Steve McManaman said it best when he somewhat-jokingly stated that German midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger must have set the World Cup record for the most time spent on the ground in a soccer match. It was a solid win for the Germans, a much-deserved title and an incredibly entertaining game to watch, but the image that stands out in my head when I think about the game is Schweinsteiger hobbling off the field while Lionel Messi waited to take his free kick.
I get it, injuries happen; maybe one out of every five times he was writhing on the ground he actually was kind of nicked up. I criticized Neymar for flopping, but his final flop was the result of a broken back and therefore not a flop at all; but how could we have known that?
The point is, when you roll around on the ground every couple of minutes, it gets annoying, and when you really are hurt, no one knows the difference. Fans and players alike get indignant and you start to lose face and become permanently labeled with that style of play which is not a desirable tag to bear.
Couple that with the fact that Schweinsteiger and floppers worldwide are always up and walking around the field at full health just a couple seconds after looking like they’ve been hit in the back with a stray tomahawk.
Schweinsteiger’s antics won’t mar the brilliance of Germany’s World Cup title. And he really is one of the best players in the world and one of the main catalysts of a superb German team. But I can’t help but hope that he felt a little bit foolish every time he was practicing his tumble routine, though I highly doubt it.