On the 22nd of August 2011, Napoli were invited to the Camp Nou to take on Barcelona in a friendly match in tribute to Joan Gamper, the founder of Football Club Barcelona. The Joan Gamper Cup is held annually in August before the start of La Liga. Four teams participate in the competition which features two semi-finals, a final and a third place playoff. This season, Barca faced Napoli in the final.
In the 10th minute, Napoli’s Cavani scored an exceptional overhead kick that was correctly disallowed for offside. Marek Hamšík was in an offside position when he headed the ball on to Cavani. You can check his magnificent shot in the video below.
What I would really like to talk about in this post is the reaction of Pique throughout the video. As we can clearly see, Pique waits until the ball goes in before holding his head in agony. This can be clearly noticed at the 36 to 40 seconds mark. The first thing he does after getting up is checking his socks and adjusting them accordingly. Is this the first thing that you do after getting kicked in the head?
Moreover, it was an exhibition/friendly match. Why would he think about diving in this case? Not that the nature of the match matters. This type of behavior should be completely abolished from the game because it is ruining it for us. I know that football is a very competitive game and some players are ready to do anything to win, but at least keep the game clean.
We are seeing more and more diving in football because of all the pressure that players are put under; both from the fans and from the media. They are required to perform every week at a very high level and this puts so much stress on them. This doesn’t mean that they should resort to dirty tactics in order to win. The pressure and stress are part of the footballers job; if you are unable to handle it then maybe you are not made for this type of job. Maybe you are playing at a level higher than you can handle. All I know is that if you are a diver then you are a cheater, and cheaters should be punished.
I am not trying to offend anyone in this post, it’s just that I found this dive pretty funny and interesting. Here is another very funny dive by the Chilean, Bryan Carrasco. I don’t think he knows that there are cameras filming him, or maybe he does and he’s auditioning for an acting role.