The Absolute Best (Or Worst) Flops Of 2018
Let’s be honest, divers ruin a lot of what’s great about soccer. Flops slow the game down, they win undeserved free kicks and generally just create more annoyance than enjoyment.
But sometimes, the diver’s acting is so unbelievably poor that the dive itself becomes a work of art. Usually, it’s some of the best players in the world that are doing the diving, which seems counterintuitive.
Throwback to when Rio Ferdinand took no sh*t from Tim Cahill pic.twitter.com/azTy9M72lB— Football Gone Viral (@Footygoneviral) September 6, 2017
Players with unbelievable skill like Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar dive a fair bit, and fans waste no time to call them out on it. Not only are flops by some of the world’s best players funny, they also mean they’re not untouchable. Here are some of the best (or worst, depending on your viewpoint) flops by some of the world’s best in 2018.
Worst Flops Of 2018
Malcom vs. Olympique Lyon
Outrageous dive from Malcom just now. He got the penalty as well. pic.twitter.com/tsloYbFHsm— Charles Watts (@charles_watts) January 28, 2018
I think a Sith Lord force pushed him from the crowd. You good, Malcom?
Heiko Herrlich vs. Bayer Leverkusen
Favorite story of the week: Leverkusen manager Heiko Herrlich has accepted a €12,000 fine for this incredible dive against Monchengladbach back in December. pic.twitter.com/kIlqhUUcXo— Aaron Gallagher (@AaronGallagher8) January 19, 2018
OK, Herrlich may not be a world-class footballer but he definitely pulled off a fantastic brick fall celebration from FIFA and got fined $13,660 for it. Nice one! I still think Louis van Gaal's dive was better.
Danko Lazovic vs. Budapest Honved
Worst dive in football/soccer history by Danko Lazovic https://t.co/fVGHIHeGO4— diabolical_mdog (@diabolical_mdog) June 27, 2017
Alright, this dive came from the 2017-2018 season, but I watched this painful video and now so do you. Lazovic looks like he’s being beaten up by a ghost. Someone please call a priest. What an absolutely shameful dive.
Neymar vs. Belgium
— yy (@GYYFCB) July 6, 2018
Classy. Neymar takes bigger hits from the turf than he does actual players.
Raheem Sterling vs. Shakhtar Donetsk
Manchester City got awarded a penalty for this. A penalty. For Sterling tripping himself. Really?!
Pepe vs. Morocco
Pepe, once considered the one of strongest and most aggressive defenders in the world, ends up on the ground after Medhi Benatia was kind of nice to him. Maybe he only responds positively to aggression?
Luis Suarez and Jordi Alba vs. Chelsea
As a synchronized dive, that was worthy of a look by Uruguay and Spain's Olympic swimming teams. Well done lads.
Mohamed Salah vs. Crystal Palace
A lot of people seem to find this one debatable. If it really was a dive (it was), it was expertly crafted. I have to say, that was some excellent acting from the Egyptian ace.
Antoine Griezmann vs. Croatia
Griezmann’s dive won France a penalty to take the lead just before halftime at the World Cup final. Disgraceful.
Kylian Mbappe vs. Belgium
Just look at Mbappe's dive. So bad, so bad. pic.twitter.com/OkrAEcFYwH— MP (@ModernPine) July 10, 2018
The one thing that you shouldn’t learn from Neymar is how to fall over.
While most of those flops were shamelessly hilarious, diving is dishonest and should be eradicated from the game.
FIFA has taken the right steps to punish players for it, usually with yellow cards, but that doesn't seem to be enough. There have been a plenty of instances in Europe's top leagues where a player dives, the ref tells them to get up, but doesn't give them a card. That's ridiculous. What's even more ridiculous is that most players dive when the ref isn’t looking, or they are so good at contorting their bodies in the moment of contact to make it look like a foul.
Contact is a normal part of any soccer match, why aren't players more harshly punished for going down easily?