Football's famous flopping five - the game's biggest divers

Crystal Palace's Scott Dann brings down Hull City's Robert Snodgrass for a penalty

Following the recent dramatics of Hull City's Robert Snodgrass, we take a look at five of Football's infamous divers - including stars from Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea and Manchester United.

Hull City received their Christmas present early this festive month, after being awarded a penalty and subsequent goal in a 3-3 draw against Crystal Palace - curtesy of Robert Snodgrass' December dive.

The 29-year-old has since clarified the fall, or muddied the waters, by suggesting that he did not dive but merely dropped to the ground to protect an injury

Crystal Palace's Scott Dann brings down Hull City's Robert Snodgrass for a penalty

However, some of the more memorable simulations have very little possible justification.

Here are some of Football's infamous exaggerators.  

Arjen Robben

"I must not do things like this"

Netherlands international forward Arjen Robben is one of the finest wingers of his generation and has experienced several successes throughout his time at Chelsea, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. Although, the gifted dribbler has consistently found himself at the centre of controversy when it comes to diving. 

Robben dive

A series of exaggerated falls has followed Robben throughout his career - perhaps none more so than the theatrics on display in added on time of his country's last 16 World Cup clash with Mexico in 2014. The resultant penalty eliminated El Tri from the tournament. 

Bayern Munich's Arjen Robben and VfL Bochum's Felix Bastians in actionBayern Munich's Arjen Robben and VfL Bochum's Felix Bastians in action

However, it seems as though Robben is slightly more honest with his play-acting in comparison to Snodgrass - having once admitted to diving after a 2011 dive against Bochum, whilst at Bayern. The Dutchman told ZDF"It was stupid. I must not do things like this and I apologise."


A glittering career filled with team and individual awards at both club and international level, Brazilian Rivaldo was a true legend of recent times. He scored 35 goals in 74 caps for his country and played most notably for Barcelona and AC Milan during a 24-year career from 1991 to 2015. 

2002 Rivaldo

Despite almost endless accolades, one of the things the 1999 FIFA World Player of the Year will most likely be remembered for is an embarrassing dive at the 2002 World Cup.

Brazil were playing Turkey in the Group Stages, when Hakan Unsal kicked the ball in Rivaldo's direction - the strike making contact with Rivaldo's legs. Unbelievably, the one-time Ballon d'Or winner clutched his face and threw himself backwards to the ground. 

Unsal saw red, but it was the Brazilian who was left red-faced by his playacting antics. 

Rivaldo scores for Brazil v England - 2002

Ashley Young

Manchester United's Ashley Young has a long history of diving - with many a manager having private and public criticisms of their winger.

Some of Young's more infamous acts of drama include playing for England against Montenegro in 2010; where the former Aston Villa man was booked for trying to win a penalty.

Picture Supplied by Action Images

Two years later, against his old club, Young was criticised by then manager Sir Alex Ferguson for his "dramatic fall" - yet just a fortnight earlier, Young was controversially awarded a penalty for a dive against Queens Park Rangers. 

Ashley Young

Ferguson's successor, David Moyes, actually seemed to defend Young's theatrical criticisms.

In 2013, the man who won 30 England caps deliberately kicked his leg at a Crystal Palace defender to force contact in the penalty area - and was subsequently booked - before a Champions League dive against Real Sociedad saw Moyes say "it was the referees choice", when deciding to award the a penalty that former United greats Roy Keane and Ray Wilkins described as a pathetic and a con.

Jurgen Klinsmann

The Germany international forward was a huge hit at Tottenham Hotspur during the 1990s, but will forever be remembered as a diver. Klinsmann's image was formed at the 1990 World Cup Finals in Italy, as his dramatics saw his country reach the final - where Kilnsmann the acrobat was on full display - and then win the ultimate trophy.

Germany's Jurgen Klinsmann is fouled by Argentina's Oscar Ruggeri

Klinsmann's diving antics continued - notably for Monaco in the 1994 Champions League Semi-Final and the irony of his now famous goal celebration on his Spurs debut against Sheffield Wednesday.

1990 Klinsmann World Cup final

Didier Drogba

Drogba is 6 foot 2 inches and over 14 stones heavy - yet the former Chelsea forward's tendency for diving was astonishing. Even before joining Chelsea we saw Drogba's fondness for theatrics at French side Marseille, but after signing for Jose Mourinho's blue revolution Drogba's diving was almost as commonplace as his goalscoring prowess.

Didier Drogba v Porto 2004

The 2007 Champions League Semi-Final against Liverpool, the 2012 FA Cup Final against the same Merseyside opponents and the Champions League Semi-Final of the same year against Barcelona, were all high-profile witnesses to Drogba's play acting. 

Drogba Napoli

Further, possibly Drogba's finest diving moments came in a 2006 clash with Arsenal's goalkeeper Jens Lehmann and an embarrassing episode against Napoli in a 2012 Champions League tie. In the latter, Drogba was caught on camera, hands grasping his face in agony, peering through his fingers to look for the referee's perception of an 'air-elbow' from Salvatore Aronica. The entire affair made for cringeworthy viewing.

But that's not all...

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo

There have been considerably more simulations from a range of superstars in recent times. The likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Luis Suarez, Sergio Busquetes, Nani, and a host of others have all been incredulous in their attempts to con the officials, cheat their opponents and achieve marginal gains in the hunt for success.

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