By 90Min
September 23, 2017

Mario Balotelli has been one of the most controversial figures in the world of football for some time now. From randomly showing up at press conferences to igniting fireworks in his bathroom, the Italian has always been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons.

But since leaving the Premier League for Ligue 1 side Nice, Balotelli regained his previously stagnant goalscoring form. The former Manchester City man has already notched five goals in all competitions this season after scoring 17 goals last term.

And Balotelli continued his fine form with a positive showing in a 2-2 draw with Angers on Friday. However, with the game still goalless, Balotelli fell to the floor, grasping his face in a way that suggested he had been elbowed. 

Upon viewing a replay of the incident, it was clear that Angers' Thomas Mangani made no contact with Balotelli. Rather, the well-traveled frontman had produced an outrageously theatrical dive.


The tactic proved to be fruitful for Balotelli's side as Mangani received a booking. 

Such antics, as appalling as they might seem, have become part and parcel of the game of football over the past few years. 

Back in 2012, Premier League fans were angered by Ashley Young's repeated attempts to win free-kicks and penalties by diving. Moreover, in almost every match-week, players exaggerate contact in an attempt to gain an upper hand on the opposition.

In turn, football fans are likely to come across far more instances of incredulous dives as the season progresses.

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