Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 12/10/12
Leonardo Bonucci could have picked a better time to pull this stunt. After all, diving is ruining soccer, slowing worldwide economic growth and melting the polar icecaps. The Italian soccer player dove during a game on Sunday, and he didn’t fool anyone. He was roundly criticized for the effort, which is a front-runner for the title of “worst dive ever.” Bonucci committed the offense near the end of Juventus’ 1-0 win over Palermo in Italy’s Serie A (first division). With a chance to clinch the victory, the 25-year-old broke forward and received a pass inside of the Palermo penalty area. He tried (in vain) to take the ball around Samir Ujkani and score, but the Palermo goalkeeper was not fooled by his feint. Ujkani closed down Bonucci, knocked the ball away and made contact with the Juventus player. Bonucci did what so many soccer players have done before. He threw his arms into the air, yelled, twisted around and fell to the ground. Unfortunately, the referee was having none of it. He showed Bonucci a yellow card for “simulation” (faking). The card was Bonucci’s seventh of the season, meaning he will be suspended for Juventus’ next game. Some might forgive Bonucci for his dive. They’ll say he’s a defender and not used to being in that scoring position. Maybe he lost his balance after making contact with Ujkani. Teammate, the much feared and respected striker Nicklas Bendtner, is the reigning king of Bonucci apologists. who shot bonucci? ;) haha— Nicklas Bendtner (@bendtnerb52) December 09, 2012 Bonucci, an Italian international, made no excuses for his behavior. He apologized for diving, according to Xinhua. “I was supposed to shoot, but then I got different ideas clogged in my head,” he said on Twitter. ”I deserved that yellow card and set a bad example. That’ll teach me. As for the rest, it was a great victory.” Watch the dive that caused a global panic in the video below. Have a question for Marcus Kwesi O’Mard? Send it to him via Twitter at @NESNsoccer, NESN Soccer’s Facebook page or send it here. He will pick a few questions to answer every week for his mailbag.

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

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