Denis Cheryshev and Belgium, the most honest high scoring player and team


When analysing dives during the World Cup it's inevitable to wonder, how much dives had an impact on scores and how much the top scoring teams and players used diving as a tactic. Here's what we found on the relationship between top scorers and diving.

Belgium were the top scoring team in the tournament with 15 goals. Strikingly, they also dived less than the other top scoring teams. Indeed, they had the best Goal per Dive ratio (0.5) of any team in the tournament.

Men’s goals vs dives by team

From the player point of view, although Harry Kane (England) won the Golden Boot award as the tournament’s top scorer, Denis Cheryshev (Russia) was the most honest high scoring player. He scored 4 goals and dived only once, giving him the best Goal per Dive ratio (4.0). Both he and Romelu Lukaku (Belgium) produced more goals than dives.

Although Harry Kane dived twice as often as he scored (12 dives vs 6 goals), none of his dives led to a goal, which indicates that he didn’t need to dive to win the Golden Boot.

Men’s goals vs dives by player

Header photo by Анна жалалян

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