Gareth Bale has been forced to defend himself after a reporter in Spain accused him of attempting to win a penalty by diving in Real Madrid’s 7-3 thrashing of Sevilla on Wednesday, while the fall itself was voted third in a poll of the most embarrassing dives of all time by Madrid-based newspaper Marca.
It was quite the memorable evening for the £86m Welsh winger, who scored twice in the rout at the Bernabeu, but yet again the negative aspect of his game has stolen the headlines. The unfortunate attempt during the second half was ignored by referee Jose Antonio Teixeira Vitienes.
Canal Plus interviewer Ricardo Sierra asked Bale after the game: "We have seen something which is not usual for a player who has been in the Premier League, going down in the area with no touch from the defender. What happened?"
Bale replied: "Yeah, I was going at pace, and to be honest I felt a touch…"
Sierra then interrupts: "There was no touch..."
Bale: "I felt something. I thought he was going to pull a leg out on me, so as usual I try and avoid the contact. But, erm, it was not a penalty and we move on."
The dives that beat Bale’s in Marca’s 'embarrassing' poll? Barcelona winger Neymar’s fall against Uruguay in last summer’s Confederations Cup, and Chilean defender Bryan Carrasco’s dive during a South American Under-20 World Cup qualification match against Ecuador in February 2011.