France and Portugal, the top divers of the World Cup


France, the eventual Champions, produced the highest number of dives (76 in total), and were the second in terms of Diving Rate (Dives per Match) behind Portugal (11.8 dives per match), who only got to the round of 16 (4 matches). Had the latter reached the finals continuing to dive at the same rate, they would have dived 83 times in total, surpassing France as the top diving team.

The comparison between the 4 finalist teams is rather different from that between their equivalents in the women’s tournament. In this case, three rather than just one of the last four teams in the competition had diving rates below the median: England, Croatia and Belgium. France dived 2.6 times more than Belgium, and only Tunisia, Poland and Saudi Arabia had lower diving rates than Belgium.

Men’s dive count and rate

In terms of impact, France was the top impacting team with dives leading to 6 impactful events: 4 cards, 1 goal and 1 advantage change.

Men’s impact count and diving rate

Fair play teams

An honourable mention goes to Saudi Arabia as the team that dived least (10 dives, the lowest diving rate in the tournament, and zero unfair impact produced). Portugal dived more times each match on average (11.8 dives) than Saudi Arabia did in total in the 3 matches they played. Another honourable mention is due to 3rd place finishers Belgium, who were the highest performing low diving team in the tournament.

The prevalence of diving in the World Cups

A recap of how dives were identified in the Men's and Women's Wold Cups.


Stories of unfair impact: No Caution

Law 12, Section 3 was not applied in either of the World Cups we analysed.


2019 World Cup diving wrap up, women dived less than men

A summary of diving at the Women's World Cup and a comparison with men's behaviour.