Dribbling is the ability to go past opposition players with a quick change of direction, burst of pace or a neat trick.
Many players have graced the game with their phenomenal dribbling skills. However, when you talk about the best of all-time, it’s a challenge in every aspect.
Some players dribble past a defender and falter immediately at the next hurdle. Some dribble past many defenders and earn a strong name, only to never repeat it.
So here I will list the top five dribblers of all-time, who have shocked the world with their skills and have been quite consistent.
The Brazilian is known for his quick speed and lightning body movements. Playing for Brazil and Barcelona, he would go past several defenders quite consistently.
His signature move, the elastico, was to push the ball sideways and within a second turn it the other way around. It was a treat for all the football spectators who saw this legendary man dribble past some great defenders and leave them puzzled.
4. George Best
The best player ever to play for Manchester United from Northern Ireland, Best was a genius in all regards. Who can forget his six goals in a match against Northampton? This man used his right foot and had great ball control.
Some hailed him as the best player ever and some called him the best of his generation. This United legend surely is a deserving candidate for the number four spot.
3. Johan Cruyff
Hendrik Johannes Cruyff is the best Dutch player of all-time with massive amount of goals and individual awards attached to his credentials. He won the Ballon d’Or three times (1971, ’73, ’74) and was voted as the European Player of the Century in 1999.
He had his own move eventually named after him, the “Cruyff turn”. In this move he would act like he is about to pass the ball to his teammate but would eventually drag the ball with his foot, turning 90 degrees and going past defenders.
2. Lionel Messi
This man needs no introduction. The only player in the history of the game to have collected four Ballon d’Or awards. He creates new records and break his own records. He has established himself as the best player of the modern era and perhaps one of the best of all-time.
When you talk about his dribbling skills, this is his strength. He repeated Maradona’s World Cup ’86 display when he dribbled past six Getafe defenders and scored a monumental goal. This happened when he was only 18 years of age.
Today, he has 22 hat-tricks and lots of other records. Some legends including Raul have said that the way he runs and dribbles is impossible to do. It’s his dribbling ability which has made him so successful in football.
1. Diego Maradona
Arguably the best footballer of all-time, this magician from Argentina was often marked by three or four defenders during a game.
He scored the goal of the century in the 1986 World Cup against England where he dribbled past six quality English defenders and later said in an interview that nobody could have stopped him.
Maradona led Argentina to World Cup glory in ’86 and also assisted his club sides – Boca Juniors, Napoli and Barcelona – to many titles.
People may argue on about the best player of all-time, but when it comes to dribbling ability, is there anyone better than this Argentine?