Dive of the Day: Germany’s Mesut Özil

Slate's Culture Blog
July 8 2010 2:21 PM

Dive of the Day: Germany’s Mesut Özil

For the duration of the World Cup, Slate will highlight the greatest dives by the world's greatest players. We'll score each dive in three categories: level of actual contact (1 if there's no contact at all, 10 for a huge collision), level of simulated contact (1 for a stoic response, 10 for acting as if you've been shot), and dive duration (the time from first contact to when the player gets off the ground).

Mesut Özil almost became a hero. Moments before halftime of Wednesday's World Cup semifinal between Germany and Spain, the 21-year-old midfielder looked ready to strike. He dribbled into the box with Spain's Sergio Ramos on his tail. Özil may have tripped over his own feet—or Ramos' feet; it's unclear—but he fell to the ground hard. Özil, who has a reputation for diving, then raised his arms in protest, hoping the referee would award Germany a penalty. Alas, karma was not on Özil's side. No foul was called and Spain prevailed, 1-0 .

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Level of actual contact: 5
Level of simulated contact: 5
Dive duration: About 5 seconds

If you see a particularly egregious dive in a World Cup match, please e-mail diveoftheday@gmail.com . Make sure to include the names of the players involved and the time of the game when the dive occurred.

Alan Siegel is a writer in Washington, D.C. You can reach him at asiegel05@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter.

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