By Jacob Dennis on July 2, 2014
The 2014 FIFA World Cup has been the best in recent memory, packed full of terrific goals, close contests and penalty shootouts. Football's brightest stars have put their array of skills on display, including their knack for flopping at the slightest contact at all. Here is the list of the top 10 floppers at the 2014 World Cup.
Didier Drogba makes the countdown because of his career-long reputation for flopping, not necessarily because of what he did in the World Cup. Drogba didn’t receive much playing time in what will surely be his last World Cup, a contest that saw his Ivory Coast finish third in Group C. Despite this, Drogba made his playing time count, drawing several crucial free kicks due to his antics.
Portugal’s Nani makes the countdown at No. 9, an achievement that would certainly make Cristiano Ronaldo proud. The sheer volume of flops Nani performs is nearly unparalleled, as he frequently draws fouls that get his opponents booked. The lightning-fast Portuguese player will flop anywhere, anyplace, anytime.
At No. 8 is 2014 Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo. Ronaldo isn't necessarily a frequent flopper, but his status as one of football's biggest talents gives him the highest success rate of all the floppers on this list. Ronaldo flops at only the most opportune times, drawing free kicks just outside the opposition's penalty area, and then uses his world-class abilities to deposit his chances into the back of the net.
A surprising addition to the countdown, Chile's Eduardo Vargas put his flopping on display for the world to see during the second half of his team's 2-0 defeat of Spain. Chile entered the second half with the lead, and proceeded to waste what seemed like hours writhing around on the ground. Vargas, the first goal scorer for the Chileans, was at the forefront of the antics, hitting the ground if any of the Spanish dared to even glance at him.
Brazil's Marcelo is the ultimate flopping hypocrite; the Real Madrid man becomes furious with opponents at even the hint of a flop, and then proceeds to embarrass himself at the slightest challenge. Marcelo is world-renowned for flopping, but he isn't even the worst flopper on his own team.
Dani Alves barely edges out his Brazilian counterpart Marcelo for the fifth spot on this list. Alves uses slightly different flopping tactics, protesting time and time again to the referee until his antics are realized. Alves' flopping is just a general annoyance, as the Barcelona defender rarely gets forward enough to draw fouls in areas of any importance.
Argentina midfielder Angel di Maria comes in at No. 4 on the countdown thanks to his knack for drawing penalty kicks. The Real Madrid star won more penalties than any player in the entire world last season, drawing over half of the penalty kicks awarded for his team. Di Maria's antics during this World Cup have been handsomely rewarded, as he has drawn several free kicks for Lionel Messi to take.
Luis "the Carnivore" Suarez literally left his mark on the World Cup, biting Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini in the waning moments of a deciding Group D matchup. The most comical part wasn't the actual bite, but rather the way Suarez acted after the fact. The Liverpool forward writhed on the ground in pain, acting as if Chiellini's shoulder hit him in the teeth. The biting incident alone earn's Suarez a top-three spot in the countdown.
Robben has had the greatest impact of any flopper in the World Cup this far. His blatant flop in the penalty area against Mexico earned his Dutch side the deciding penalty in the Round of 16. Robben is second to only one person in the frequency of his flops, as the Dutch star either dribbles past opponents or flings himself to the ground in pain. There is literally no in-between.
Brazilian star Neymar flops his way to the top of the World Cup countdown thanks to the frequency of his antics. The Barcelona star knows his star status will get him the benefit of calls and uses this fact to his advantage. Most floppers immediately drop to the pitch in pain when flopping. Neymar, however, performs an act that seems fit for a diving board before he hits the ground. His performances earn him the countdown's top spot.
October 13, 2015 by Douglas Smith
Jurgen Klinsmann used Fabian Johnson as a scapegoat and sent him home from USMNT camp in another ridiculous move by the coach. Read More
October 11, 2015 by Seth Libby
Newcastle United just got their worst news of the season, that their keeper Tim Krul is out for the rest of the campaign. With him goes their best chance of staying up. Read More
October 11, 2015 by Douglas Smith
Saturday was one of the worst days in USMNT history and Jurgen Klinsmann's fingerprints are all over the disaster. Read More
Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey were non-existent for the USMNT against Mexico in the CONCACAF Cup. This could be a bigger issue than it seems at this point. Read More
There may be a bigger problem in the U.S. system, but Andi Herzog failed the U-23 USMNT as he was unable to relay the magnitude of a 2016 Summer Olympics qualifier against Honduras. Read More
October 10, 2015 by Craig Pearson
Ross Barkley has shown strong signs that he getting closer to realizing his considerable potential this season, but the midfielder still has much to learn despite the early-season plaudits. Read More
October 9, 2015 by Douglas Smith
A defensive-minded starting XI for the USMNT against Mexico in the CONCACAF Cup would give them a chance to control the match from the beginning and throw Mexico off balance. Read More
October 8, 2015 by Douglas Smith
The USMNT midfield is the key to victory over Mexico in the CONCACAF Cup, as they must play balanced and keep the opposition defenders honest. Read More