as if the penalty box is the end of the earth, once a player steps into that space they drop like they're falling from twenty stories up or quick sand is eating at their heels. The pain of the foul is acute and intense, but once the whistle is blown they're miraculously healed.
Gary Lineker has suggested the introduction of pink cards for so-called cheating offences with two cards resulting in dismissal.
But it’s a dangerous game at times for professional footballers, not just on the pitch but from fans throwing things and running on the field, Dida was once hit by a flare in a game too. But the classic dive, roll and hold your face as if you've been shot, is part of the professional world of football, and some are better than others at the antics and theatrics. Here are a few.
Best Divers & Actors
Cristiano Ronaldo (reformed)
Maradona ( for his hand of god)
Even before the game there’s a bit of diving – in the tunnel no less.
In the Tunnel
Drogba, I think this was early on in his days in English football, now he doesn’t dive as much any more, just score goals it seems, but here does a nice acting job.
Denied a free-kick in the build-up to Adrian Mutu's equaliser, Cassano unleashed a stream of vitriol (he insists he merely asked why the foul wasn't given, but replays suggest otherwise) at fourth official Danilo Giannoccaro, who promptly instructed referee Gabriele Gava to show him a yellow card. The reason for such a hissy fit? Cassano had now accrued enough yellows to earn him a ban for this week's trip to Roma, the club where, between 2001 and 2006, he enjoyed the most successful years of his career to date. "Roma is my past," sniffed Cassano afterwards. "It would have been the most important game of my life."
The Temper Tantrum
Soccer, the beautiful game is a passionate affair, at times there's too much acting and diving and added on time at the end of the game by the referee, but that's all the more reason to like it. It's a fluid game - full of surprises and the unexpected.
Of course, it's a fine line. I don't want to see players falling down in the box when they haven't even been touched, but a bit of gamenship is part of the game. Part of the professional world of soccer. Where you'll do just about anything to win and, do just about anything to keep control of the game, the momentum and the pace. That's where fouling a player or earning a foul come in to play. The professional foul - nudging a player who's breaking away or making a strong tackle to prevent a counter attack. But we don't need too much drama. No more drama as Mary J Blige says.