Faking it: the greatest dives in the history of the World Cup

Faking it: the greatest dives in the history of the World Cup
We all fall down (Pictures: Rex/Getty/Dean Noroozi)

It takes world-class skill, dedication and ability to star in the World Cup for your country.

Among the talents needed is a capability to drop on the floor five feet from any opposition marker, rolling around and howling in faux-agony, without the referee noticing your obvious deception.

Worst World Cup tackles (Andrew)The worst tackles, challenges and fouls in the history of the World Cup

With the 2018 World Cup kicking off on 14 June, heres a look back at some of the worst dives that have occurred in the tournaments history.

Lets start with the master craftsman.

Jürgen Klinsmann: West Germany v Argentina, 1990

Faking it: the greatest dives in the history of the World Cup
(Picture: Bob Thomas/Getty Images)

Deep into the second half of the worst World Cup final in history, and Jürgen Klinsmann, West Germanys prolific striker, receives the ball on the right-hand flank.

Klinsmann has already garnered a reputation – unfair or otherwise – for his inability to remain on his feet within a 53ft radius of an opposition player, but that standing is about to go up a notch and pass into footballing legend.

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Enter Pedro Monzón, the Independiente defender has only been on the field for 20 minutes having come on as a substitute.

His World Cup final is not going to turn out the way he dreamed it.

Aware of the threat Klinsmann poses, Monzón dives in, recklessly so.

Klinsmanns response is extraordinary.

After coming close to breaking the world record for the long jump, Klinsmann first roll is completed with a raised double kick from the legs akin to the death throes of a frog being consumed head-first by a feasting heron.

Thats followed by two standard roly-polys and a pained smack of the ground for full effect.

Monzón becomes the first man to ever receive a red card in a World Cup final.

Klinsmann was affronted to be accused of diving in the incident, claiming that the challenge had left a massive gash on his leg.

Of course, after his debut goal for Tottenham years later he celebrated by launching himself into a full-length dive.

Arjen Robben: Netherlands v Mexico, 2014

Faking it: the greatest dives in the history of the World Cup
(Picture: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Deep into injury time with the score at 1-1, Arjen Robben picked the ball up in his best position.

His best position being stumbling into the air a foot in front of a defenders outstretched leg in the oppositions penalty area, followed by a foot clipping a knee, an arched back, legs splayed, arms windmilling, and a face contorted in outraged, cynical agony.

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar converted the following spot-kick resulting from Rafael Márquez foul and the Netherlands were through to the quarter-finals.

Rivaldo: Brazil v Turkey, 2002

Faking it: the greatest dives in the history of the World Cup
(Picture: Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

Pity Brazils playmaker: Rivaldo clearly demonstrated he suffered from a unique and problematic condition when hit by the ball from Hakan Ünsals kick.

The pain receptors for his elbow, where the ball came into contact, misfired, sending fiery, uncontrollable agony to his face.

Poor Rivaldo was stricken, as though troubled by the fiery inferno of Hades, and fell to the floor, where he rolled around a bit, looking incredibly daft.

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The referee, taking great concern over Rivaldos distressing and somewhat uncommon medical condition, took urgent action, removing Unsal from the field of play with immediate effect.

Carlos Valderrama: Colombia v West Germany, 1990

Having been floored by a scything tackle from Klaus Augenthaler, Valderamma lay motionless on the San Siro pitch for several minutes.

Fearing a broken leg for the stricken, twice South American player of the year, a stretcher was called to carry the permed marvel off the pitch.

Moments later the Valderrama returned to the touchline, was waved on, and on he trotted as though nothing had happened.

This was greeted with clear fury from German captain Lothar Matthäus who remonstrated with the ref, to no avail.

Slaven Bilić: Croatia v France, 1998

Faking it: the greatest dives in the history of the World Cup
(Picture: Popperfoto/Getty Images)

Suffering from a similar condition as Rivaldo, Bilić felt the full force of a smack on his chin from Frances Laurent Blanc directly in his forehead.

This he clutched as he fell, after which Blanc saw red at the semi-final stage.

Bilić faced worldwide condemnation for his play-acting and, even though it didnt see his country through into a place in the World Cup final, it did cost Blanc his appearance in it in front of his home crowd.

Abdul Kader Keïta: Ivory Coast v Brazil, 2010

Faking it: the greatest dives in the history of the World Cup
(Picture: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

Raising his arm slightly as Keïta ran past, Brails Kaká looked on in astonishment as his light touch on his Ivorian opponent caused him to fall over poleaxed while clutching his face.

A melee followed, after which Kaka saw red, much to his sides obvious fury.

Diego Simeone: Argentina v England, 1998

Faking it: the greatest dives in the history of the World Cup
(Picture: Getty) Bob Thomas/Getty Images)

Having bulldozed his way into David Beckhams back with his knee, steamrolling the England midfielder to the ground, Simeone suddenly felt all faint when his downed opponent flicked his leg out in retaliation, gently stroking his boot down his Argentinian opponents calf.


Clearly hyper-ticklish, and feeling a bit giddy as a result, Simeone himself was no longer able to stand, taking a couple of jittery steps before tumbling over.

Danish ref Kim Milton Nielsen, instead of booking Beckham for being a bit of an idiot and sending off Simeone for his attack, showed the cards the other way round.

Down to 10 men, England went out on penalties.

MORE: From Baggio to Waddle: The worst misses in the history of the World Cup

MORE: From Bebeto to Tardelli: The greatest goal celebrations in the history of the World Cup

MORE: The best saves in the history of the World Cup

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