Arjen Robben is sorry for diving. He’s just not sorry for that dive.
Robben stopped short, however, of taking responsibility for his most blatant bit of embellishment — a stoppage-time dive that earned the Dutch a penalty shot and Mexico’s Rafael Marquez a yellow card. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar converted the PK to send the Netherlands to the quarterfinals.
“The one at the end was a penalty, I was fouled,” Robben told Dutch television channel NOS, via ESPN.com. “At the same time. I have to apologize. In the first half I took a dive, and I really shouldn’t do that. That was a stupid, stupid thing to do, but sometimes you’re expecting to be struck and then they pull their leg away at the last minute.”
Mexican head coach was fuming over the call after the game, saying that if his squad is going home, the referee should be, as well. Marquez expressed his frustration, too, correctly stating that Robben — a notorious flopper — was not touched on the game-changing play.
“It was not a penalty,” Marquez said, via ESPN.com. “I did not touch him. My foot came down on the ground, not on him. It was he who made contact with me. The referee thought I had made contact with him and whistled for the penalty.
“Of every 10 free kicks Robben gets, he dives for five of them. That is not fair play.”
The Netherlands advance to face Costa Rica, which defeated Greece on penalty kicks Sunday. Mexico now has been eliminated in the Round of 16 in each of the last six World Cups.
GIF via @cjzero
Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@USATODAY