Why Do Soccer Players Flop?

A physical sport like soccer has room for compensation whenever a foul leads an injury to players. However, most of the soccer players take it as a loophole for flopping. In this article, we have explained why do soccer players flop in detail. You’ll also learn some similar terminologies and get to know ways of preventing flopping in soccer. After all, it is an unfair act of gaining advantage in the game. 

Soccer Players Flop and Similar Terminologies

To know why do soccer players flop, you must also learn about relevant terminologies related to faking an injury. Flop is a type of deceptive act in soccer that players do in order to gain advantage for the team.

why do soccer players flop
Photo credit- Forbes

Let’s first look at the various form of flop that a player can act in a game. They are categorized in four distinctive sections. Check out the explanations below:


We’ll start with flop. A flop refers to faking an injury through innocuous contact. The contact will not invite any foul. This type of contact is not encouraged by a player naturally. It usually occurs when the player is away from the ball. In such cases, flops are not taken into considerations.


Moving on to our second fake injury style, dive. Players often dive by convincing the referee of being injured by a false contact. In reality, there is no contact at all. It is just a style to trick the referee into achieving extra benefits. However, a dive is condemned in the soccer industry. Often players get yellow cards for diving as a punishment.


Now, this style is followed by attacking a player and establishing a direct contact. Players use fabrication in order to frame the opponent team. For illustration, if you drag your leg in an unusual position, it indicates that you are trying to frame the defender. You won’t get a call in these cases. This is not a foul evidently. So, there remains no chance for getting a card. 


Lastly, we have embellishment. This is by far the most dramatic fake injury ever! After a foul, the player exaggerates getting pain or hurt. He or she does that to draw the referee’s attention. The dramatic player tries to make the referee draw a card or a whistle. You probably have seen couple of these drama by Neymar in the World Cup 2018.

What are the Benefits of Flopping in Soccer?

So, let’s come back to the point. Why do soccer players flop? Do they get any extra benefit for this?

Well, of course, all the fake drama is dedicated to achieve a little advantage in the game. It can be anything. From creating a potential goal-scoring opportunity to wasting some time – anything that will leverage the team’s performance.

We’ll explain why do soccer players flop and what benefits they can receive by doing so. Keep reading.

Getting an Extra Goal-Scoring Opportunity

By flopping, a player can create a scene where the referee believes in the player’s fake injury. As a compensation, the referee grants a free kick or a penalty to the team. It enhances the team’s chances to get an extra opportunity to score a goal.

Buying Some Time

Soccer is a time-calculated game. The clock doesn’t stop for a single moment during the match (except half time). If any occurrence affects the schedule, then extra time is given after the match. Players take advantage of this rule. To lead the game, they flop and waste some time. Later on, it acts as an advantage for them after the real time match is ended. The flopping player’s team gets to lead and eventually serves as an opportunity to score.

Regain the Possession of the Ball

You might notice some soccer players to simulate just to get back the ball. They fake an injury to draw the referee’s attention. If the referee is convinced, he gets the ball back on his lead as an award. Well, this is not an indication of a skilled soccer player. A pro player knows how to win back the ball instead of faking an injury.

Catch Referee’s Attention

Lastly, we have a very obvious reason why do soccer players flop. With faking injuries, a player can attract the eye of a referee. Ultimately, the referee’s decision counts in the game, so better flop to gain advantage for the team. If the player can convince the referee completely, the team gets scoring opportunities over the opponent team. Sometimes opponents request a review for this type of unfair gains.

What are the Reasons Behind Soccer Players Overreacting?

We get it that flops favor a team in many ways. However, when it involves opponents getting punishments, it becomes more serious. Of course, you wouldn’t want to get a card for your opponent team’s flopping!

In 2018 World Cup, Senegal National team were eliminated to proceed further in the game. They got too many yellow cards that impacted the team’s performance. Though they scored equal goals as Japan, they couldn’t play the last 16 rounds.

This brings to the fact that when a foul occurs, it affects the whole team’s playability. Getting fouls by the opponent’s unfair performance makes soccer players overreact too much, even in case of the slightest foul.

Is Flopping Allowed in Soccer?

No unfair means is allowed in any type of sport. Flopping is also a con that affects the whole opponent team. You can expect to surpass the eye of a referee acing injured.

However, this is only a possibility. If you get caught while flopping, the referee can sanction you with a yellow card. Two more times you simulate and you’ll get thrown out of the game.

So, even if the rules provoke soccer players to gain unfair advantage, it is not permitted. Soccer players and fans hate flopping as the result adulterates the final result. 

Soccer Players with the Most Flopping History

Almost all players flop at least once in their lifetime. We have seen how Neymar flopped in the World Cups and becoming a living meme for the fans. However, Neymar is not alone.

Emmanuel Eboue, Albero Gilardino, Dani Alves, Steven Gerrard, and Marcelo are some of the pro players who have the most flopping in soccer history.

Do Players Flop in Other Games?

Highly intense sports like soccer always has a loophole in the rules of flopping. Players tend to fake injuries and snatch an opportunity to score better. This happens in all games where there is contact.

Most people think basketball players flop too much than soccer players. Well, this is not true always. Both sports have equal number of floppers who are ready to throw themselves on the pitch.

You won’t get to see a single show where floppers don’t exist. NBA players, NFL players, and even hockey players flop while playing.

However, American players dive or flop too little. You can call it a self-flattering notion that our players are too honest to flop.

How to Stop Flopping?

As we mentioned earlier, flopping is condemnable among soccer players and fans. It promotes unfair advantage in the game and supports player’s dishonesty. Now, we already told you why do soccer players flop. It’s time to discuss how we can stop this from happening.

Modern technologies have reached the sports world and impacted greatly. To stop flopping in games, we can use VAR (Video Assistant Referee) in games. This technology helps to replay what happened in the game in a video form. Now, it’s easier for the referees to take fair decisions.

By implementing VAR, players will also think twice before doing a drama of a foul. The reason is that if a referee even shows a red card, he can change it by reviewing the VAR and making the right decision.

Is the Player Really Flopping?

Let’s come to a real fact. Sometimes what we see as flopping might not be actually a flop. When you are running on the soccer field, you have a particular momentum and speed. A little contact from the opposition or any player in the field can change your pace. In this case, you can really lose your balance and hurt yourself.

We might not see it as an injury in the naked eyes from the gallery. It might look like a flop. However, in such cases, the player can be really hurt which can impact his performance for days.

So, we shouldn’t be quick to judge any player without checking the truth. There are some players who can be badly injured for real.

Final Thoughts

It’s now evident why do soccer players flop so much. Getting a free kick, a penalty, or even a yellow card for the opponent leverages the team. However, flopping is always prohibited in any sport. That’s why we recommend focusing on the hard work rather making a drama on the field.  

You may also like to read: How to Become a Professional Soccer Player?

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