Dive of the Day: Oh No, Thomas Müller’s Beautiful Face!

Slate's soccer blog.
June 16 2014 1:53 PM

Dive of the Day: Oh No, Thomas Müller’s Beautiful Face!

Will Thomas Müller's face ever be the same again?

Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

Thomas Müller was the clear MVP of Germany’s 4–0 win over Portugal, scoring a fantastic hat trick. But the Bayern Munich player’s biggest contribution may have come courtesy of his fine acting skills. After Portuguese defender Pepe swiped at his neck in a high Michael Jordan–style push-off move, Müller collapsed to the ground in apparent agony and cradled his poor, beautiful face with both hands. The performance got the desired effect, sending the short-tempered Pepe over the edge. The Real Madrid man responded with the most pitiful head-butt we’ve ever seen, but it was enough to get sent off. The Portuguese now have six red cards in 15 games since 2002, at least one in each of the last four World Cups. This is twice as many as any other team during the same time. Pepe will also miss the next match with Team USA, so thank you for that, Thomas Müller!

We score dive of the day on 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 like you've been shot), and dive duration.


Level of actual contact: 6
Level of simulated contact: 10
Dive duration: 4 seconds 

This was clearly a foul on the part of Pepe, but the level simulation was impressive. Müller acted like he was going to need reconstructive jaw surgery until the moment of Pepe’s fateful head-butt, and then the German leaped to his feet and forgot all about his face. It took all of four seconds for Müller to recover from the brutal attack.

Jeremy Stahl is a Slate senior editor. You can follow him on Twitter.




Slate Plus Early Read: The Self-Made Man

The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada. Now, Journalists Can’t Even Say Her Name.

Mitt Romney May Be Weighing a 2016 Run. That Would Be a Big Mistake.

Amazing Photos From Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution

Transparent Is the Fall’s Only Great New Show

The XX Factor

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada

Now, journalists can't even say her name.


Lena Dunham, the Book

More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.

What a Juicy New Book About Diane Sawyer and Katie Couric Fails to Tell Us About the TV News Business

Does Your Child Have Sluggish Cognitive Tempo? Or Is That Just a Disorder Made Up to Scare You?

  News & Politics
Damned Spot
Sept. 30 2014 9:00 AM Now Stare. Don’t Stop. The perfect political wife’s loving gaze in campaign ads.
Sept. 29 2014 7:01 PM We May Never Know If Larry Ellison Flew a Fighter Jet Under the Golden Gate Bridge
Atlas Obscura
Sept. 30 2014 10:10 AM A Lovable Murderer and Heroic Villain: The Story of Australia's Most Iconic Outlaw
  Double X
Sept. 29 2014 11:43 PM Lena Dunham, the Book More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 29 2014 8:45 AM Slate Isn’t Too Liberal. But… What readers said about the magazine’s bias and balance.
Brow Beat
Sept. 29 2014 9:06 PM Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice Looks Like a Comic Masterpiece
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 7:36 AM Almost Humane What sci-fi can teach us about our treatment of prisoners of war.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 30 2014 7:30 AM What Lurks Beneath The Methane Lakes of Titan?
Sports Nut
Sept. 28 2014 8:30 PM NFL Players Die Young. Or Maybe They Live Long Lives. Why it’s so hard to pin down the effects of football on players’ lives.