Dribbling is an essential part of football and skillful dribblers have always held a special place in the hearts of football fans.
Dribbling isn’t just about carrying the ball, as passing defenders and knocking them out of the equation is also an important part of football. Football teams benefit from having skilled dribblers on their side.
When teams retreat to their own half to defend and seek to hit the opposition on the block, skilled dribblers can often make the difference. They can squeeze through tight spaces with their dexterous touches, agility and speed, and break through defenses.
Skillful dribblers are some of the most admired players in the world of football. Without further ado, let’s take a look at five of the best dribblers in the world of football right now.
#5 Riyad Mahrez (Algeria/Manchester City)
Riyad Mahrez is one of the most exciting wingers to grace the Premier League in recent times. The Algeria international first made waves at Leicester City, playing a starring role in the Foxes’ incredible Premier League triumph in the 2015-16 season.
He was then recruited by Manchester City and to this day Mahrez continues to terrorize defenses with his dribbling and agility. The left-footed winger likes to drop his shoulder and send defenders the wrong way before bursting into the box and testing the keeper.
Mahrez uses his low center of gravity and nimble touches on the ball to leave defenders hanging in the balance. He does it all with the grace of a gazelle and it’s a pleasure to watch him play on the right wing for Manchester City.
#4 Ousmane Dembele (France/Barcelona)
What makes Ousmane Dembele unique is the fact that he’s not only a great dribbler but he’s also excellent with both feet. The Frenchman is one of the most exciting strikers in Europe right now and one of the most dangerous players a defender can come up against in the final third.
Dembele is disconcertingly quick, and his momentum is bolstered by his long strides, making him nearly impossible to catch once he’s beaten a defender.
The 25-year-old’s end product is also of very high quality and he is as unpredictable as the forwards thanks to his ability to dribble with both feet.
#3 Lionel Messi (Argentina/Paris Saint-Germain)
Throughout his career, Lionel Messi has mesmerized us with his dribbling skills. He’s not as flashy as the other players on this list, in the sense that you rarely see Messi take even a step forward. But Messi makes it look like the ball is stuck to his boots the way he runs with them.
The ball is never more than a meter from his cleats when he is in possession of the ball. He times his nimble ball touches perfectly and waits for defenders to engage in a tackle before snatching it away and running away.
Despite his 35 years, Messi remains one of the best dribblers in the world. The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner is still a nightmare for defenders, even though he’s lost a meter in speed in recent years.
#2 Vinicius Jr. (Brazil/Real Madrid)
Vinicius Jr. has a lot of flair and the kind of streestsmarts we’ve come to associate with Brazilian footballers. After being recognized as an unpredictable winger capable of producing flashes of genius, Vinicius kicked into high gear last season at Real Madrid.
He massively improved his end product and also doubled his dribbling ability. The Brazil international is an elusive presence on the football pitch with his quick turns and silky-smooth skills. He is also an extremely enterprising attacker who is always looking to outflank defenders and beat them.
Vinicius takes a very direct approach in the attacking third, taking the ball and penetrating into the box, forcing defenders to step back steadily. He has a wide range of tricks and is a menacing presence in and around the penalty area.
#1 Neymar Jr. (Brazil/Paris Saint-Germain)
Neymar Jr. is one of the most skilled dribblers in football history. The 30-year-old first burst onto the scene thanks to his incredible ability to beat defenders with his innovative dribbling skills.
The Brazilian striker is constantly looking to outflank defenders and beat them. He’s so good with the ball at his feet that no matter what space he finds himself stuck in, he finds a way to get out of it without losing the ball.
Neymar’s game is riddled with cops and tricks like roulettes, rainbows, chops, croquetas and flip-flaps and he’s one of the most fun players to watch.