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.

Stories of unfair impact: Reward for Persistent Diving?

Players are more likely to ‘get away with it’ the more frequently they dive.


The living proof of how diving affects children

Arsène Wenger vs. Mauricio Pochettino


A new man everyday, by Neymar

Neymar just released a video where he speaks about his behavior on the field.