This post explains divethe word ‘dive’. What does it mean and when when do we use it in football? Find out more about this phrase by reading the transcript below. You can also find many more examples of soccer vocabulary by going to our football cliches page here and our huge football glossary here.

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Dive can be used as a verb or a noun and is a common word in football. If a player dives, he or she falls to the ground, pretending they have been tackled. The player is hoping to get a penalty, a free kick, or to get the opposition player booked for a foul. There is no contact or very little contact with a dive, yet the player falls over. A player can be booked for a dive or for diving if the referee sees there was no contact. Another way to describe this action is with the word simulation: for example, a player was booked for simulation. Another phrase could be ‘go to ground easily‘. This latter phrase would be used when there is some contact but the player exaggerates it and falls instead of staying on their feet.

  • Example: Arsenal were handed another boost when Victor Moses was booked for diving, his second yellow of the game, and sent off in the 68th minute. (Mirror Online)
  • Example: Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy booked for ‘dive’ and VAR backs decision despite seemingly clear video evidence (Metro December 2019)

If you have any ideas on some football phrases for our site, let us know by emailing us at Check out our glossary of footballing phrases here


Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football

Free football language podcast for learners of English brought to you by Damian and Damon. Interviews, match reviews, predictions all with full language support for football fans around the world who wish to improve their English language skills.

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I was born and brought up near Chester in the north west of England. I have always loved playing and talking about sport, especially football!
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DEpisode 14