If there is one sport which is loved all over the globe despite its brutal tackles and some brilliantly laid out flops, it's definitely football. Football is often compared to the theatre and is fortunate to host to some of the best practitioners in the business, some of whom take their craft a little too seriously.
Many players among David Luis, Luis Suarez and Cristiano Ronaldo believe in showing glimpses of their acting skills on the field, rather than in the studio. Neymar even bagged a cameo in 'XXX: Return of Xander Cage' only by his diving skills on the field.
Fouls still get penalised by referees but when it comes to flops, or dives as we call it, we just can't get enough of it. Diving has once again been thrust into the public eye of late, thanks to a string of game-altering moments of alleged simulation.
The most recent one came yesterday when one of the greatest players in the world, Ronaldo, earned himself a free kick right outside the penalty box with yet another flop against Napoli. Alex Meret, Napoli keeper, rushed out of the penalty box to clear the Juventus ball, but couldn't touch either of them, the ball or Ronaldo.
CR7, on the other hand, took full advantage of the situation and displayed his outstanding acting skills, which not only made the referee award his team a freekick but also handed Meret a red card straight away. Furious with this incident, Carlos Ancelloti, the home manager, opened up in the post-match interview
“It's a very controversial incident,” Napoli coach Carlo Ancelotti said. “Certainly he didn't touch him, but it could be a thing of intent. It's not so clear this direct red, it's not a given that Cristiano would have got to the ball.
“The red seems over the top to me. There's the VAR and the referee should have looked at it again why else do we have it?”
Eventually, the kick taken by Miralem Pjanic was given a dazzling curl, landing it in the bottom left corner of the goal.
Soon the one-goal lead was extended by Emre Can by a header, courtesy a long ball by Federico Bernardeschi. Chiellini and his men soon got the taste of their own medicine when Pjanic was shown a second yellow card for handling the ball.
The hosts reduced the deficit in the 61st minute as Callejon got ahead of the Juventus defenders to tap in Insigne's cross. Napoli laid siege to the Juventus goal and thought it had got its rewards when they were awarded a penalty for an Alex Sandro handball, but Insigne's effort rebounded off the post.
With 16 points clear to the second-placed Napoli, Juventus has almost sealed their league title and now are concentrating on the match against Atletico Madrid for a place in the Quarter-finals of UEFA Champions League