2014 World Cup: Bastian Schweinsteiger’s Down Time an Embarrassment Amidst Germany’s Title

Matthias Hangst - Getty Images

Matthias Hangst – Getty Images

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.

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  • Mok9453

    I agree. I came in rooting lightly for Argentina, but I was rotting hard against Germany by the end because of Schweinsteiger’s relentlous flopping

    • Josh Sippie

      I honestly can’t even remember how he played. I hear he was fantastic but all I remember was him rolling around in the dirt.

    • MidWestAtheist

      ditto, I was so glad to see an article calling him out for his dramatics. I’ve seen U12 boys and girls play through bleeding scratches with less drama. The fact of the matter is Americans will never have any respect for that type of play, we despise flopping and when our kids do it, we call them out on it, as we should.

  • Lea

    So I guess you didn’t see Schweinsteiger’s blody face then?
    Keep hating, idiots. Schweinsteiger was a warrior today and deserved to lift that trophy more than anyone.

    • Josh Sippie

      He’s a great player, like I said. But over 75% of his writhing in agony moments had minimal contact. There’s a difference between getting knocked down and embellishing it every step of the way. He embellishes everything.

      • Lea

        Minimal contact??? Like the one that left a big cut under his eye, right?
        The Argentines targeted Schweinsteiger, no other player was kicked, hit and fouled more often. Yet he kept on fighting.
        If you can’t see the difference between divers like Robben and what happened to Schweinsteiger today, you should apply for a seeing-eye dog.

        • John Fay

          Saw it clear. He got hurt once. He was looking for calls on all the others. And Schwiensteiger/Podolski have always been my favorite German duo.

        • Josh Sippie

          Everyone gets hit and knocked down, but he nursed every one of them. The bloody cut was once, and somehow he developed a limp from that as well. Then he managed to “get hurt” after tackling Messi.

        • Retrotime

          he was just like Robben! The Dutch and Deutchland are Despicable

        • durden

          Early in the match, once it became clear that Schweinsteiger was flopping, I made a point of carefully watching the replays every time he went down. One time his thigh was barely brushed… he fell and rolled around in feigned agony. Another time the side of his foot was bumped (not cleated)… he went flying, writhed around and held his foot as if he’d been stabbed. He was diving as badly and as ridiculously as any player I’ve ever seen, including Robben and Neymar. So much for all that shit about German “toughness”… LOL

    • durden

      “Bloody face”?? Hilarious. He had a small cut below his right eye, an insignificant flesh wound. So what is Schweisteiger, a man or a 12 year old boy? LOL And what does that cut have to do with all the flopping and diving he was doing throughout the match? Schweinsteiger was an embarrassment to the German side.

  • Retrotime

    Can’t stand him or Argen Robben, both floppers and whiners..Not how the beautiful game is supposed to be played!

  • mike

    Terrible article by someone that doesn’t know soccer. He came in with tendinitis and ankle surgeries and was hardly able to make it through the game after tough hits by mascherano and aguero, hits that should have had each sent off after two yellows. He was man of the match because of how he soldiered through the game and shut down the best player in the world. Maybe next time wait until people that know soccer write something, then gain some perspective, then copy them, because this is just foolish. That “embarrassment” just earned his country the highest honor in soccer on the worlds biggest stage.

    • Farva55

      Let’s keep flopping. So you sir are an idiot.

      • mike

        lololol

    • Josh Sippie

      I’m making no criticisms of his actual play. He’s one of the best in the world, I’ve said that time and again. But it takes away from his performance when he’s rolling around every five minutes. I was being honest when I said I don’t remember his performance aside from him flopping around.

  • adplatt126

    I can’t even believe what I’m reading here. Schweinsteiger was truly brilliant today. Brilliant. He was on the ground a lot because he was on the ball a lot, and towards the end of the game Argentina got frustrated and chippy. He may have milked a foul or two, but I didn’t see any flopping. Every time he went down he was genuinely struck or tripped. This really is an article written by someone who doesn’t know the game and certainly didn’t understand what he was watching. It got messy towards the end. Schweinsteiger’s a real faker though, a deceptive magician. It was amazing how his false, cheating, flopping German behind managed to create the illusion of blood pouring profusely from his head…oh wait.

    • deutschlanduberalles

      While Germany won, I was disappointed with a lackluster performance. I thought Schweinsteiger’s flops were unprofessional. It reminded me of the NBA.

      • jon dubock

        NBA???? Lebron went to the World Cup finals to learn how to flop from Schweinsteiger…..he made Paul Pierce look like a good actor…..it was embarrassing…..

    • Farva55

      “Genuinely struck”….What match were you watching?

    • Josh Sippie

      Blood pumping profusely out of his head? What did he get hit by, a pick-axe? Maybe from Schweinsteigers point of view, that’s exactly what happened, but it was a fingernail cut under his eye. Bleeding, sure, but we’ve all gotten scrapes and bruises and I haven’t reacted to scratch like that since third grade. And I never said he cheated. Flopping is a part of the game, a strategy for wasting time and drawing fouls, as much as it hurts me to say that.

      • adplatt126

        Yes, it is an unfortunate part of the game. But 100 minutes + into the World Cup final, in Brazilian heat, renders it perfectly acceptable, and indeed irrelevant. My point was simply that all events he went down on, were genuine fouls. They weren’t phantom fouls like say here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fr2oTmQ0GwM&feature=kp The Italians by the way went on to win this Cup. LOL… literally no contact penalty called in extra time. Absurd. They were fouls. He milked them. They didn’t really affect the game in any meaningful way. He also hustled and fought for every inch on that field without Khedira beside him, to contain Argentina and attain World Cup glory. So? Calling his play an embarrassment is not just disrespectful, it’s asinine.

        • Josh Sippie

          I didn’t call his play embarrassing. I was saying that I honestly don’t remember his play because all I kept thinking was “get up come on.” It wasn’t humid in Brazil either for the final, they pointed that out from the start. It was actually pretty chilly. 100 minutes is a very long time to play, no doubt, but everyone else was doing it too. Maybe he was pushing harder then some, I’d have to check distance traveled. I know Ozil wasn’t far behind him on effort and he was never seen rolling around on the ground. I’m not even saying that it had a huge impact as far as the game was played, but for me, it had a huge impact on my enjoyment of the game, as well as many other viewers. That being said, my enjoyment of the game probably isn’t on Bastian’s mind when he’s trying to run the clock out, so take that argument how you want.

          And yes, that phantom penalty video made me twitch….

          • adplatt126

            “Down time an embarrassment”. Your words. I’d say “overwrought”. Not an embarrassment. Robben is sometimes an embarrassment. What Schweinsteiger did was simply overdone, more of an annoyance than anything else. But given that he was actually banged up multiple times, I found it hard to judge how overwrought it was, watching from a distance on a tv screen.

          • Josh Sippie

            Yeah, his down time was. Not his actual playing while on the ball and whatnot. I called his flopping embarrassing. It reminded me of Robben when he actually came out and admitted he had flopped. But yes, overwrought is a good word for it. And I don’t doubt he was banged up a few times.
            I remember when Neymar got hurt, I was yelling at him to get up because he reacted like he did every other time he hit the dirt. That’s what sucks about flopping, you can’t tell the difference unless it’s blatantly obvious. And then when they’re really hurt (Neymar), I actually feel bad about complaining.

    • durden

      Clearly you weren’t paying attention. Numerous times throughout the match Schweinsteiger was barely touched but acted as if he’d been shot with a 12-gauge. Classic flopping, and all the more obvious because he was the only one on the pitch doing it. The only significant blow he received the entire match was that inadvertent hand (or fingernail) to the face, which caused a cut on his cheek. And blood did not “pour profusely” you simpleton. The cut bled as any cut would, and for anyone older than 10 it would be no big deal. I’ve seen 12 year old kids take harder shots and barely miss a step. And how exactly does that cut negate all the previous diving? The answer is it doesn’t.

  • jon dubock

    I was surprise that he didnt get hurt celebrating……

    • Josh Sippie

      When the Argentinians had to walk between the two lines of Germans, I was worried that they’d get too close to Schweinsteiger and send him tumbling.

  • Rob Boykin

    You truly don’t understand the game of soccer do you? Have you ever played a match? Have you ever had those studs nick you anywhere on your body? And when running at full speed, they hurt. Stepping on someone’s foot with those things hurt. He may have exaggerated a few, but all had contact, and all were fouls.

    • MidWestAtheist

      watch hockey sometime, amazing how they can play on through all the minor slashes and elbows. Its a mentality, if you tolerate the flopping at a young age, it will become second nature to the players as adults…..and before you say it, yes I’ve played soccer, played for 12 years, been coaching ever since (11 years). I have a pretty good idea how physical the game can be.

      • Mok9453

        Yeah, we just don’t do that in the United States. Its not part of our sport culture, and I’m glad about that

    • Josh Sippie

      I have played soccer. I’ve been playing and watching my whole life. I always defend players when they go to ground. They’re moving incredibly fast and the smallest nick can knock them down. I get that, I’ve experienced that. But Screaming and rolling around is not necessary. It’s embellishing with the sole purpose of garnering a foul from the referee or wasting time.

    • durden

      No studs ever even touched Schweinsteiger during that match. All those slow motion HD replays made that exceedingly clear. He got brushed, he got bumped, he got tapped, he got touched… and every time he fell and rolled and writhed in feigned agony in the attempt to draw a penalty.

  • Rob Boykin

    Honestly, you’re just pissy that Germany won.

    • Josh Sippie

      I rooted for Germany the whole way. I love their team play. But I despise flopping. Robben, Neymar, Muller, Schweinsteiger…. all great players, all floppers. I can think of plays where Kroos was knocked over and he popped right back up instead of rolling around and crying. I find it the most impressive and admirable play in soccer when a player gets hit and either stays up, or gets up right away.

  • jon dubock

    I like the excuse of he had a bad ankle or he had cramps…the dude is holding his shin in the picture…….dude was acting like he was anderson silva kicking chris weidman with a kick check, everytime he fell…had a messed up ankle, cramps, torn ACL, MCL, broken shin, broken toes, gout, pinky toe shot off, pulled hamstring, pulled groin muscle, etc….and was still able to play…after every 4 min delay…. I like how he only had cramps when he fell..but when he won there was no limp at all…..it was embarrassing….

    • durden

      It really was a shameful display. If I were a German fan I would be pissed off, because Schweinsteiger single handedly destroyed the myth that German players are above all that silly South American flopping. He’s worse than Neymar.

  • fdannegger

    This article ranks up there with Ann Coulter’s opinion on soccer. Obviously written by somebody utterly clueless about football (translate: soccer).

    • Mok9453

      Its an American perspective. We really don’t do flopping in our sports. It was on the rise in basketball, but we actually changed the rules so that players get fined for flopping if its obvious by replay after the game. Its just not part of our culture, we view it as the antithesis of an athlete, who is supposed to be tough, durable, and a warrior.

      Sometimes these standards are unfair, but I’m glad flopping is rare. Its very annoying to me to see this game within a game of trying to compel referees to call on your side with fake injuries