Netherlands and Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben has found himself once again the center of controversy as he admitted to diving in the first-half of the Netherlands come from behind 2-1 victory over Mexico. The win advanced Robben and his Dutch side into the World Cup Quarterfinals where they will face Costa Rica.
Robben has developed a reputation for diving and even for feigning injury during matches. The Dutchman told NOS after the final whistle:
“I must apologize,”
“The one at the end was a penalty, but the other one was a dive in the first half. I shouldn’t be doing that.”
Robben claims he didn’t dive for the late penalty that was awarded for foul on Rafael Marquez. However, it is beyond doubt that Robben dove to at least exaggerate the contact.
But the player has a long-running history of diving. Whether it be in a critical Champions League match for Bayern or the last World Cup for Holland, Robben has become one of the most disliked players in world football for just this reason.
Mexican Manager Miguel Herrera was unimpressed by Robben’s antics feeling the Dutchman should have been sent off.
“Robben did three dives for penalties that didn’t exist. He had to be cautioned.If you do that to the guy who tries to cheat, then he can’t cheat again. Robben should have got a second card. If you don’t do anything as a referee, the player carries on. He knows he won’t be expelled from the pitch so he carries on.”
The controversy over diving in football continues to be a hot topic. Unfortunately as Rafa Marquez the Mexican captain who fouled Robben for the decisive penalty learned once again, that any small amount of contact on a chronic diver is bound to cause a reaction. Often times the referee will react and award a penalty.
Arjen Robben is a fantastic talent, one who has accomplished everything imaginable at the European club level. But his reputation for diving and simulation continues to be a blight on his play and on the sport in general.