Neymar’s Diving Antics Can’t Continue

The 2018 World Cup was very entertaining, but everything wasn’t fun and games. The tournament also had some undeniable low-points. Soccer legends across the world accosted superstar Neymar for his diving. Germany was knocked out in the group stage. And worst of all, the Japanese national team lost its 2-0 lead to fall short in its Round of 16 matchup against Belgium (okay, I’ll stop talking about that).

Aside from Japan’s unfortunate loss, I think the most unfortunate aspects of this World Cup was Neymar’s antics. Despite such talent, Neymar is wasting his potential by diving, and he’s bringing down the game with him. As said by soccer analysts, soccer legends, and Twitter, the Brazilian’s immoral actions added a dark side to the World Cup. Criticizing him is a necessary step to curb the pitch-acting. We can’t continue to overlook these flops if we want this genuine, beautiful game to continue.

Neymar’s dives have have many unfortunate consequences.

  1. Other players will feel the need to dive so that they can keep up with Neymar.
  2. These dives muddle the line between real fouls and dirty dives, not only creating difficult situations for referees, but also taking away from actual offenses.
  3. They teach the next generation to continue these antics.
  4. The game of soccer will receive a bad reputation.
  5. Slowly, the definition of “talent” will change to include diving as a criterion.
  6. For Neymar, his shot at a Balon Dor will definitely worsen.

No one likes to see diving in soccer. Flopping ruins the beauty of the game, and to put the matter simply, it’s a very dishonest act. Of course, inciting a foul is a valid tactic. However, flopping around like a fish isn’t the way to go. Neymar’s talent is superb and he surely has the potential to dominate the Beautiful Game for the next few years as he reaches his peak, so his legacy shouldn’t be his deplorable acting on the pitch.




Featured image from: Gilmer, Marcus. “Neymar’s World Cup Dive Gives Us the Top-notch Memes We’ve Been Waiting for.” Mashable. July 02, 2018. Accessed July 16, 2018. https://mashable.com/2018/07/02/neymar-dive-world-cup-brazil-mexico/#EowdHbD.Aqqa.

Crunching the Numbers of the Past World Cups: A Hopeful Trend

Beyond the laughter and tears, this past world cup continued a hopeful trend in international soccer.

In the 2002 South Korea/Japan games, of the 64 total matches, only 53% (34/64) of the matches were won by the higher ranked team, with 25% (16/64) of the games ending in an upset.

In the 2006 Germany World Cup, 52% (33/64) of the games were one by the favorites, while 31% (20/34) of the games were upsets.

In the 2010 South Africa games, 59% (38/64) of games were won by the higher-ranked nation, while 20% (13/64) of matches were upsets.

In the 2014 Brazil games, 69% (44/64) of games were won by the higher-ranked nation, while 17% (11/64) resulted in upsets.

In this recent 2018 Russia World Cup, only 53% (34/64) were won by the nation with the higher FIFA ranking, while a whopping 33% (21/64) of the matches resulted in upsets.

In the past five World Cups, the “favorites” of each matchup had only a 57% chance of winning. The inferior team won 25% of the time.

Furthermore, 92% (147/160) of the squads involved in the last 5 Cups obtained at least one point in the group stage.

These numbers sketch the unpredictable nature of the World Cup. To make the World Cup even more entertaining, lower ranked teams have improved drastically, thus decreasing the gap between the weaker sides and the European/South American powerhouses. I’m really excited about what the World Cup will hold in the future.




Citations:

FIFA.com. “2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan ™ – Matches.” FIFA.com. Accessed July 16, 2018. https://www.fifa.com/worldcup/archive/koreajapan2002/matches/index.html.

 

FIFA.com. “2006 FIFA World Cup Germany ™ – Matches.” FIFA.com. Accessed July 16, 2018. https://www.fifa.com/worldcup/archive/germany2006/matches/index.html.

 

FIFA.com. “2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ – Matches.” FIFA.com. Accessed July 16, 2018. https://www.fifa.com/worldcup/archive/southafrica2010/matches/index.html.

 

FIFA.com. “2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ – Matches.” FIFA.com. Accessed July 16, 2018. https://www.fifa.com/worldcup/archive/brazil2014/matches/index.html.

 

FIFA.com. “2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ – Matches.” FIFA.com. Accessed July 16, 2018. https://www.fifa.com/worldcup/matches/.

 

FIFA.com. “Men’s Ranking-15 May 2002.” The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking – Ranking Table. Accessed July 16, 2018. https://www.fifa.com/fifa-world-ranking/ranking-table/men/rank=97/index.html.

 

FIFA.com. “Men’s Ranking-17 May 2006.” The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking – Ranking Table. Accessed July 16, 2018. https://www.fifa.com/fifa-world-ranking/ranking-table/men/rank=144/index.html.

 

FIFA.com. “Men’s Ranking-26 May 2010.” The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking – Ranking Table. Accessed July 16, 2018. https://www.fifa.com/fifa-world-ranking/ranking-table/men/rank=191/index.html.

 

FIFA.com. “Men’s Ranking-05 June 2014.” The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking – Ranking Table. Accessed July 16, 2018. https://www.fifa.com/fifa-world-ranking/ranking-table/men/rank=239/index.html.

 

FIFA.com. “Men’s Ranking-07 June 2018.” The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking – Ranking Table. Accessed July 16, 2018. https://www.fifa.com/fifa-world-ranking/ranking-table/men/index.html.
Featured image from: Sky Sports. “World Cup Fixtures: The Full Schedule for Russia 2018.” Sky Sports. July 15, 2018. Accessed July 16, 2018. http://www.skysports.com/football/news/12098/11154890/world-cup-fixtures-the-full-schedule-for-russia-2018.