Had there been an Oscar award for best ‘theatrics’ in football, who would walk away with the accolade? Here are our nominees from 2016:
Louis van Gaal (Manchester United)
The Manchester United manager was protesting a decision against his side and seeing the 4th official unmoved by his complaints, the Dutchman went on to demonstrate his case by, bizarrely, throwing himself on the floor in the manner of a diving player which drew roars of laughter from the Old Trafford crowd.
Lucas Melano (Portland Timbers)
Having received the slightest of pushes in the back, the 22-year-old Argentinian reacted in flamboyant style by pulling a full front flip out of the bag and finishing it with a textbook pleading look in the direction of the referee. The guy was ahead of his time.
Marcelo Vieira (Real Madrid)
Marcelo’s elite ‘play acting’ that resulted in a mid-game fight between the two sides, and a couple of yellow cards on either side. Had a few Madrid fans claiming at that time that it wasn’t deliberate but we feel the Brazilian could have easily given Casey Affleck a fight for the best actor crown.
This what we call acting with style and purpose. The last minute dive from Wojciech was not only beautifully executed but also won his side a penalty and they would score from it to go ahead in the game.
An empty plastic bottle was big enough to bring down not just one but five Barcelona players. Neymar would outdo his teammates with a later antics but any of them could have given a reasonable fight for the ‘supporting act’ awards.