Who says the World Cup doesn’t appeal to people’s artistic sides?
Those paying close attention to this and past Cups have been treated to some of the truly great acting performances of the 21st century. Commentators have been quick to laud players in the usual categories like ‘Best Goal’, ‘Best Assist’ and ‘Best Defensive Play’, but not enough attention has been given to the nuance and subtlety of the acting in the ‘Best Dives’ category of World Cups past and present.
Don’t believe that these dives require some genuine acting skill? Take a look at exhibit A, Italy midfielder Daniele De Rossi from the 2010 World Cup:
This performance is noteworthy for his commitment over a long period of time. You can see that well after he has resumed a comfortable seated position, he continues to shout obscenities skywards. This implies an enduring pain that has caused serious emotional trauma in addition to the apparent physical damage.
Here in exhibit B we have a different kind of performance that some would consider method acting. You can see in the video below, that Brazilian player, Rivaldo certainly feels a degree pain:
What’s impressive about his dive is how he is able to transfer the pain he feels from the balls impact on his chest to his face. Furthermore, he amplifies that pain so that it is evident even to the ticket holders in the nosebleed section. He truly knows how to work a crowd.
Finally, and perhaps most impressive we have Fred’s dive in the Brazil v Croatia World Cup opener this year:
The anguish in his eyes, despite a lack of meaningful physical contact between the defender’s foot and his thigh is quite believable. I can only imagine that he’s picturing some physical trauma from his childhood, potentially from falling off of a big wheel or getting an owie from a tumble down the stairs. He’s really digging deep.
Have additional performances from the 2014 World Cup we may have overlooked that you think are noteworthy? Let us know in the comments below.