In association football (soccer), a diver is someone who dives (see that node for more information), e.g. feigns a foul by an opposing player.

The term also has another meaning in this sport, but it's directly related to diving. Let me explain the background. In 1994, German striker Jürgen Klinsmann went from France to England to play for Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League. Many people in the sports press were questioning whether that was a good move because German players, and in particular Klinsmann, were not well-liked in England at all.

Klinsmann had been on the team that beat England in the 1990 World Cup semi final, once again sparking the long-lasting English-German football rivalry. In addition, Klinsmann had a reputation as a diver. Divers are especially detested in England because the English style of football is very rough and tumble and the fans hate players who simulate fouls. A reporter immediately wrote a piece titled Why I Hate Jürgen Klinsmann, before Klinsmann had even played his first league match.

The striker responded mainly by scoring a lot of goals, which sooner or later will win over most critics. But he had something else in petto: Right in his debut match, after scoring for the first time, Klinsmann threw himself on the ground, sliding on his chest, inventing a form of goal celebration that would henceforth be known as "the diver". He would perform this move after almost every goal, and other players would pick it up as well. To top it all off, Klinsmann also showed up to a press conference with a scuba mask on his head. This form of self-depreciating humor almost immediately made him popular in England, and he ended up being elected Footballer of the Year 1995.

Iron Noder Challenge 2017

Div"er (?), n.


One who, or that which, dives.

Divers and fishers for pearls. Woodward.


Fig.: One who goes deeply into a subject, study, or business.

"A diver into causes."

Sir H. Wotton.

3. Zool.

Any bird of certain genera, as Urinator (formerly Colymbus), or the allied genus Colymbus, or Podiceps, remarkable for their agility in diving.

⇒ The northern diver (Urinator imber) is the loon; the black diver or velvet scoter (Oidemia fusca) is a sea duck. See Loon, and Scoter.


© Webster 1913.

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