A Soccer Diver Never Wins

Suarez prepping for a dive? - (Photo: Theanfieldopinion.com)

The elder soccer commentators always like to insult the soccer players today who seem to be fouled harshly, only for replays to show that it was a floppy dive.  Personally, I don’t think diving is anything new to the game and feel that soccer players have been diving since the beginning of the sport’s invention, but that we only have the pleasure of witnessing such travesties for what they are due to replay technology.  Making refereeing a completely more difficult task though, it is my personal belief that divers never truly win.  Here’s why:

At the professional level, everyone knows.  Either the experienced and seasoned referee will blow the whistle, come to your side, and show a yellow card to your “shocked” face.  Or, all the fans at home will see the heinous act that was just committed on the field on the replays.  In the event that you do get away with the silly dive and are awarded with a penalty, since everyone will watch it later, referees will be on the lookout for your cheating ways in the future and you will probably not get the benefit of the doubt in future matches.  People learn from watching each other, and a diver will always be caught.

Diving is done because the stakes are so high.  Usually performed in the opponents’ penalty box, a successful dive can give your team a goal and propel them to victory.  But like I said, this can be done once because everyone will soon know you’re a diver.

Diving in soccer also reveals poor sportsmanship.  It shows that you are willing to cheat to win the game, and probably reflects on other questionable ethics that you may harbor.  Be true to yourself and the sport.  Instead of flopping to the ground, perhaps you should try to actually beat the defender and get a solid shot on the goal.  I cannot understand why a player with an opportunity to score a great goal would choose to dive and win a penalty kick.

The greats rarely ever dive.  Why?  Because they don’t have to.  Players only dive when they are desperate or lacking in the confidence to actually make a play.  It is a shameful act and won’t win you any favors.  Once a player commits an obvious dive and is branded with the “diver” label, it becomes very hard to ever change those views.  Therefore, don’t even start attempting such silliness in soccer as it will lead you to become a frowned upon player.

Coaches would be wise to caution against players who dive in youth soccer games.  If you see one of your players commit a dive, I recommend that you sub them out of the game and leave them on the bench for the duration of the match to teach them and their teammates a lesson.  Sports are as much about sportsmanship as they are about winning, and displaying a sad act of diving will simply make you an outcast.  Therefore, respect the rules and go for it in a positive way.  If you are legitimately fouled, it’s ok to call for a penalty, but when a player starts flopping to the ground, all respect is lost.


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