The topic of diving is a controversial one; it is a topic that is as good a marker as any of the difference in footballing cultures. In England, diving is viewed as nothing more than cheating, a dishonourable act. But in Italy and Spain, winning your side a dangerous free-kick or penalty is seen as clever play. That is not to say English players do not dive, they have become quite good at it over the last ten years. But who are some of the masters of this dark art?
10. Michael Owen
Michael Owen isn’t the most prolific of divers, but he likes to save his dives for the big occasion. Argentina suffered at his hands in two World Cups; perhaps he should go to South Africa just in case England have to play Maradona’s boys?
The former Inter Milan striker gained notoriety for this shocker against Roma.
8. Emmanuel Eboue
The ever popular Ivorian earnt his diving stripes in the Champions League final when he earned Arsenal the free-kick from which they took the lead. A recent dive against Manchester United was especially foolish given the controversy surrounding Eduardo at the time.
7. David N’Gog
Just the one dive for N’Gog so far, but it certainly made headlines. He soared over Lee Carsley’s sliding body majestically to win Liverpool a penalty and a point.
6. Didier Drogba
More known for rolling around in faux agony than diving per se. But Didier is no stranger to the art of the dive. Cleaned up his act in recent months, but still partial to occasional duck and roll.
5. Fabio Grosso
To call what Grosso did in Germany a dive would be giving him too much credit. It was more of an artful stumble. Yet without it, the Italians may not have gone on to lift the World Cup. And it was only Lucas Neill, so who cares?
4. Steven Gerrard
The most prolific of English divers, over the years Stevei G has developed his own style. He now likes to finish his dives with a belly-slide; arms outstretched, looking imploringly at the referee. Atletico Madrid are probably the most high-profile victims of the Gerrard dive.
3. Robert Pires
During his time in England, Pires was one of the best players around, a true legend of the Premier League. But he also gained himself a reputation as one of the most easily felled players around.
2. Alberto Gilardino
If you’re going to dive, at least do it well. Gilardino earns his spot on this list for this terrible attempt against Celtic.
1. Cristiano Ronaldo
No prizes for guessing the top man. One of best players in the world, he is also the master of the dive. In his defence, he does get kicked more than most.
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