Liverpool, Man United… FIVE of football’s worst divers

Diving, or simulation, is becoming a growing problem in football today. With all the money involved in the modern game, the fact that players are still getting away with cheating to win penalties, free-kicks and even red cards for their opponents is a sad state of affairs.

But the reality is that it may never be completely eliminated from the sport. That could be because there are certain ‘professional divers’ who appear to get away with it time and time again, fooling the referee.

So with that in mind, here’s a list of FIVE of football’s worst divers…

[ffc-gallery]

Click on Ashley Young to reveal

Ashley Young diving[/ffc-gallery]

Luis Suarez

Luis Suarez

As divers go, Suarez is one of world football’s biggest culprits. He dives so regularly that it almost becomes an accepted trait of his world class ability. I say that lightly because, as much as it’s a normality to see the Uruguayan dive and it rarely comes as surprise, he has benefited from it on so many occasions.

Tony Pulis has been very outspoken in the past about how Suarez should face a ban for his simulation, although Suarez himself has denied such accusations.

But the proof has been there for too long and Suarez has been found out on many occasions. It is a worldwide view that, if he were to cut out his diving, he would be one of the beautiful game’s most complete players.

Gareth Bale

Gareth Bale

Since his world-record move to Real Madrid, we haven’t had the opportunity to see him diving as often as he was in the Premier League with Tottenham.

The season before he moved to Spain was arguably his most prolific as a diver, as well as a goalscorer. He defended his actions by claiming that he was merely getting himself out of the way to avoid serious injury.

In some cases that may have been true, particularly in the case of Stoke’s Charlie Adam who clattered Bale on a number of occasions in tackles that looked like they were intended to injure the Welshman.

Bale is an exceptional player and some teams in the top-flight may have felt they needed to get him out of the game in order to have a chance of beating Spurs, but that still doesn’t justify his regular attempts to fool the referee.

Ashley Young

Ashley Young

The Manchester United winger is arguably one of the worst perpetrators of the art of simulation.

He has been regularly criticised by fans and fellow professionals alike over the years, many claiming that he would be a more effective winger if he tried to remain on his feet.

Sir Alex Ferguson spoke to him about his behavior during his tenure at United, and then David Moyes did the exact same thing, publically condemning Young’s cheating.

It remains to be seen whether Louis van Gaal will do the same, although the question can be asked of Young’s United future should LvG take the Old Trafford hot-seat.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo

He might currently be the best player in the world, but with that comes a dark side. A side that somewhat tarnishes his reputation.

When he’s not wowing the crowd, scoring sensational goals or throwing tantrums, he can normally be found rolling around on the floor in ‘agony’ after a tackle that consisted of minimal, or no contact at all.

He is the master of simulation, regularly getting his own way on the pitch. With his speed and ability, you’d say he was best placed to argue he’s public enemy No.1 for the opposition, but does that mean he has to dive every time anyone gets near him?

Didier Drogba

Didier Drogba

Chelsea fans will know all about Didier Drogba’s love of simulation, even if they refuse to admit it.

The Ivorian became a Chelsea legend for the goals he scored for the Blues during his time there, but for the rest of the Premier League he was more known for his diving and deceit.

He managed to win countless penalties for going down way too easily in the box and became a target for everyone other than the Stamford Bridge faithful.

That said, and I’m not defending him in anyway, he was very good at it. Very good.