Diving. It's unfortunately become a part of the game, and although we all wish we could get through just one game where players weren't spinning around on their heads whilst also clutching their big toe, it looks like we're stuck with things as they are.
So, the only thing we can do now is do what we love to: crunch data and get valuable statistics on diving, so we know once and for all who the worst offenders are, and give that team abuse from now until the next set of stats emerge to show that they've learned the error of their ways.
The folks at the Wall Street Journal have been working hard and watching all the games of this year's World Cup so that they can prove who are the worst of a bad bunch, or which team is actually trying to play fair, and the results might be a little bit surprising.
To do the calculations, they ruled out any incident where a player was actually injured and had to be taken off or subbed, but it turns out that there were actually only nine of those, leaving another 293 incidents to be divided up between the rest of the teams. The time was calculated from the moment the whistle was blown to the time the player got back on his feet, or to the time they were carried off the field to have their miraculous recovery on the sidelines. Without any further ado, here are the best and worst in the field of diving:
While Brazil have done the most diving in terms of sheer numbers, Honduras have managed to waste the most time with their efforts, which is quite a surprise given they know their way around the physical side of the game pretty well. Bosnia and Herzegovina are what Andy Townsend might call 'too honest, Clive' as they've ended up only diving twice, wasting only 24 seconds. As a result, they're our new favourite international team.
When it comes to brave England and their culture of football that detests diving, they didn't do too many, but wasted a decent chunk of time. The French impressed on that front also, managing to waste a muscular 7 minutes and 19 seconds, while Portugal, who have a few renowned divers, managed to be on their best behaviour at this tournament. Of course, Ireland would be bottom of the list if we'd made it to the World Cup, just a good bunch of lads who get on with the game.