10. Knut Anders Fostervold, Molde vs Stabaek (1999)
If not the worst dive of all time, it's certainly got a case to be the funniest (or at least the other players thought so, when John Carew recreated the moment after scoring later that season). A clear swing of the arm by Petur Marteinsson was all Fostervold needed. A brain fart delay of comic proportions later and the hapless defender, who later played for Grimsby and now competes for Norway in cycling, ended up a crumpled heap on the floor.
9. Bryan Carrasco, Ecuador U20s vs Chile U20s (2011)
The dive that brought a whole new meaning to the term ‘drawing the foul’. With 14 minutes to go in this World Cup qualifier, Carrasco grabbed his unwitting marker's arm before striking himself in the face. The referee didn't hesitate in blowing for a free-kick the other way, though, while a guilty Carrasco scampered away without complaint. Full marks for bastardry.
8. Morten Gamst Pedersen, Arsenal vs Blackburn (2009)
No card from the referee, but the punishment for this dive was the squandering of a golden chance at the Emirates. Pedersen was through on goal until a bad touch meant his opportunity was gone; suddenly the winger's legs were too as he tumbled to the the turf. The two-yard gap between him and Bacary Sagna mattered not to the naughty Norwegian, who despite glancing backwards to check his distances, tried his luck anyway. Needless to say, Pedersen's protests were waved away by referee Phil Dowd, much to his dismay.
7. Robert Meier, MSV Duisburg vs Cologne (2005)
Diving goes beyond players, as Duisburg boss Robert Meier proved. Despite nudging his head towards Cologne's Albert Streit, Meier dropped to the ground, head in hands before his 'victim' followed suit. Streit was sent off for his troubles, although the red was later rescinded by the German FA who went on to ban Meier from any managerial activities for three months (after he was sacked by Duisburg two days later). Karma, yo.
6. Fernando Torres, Chile vs Spain (2010)
Despite having been outplayed by Marcelo Bielsa’s men for the opening half an hour, Spain boasted a two-goal lead by half-time with Chile's Marco Estrada shown a second yellow card 37 minutes in. But what for? As the midfielder is tracking back, a cheeky Torres darted across his path – disrupting the referee's line of sight – before tripping himself on the edge of the box and getting his unsuspecting opponent into the naughty book. If Estrada's early bath was bad enough, the same move produced Spain's second through Andres Iniesta. Rats.
5. Patrick Vieira, Liverpool vs Arsenal (2004)
A regular dominator at the heart of Arsenal's midfield, Vieira showed just how unaccustomed he was to diving with this amateur attempt at Anfield. With the scores tied at one apiece, the Frenchman brought the ball out of defence and knocked it past Dietmar Hamann before clumsily falling to the floor. If only it had been the other way around, eh Pat?
4. Alberto Gilardino, Celtic vs AC Milan (2007)
Celtic held then-European champions Milan to a goalless draw at home before crashing out 1-0 in the away leg. Their Italian visitors could have taken a lead back to the San Siro, however, had Gilardino’s Oscar-worthy performance not got in the way. The World Cup winner went down under an invisible challenge from Celtic shot-stopper Artur Boruc, despite being in a good position to score, and got his comeuppance when the referee decided he was having none of it.
3. Steven Taylor, Newcastle vs Aston Villa (2005)
Proof that dives aren’t just to create the illusion of fouls, but can also be used to mask them. With the Magpies already a goal down at home and Shay Given stranded yards from goal, Taylor leapt to action to prevent them conceding a second. Sadly for him it was with his hand, Newcastle conceded the penalty, Taylor was sent off and Newcastle lost 3-0. With one final roll of the dice he tried covering up his mishap by writhing around on the floor clutching his face. Even he didn't grumble when the card came out.
2. Kyle Lafferty, Northern Ireland vs Azerbaijan (2012)
It took an injury-time winner from David Healy to cancel out Rauf Aliyev’s 30-yard wonder strike in this eventful 1-1 draw, but Lafferty stole the show by becoming only the second Northern Ireland star to enter the referee’s book for simulation. Realising he wasn't going to connect with Chris Baird's back-post cross, Lafferty decided to play for a penalty instead. Someone should have probably reminded him the opposition player has to be near him first, though. The result? A yellow card, and immortalised embarrassment on YouTube.
1. Sergio Busquets, Barcelona vs Inter Milan (2010)
Wait, real contact! But although pesky Sergio gets a hand in the face from Thiago Motta, it's what comes next that earns the Barça enforcer a place on this list. As he rolls around in apparent pain, the cameras are quick to pick up a cheeky peek through the fingers to check the referee is convinced of the incident’s severity. Needless to say, when the red card appears he waits just long enough for Motta to accept his fate before jumping back to his feet, miraculously cured.
Get the best features, fun and footballing frolics straight to your inbox every week.
Thank you for signing up to Four Four Two. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.