Why Soccer Players Flop So Much


– You know, we’ve seen it
certainly in this World Cup where players have exaggerated,
perhaps, some fouls. (somber violin music) This goes back to the speed of play. The naked eye could only see this so fast, and these players are
moving at tremendous speed, and pace, and have a lot
of physical strength. And so, what may seem
like an exaggeration, in some cases, is simply
speed and physicality. It doesn’t take much to throw
a player off of their balance, or get them slightly off on
their touch, or what have you. It doesn’t take very much. So, part of it is judging,
“Okay, was there contact?” And if there was, how much
force of contact was there, and did the outcome warrant a foul? Flopping is a convenient way to identify what people think players are doing, and in some cases, certainly
players are exaggerating. And so, referees, it’s
very difficult for us to be the judge to say, “How
much contact does it take “to throw a world class player “off of their particular game?” And, the reality is, sometimes
it doesn’t take very much. If you look at the number
of touches per game, the Ronaldos, the Messis,
the Neymars, you name it, and those top players get
more touches on the ball, and so they see more fouls, just by the nature of the game, right? They’re participating in the game. There are some teams that
have a strategy that is let’s go out and be more
physical than the other team, and so, obviously, if
one of those players, Neymar included, happens
to be near the ball, they’re gonna be the
recipient of a higher number of foul counts. I think there has been
a lot of focus on him and his abilities with the ball, and so I do think teams
are looking at ways to neutralize that, and part
of that may be simple fouls, or even legitimate body
contact that’s allowed by the laws of the game. And that takes its toll over time. Certainly, when you slow things down, tends to look a lot worse than
it may really be in reality, but I do think that there
are players that are trying to develop that as part of their craft, like it’s competitive as it
is just player to player, and now they’re looking
for a competitive edge. And, in some case, I
think that they understand that their teams may be better
with free kick situations than normal run of the play, and so they are looking for opportunities to take free kicks. How
do ya get a free kick? You get a foul called against you. I think from a referee
community standpoint, there will be some focus
after the World Cup, more than likely on how
do we help ourselves, as referees, either identify
situations that are needing to be punished by a foul, or identifying the
situations in which players are taking advantage of
the laws of the game.

Antonio Breitenberg

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