Soccer players… what’s up with them? They play hard, they play fast, they play tough, they have tremendous skills, but even the best of them dive, cheat and act like babies. It has gotten to the point where diving in soccer is so common the coaches actually train the players how to dive properly and the players practice the art of falling down and pretending to be hurt.
Ripping-Off the Rules
The rules of soccer clearly state that a defender cannot touch the man with the ball without touching the ball first. It’s up to the referee to make the call and give a free kick to the player who is fouled. This penalty can lead to an easy strike to the goal, a penalty kick (which 90% of the time is a goal), and also red cards that can eject the offending player from the game. Because of these potential crucial turning points, players try to persuade the referee to make the call… no matter what the costs.
The Shameful Soccer Scene
It truly is embarrassing to see a grown man rolling around on the ground in agony, grinding his teeth in pain, holding his head suffering… and the next minute he’s playing again without any problems. It’s a common scene on the soccer field and it usually goes like this:
- One defender checks the ball from the player
- The player’s arms flail up in the air like he’s just been shot
- The player falls to the ground and does his best broken-leg-impersonation
- All the player’s teammates run to the referee and argue
- Trainers run onto the field with a stretcher
- The player is taken off the field
- The trainers have a can of miracle-spray that apparently will fix any injury in less than a minute
- The player jumps back on his feet and joins the game running around in full stride
Practicing in Pampers
The players dive so much nowadays that the referees, the players, and the fans accept it and now they practice it to perfection. Italian coaches and players have been caught on video practicing methods of diving. Italy has won the World Cup more than any other country and it could be argued that many of their championships could credit their diving skills. Of course the Italians are also great soccer players, but to give them that extra edge over other great countries, their diving helps win them games. Check out the video below of the Italians caught practicing how to act hurt, pretend being attacked, and rolling around on the field like babies.
World Cup Woes
The last World Cup was won by Italy, and without some very clever diving they would have never won. On their route to the final, Italy was in a very close 0-0 game with Australia and in the final moments of the game, Italian Fabio Grosso made a play in the penalty area where he dove overtop of a sliding Australian Lucas Neill. Fabio was granted a penalty kick, which won the game and advanced Italy to the finals. You can watch the video below and judge for your self.
It’s hard to watch sports when you can’t tell whether or not the game is being played fairly. It’s even more difficult to watch when strong professional athletes are pretending to be in pain for small bumps and collisions that wouldn’t hurt your 5-year-old little sister on the monkey bars. Unfortunately soccer won’t change. It’s the most popular sport in the world and players will continue to play unfair and cheat because fans continue to put up with it.