Bayer Leverkusen coach Heiko Herrlich’s am-dram dive against Borussia Monchengladbach may well have been laughably risible, but it’s not entirely without precedent in German football circles.
Allow us, if you will, to whisk you back to a truly baffling passage of play – well, play-acting – that occurred during the closing stages of the fantastically ill-tempered Bundesliga tie between Duisburg and Cologne in December of 2005.
With 85 minutes played, the score locked at 1-1 and no less than seven yellow cards already doled out, the visitors went pressing for a winner.
With blood already running hot and tempers short, Cologne midfielder Albert Streit attempted to break on the counter-attack only to see his burst snuffed out and the ball run over the touchline, where Duisburg coach Norbert Meier lay in wait.
What followed was and is still quite possibly the nadir of utterly pathetic footballing gamesmanship…
By the final whistle, no less than eight yellow cards had been administered for various infractions, along with one straight red card – shown to Streit for supposedly instigating the debacle.
Alas, post-match reviews of the incident proved that it was indeed Meier who threw the first forehead, leading Duisburg to sack him just two days later. The DfB then followed suit by banning him from partaking in any footballing activities for the next three months.