Dribbling is not just about pace but it also requires a great amount of skill and concentration. A dribbler is considered to be key to any team as they have the talent to unlock even the meanest of defenses. We have seen some great dribblers in football over the years. In this article, we will have a look at some of the best dribblers ever.
Here is the list of 10 best dribblers ever in the history of world football –
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10. Stanley Matthews
Widely regarded as one of the greatest English footballers to have ever lived, this player quickly gained the nickname “the wizard of dribble” because of his outstanding dribbling ability.Stanley Matthews had a great sense and he also could suddenly accelerate. He had incredible pace and it led Pelé to once say that Matthews was “the man who taught us the way football should be played.”
9. George Best
George Best is undoubtedly one of the greatest Manchester United players ever. He had the ability to use the inside and outside of his boot so well that he could cut around players quickly and effortlessly. He scored 137 goals for Manchester United in a career that spanned around 11 years.
8. Ronaldo de Lima
This Brazilian made a name for himself by managing to dribble past defenders and then going on to score a goal. Except for the Champions League medal, Ronaldo won everything there was to be won by the modern-day footballer in Europe.
He scored 2 goals in the final of the 2002 World Cup as Brazil beat Germany 2-0. He is undoubtedly one of the best dribblers ever.
7. Zinedine Zidane
Zidane wasn’t the fastest, he also didn’t have a great acceleration, but he didn’t need those with such a control over the ball. The player even had a move named after him called the “Zidane Roulette” which is a 360 degree turn he used to get around defenders. He is remembered as one of the best Real Madrid players ever.
Many people believe that he was the greatest ever to play this sport. In 1999, he was voted World Player of the Century by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS). That year, France Football asked their former Ballon d’Or winners to choose the Football Player of the Century; they selected Pelé. In 1999, Pelé was elected Athlete of the Century by the IOC.
During his international career, he won three FIFA World Cups: 1958, 1962 and 1970, being the only player ever to do so. Pelé is the all-time leading goalscorer for Brazil with 77 goals in 91 games.
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Not many people could do what this man could do with a football. He did a lot of amazing tricks during his career, bringing freestyle skills in a football match. One of his famous moves is the elastico where he fools a defender by pushing the ball sideways but suddenly pulling the ball back to the other side.
He reached the zenith of the game winning a number of different awards along the way such as the FIFA World Player of The Year as well as the coveted Ballon D’Or in 2005.He also won the world cup with Brazil in 2002.
4. Johan Cruyff
Johan Cruyff is easily one of the best dribbler ever. He had the ability to find the weak point of the defender and make turn in a short area. Cruyff could suddenly accelerate and he could also change direction in a short time.
He had his own move named after him, “The Cruyff turn”. In this move he would look like passing the ball to his teammate but instead of kicking he would drag the ball behind his planted foot with the inside of his other foot, turn 90 degrees and accelerate away from the defender.
3. Diego Maradona
Possibly the greatest player of 20th century, Diego Maradona was a great dribbler. His skills on the ball knew no bounds, as he tempted and teased defenders into committing before sweeping past them.
He would suddenly change direction when the defender was expecting him to go the other way, it is this style of dribbling he used which is called “Gambetta”. One example of this is his second goal against England in the 1986 World Cup quarter-final where he would get the ball and beat five England defenders before scoring a goal.
Maradona would later say in one of his interviews “In that game no one could have stopped me, not even Mike Tyson”. He could easily be the no.1 in the ‘best dribblers ever list’ of many people.
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Considered by many as the best dribbler ever to grace the football field, Garrincha had an air of confidence whenever he was on the ball. He would not only beat his man but humiliate him time and again to shatter all his confidence. At just 5ft 6inches the players low centre of gravity helped him weave around opposition.
He won the World Cup twice with Brazil (1958,1962) and was the biggest reason why Brazil won the world cup in 1962.While most greats are remembered for their goals, Garrincha’s remembrance will always be attributed to his sublime touches and stupendous dribbles.
1. Lionel Messi
The only active player on the list, Lionel Messi has an incredible ball control and fast acceleration. He can beat defenders with his short ball touches by suddenly changing direction.
Messi has managed to score some simply mesmerizing goals, beating three, four, even five players before slotting it in the back of the net. He showcased his best dribbling skills when he scored a similar goal like Maradona´s ‘Goal of the Century’ in a match against Getafe where he dribbled past 5 players. Many people believe that the Argentine is the greatest ever to play football. He has 5 Ballon d’Or to his name, which is a joint world record. He is also regarded as Barcelona’s greatest player ever.