Dribbling is, without a doubt, one of the most—if not the most—entertaining aspects of the game of football. A player that can consistently beat defenders often drives fans to games and provides the extra spark a team needs. That being said, there are several types of dribblers. Some are flashier, while others are more effective. Determining a list of the best dribblers around is relatively difficult due to the fact that these matters are extremely subjective. Some players dribble with consistency, while others may have rare moments of pure brilliance. So, please be kind in your judgements. In the comments bellow, petition for a possible addition. Indicate which player is to be removed and your proposition will be met either with agreement or condemnation.
Not too many are acquainted with this tricky winger from Turkey. Sen plays for a small club called Bursaspor that actually competed in the Champions League. The name may not be ringing in many fan's ears because Bursaspor failed to earn any points in the Group stages and was thus eliminated. Nevertheless, those who have watched Volkan play usually realize his skill on the ball and the consistency in which he threatens defenders. This is a player who held his own against Manchester United last year, and for that he deserves respect. A couple YouTube videos will show why he is regarded as the Turkish Messi (a bit of a stretch, but still).
Santi Cazorla may not be one of the flashiest of the bunch, but he has learned to consistently glide by defenders with ease. His failure to compete in the 2010 World Cup with Spain should not be scorned, given the breadth of talent available for the holding World Cup Champions. Santi has excellent ball control and is certainly a threat going forward. He has just recently transferred to Malaga where he will ply his trade at the new Manchester City of Spain.
Barrera certainly is not on anyone's top football players list, however, his skill on the ball is undeniable. For a player who is struggling to crack the starting line up of the Mexican national team, Barrera possesses an uncanny ability to accelerate past opponents. Blessed with incredible pace and sound technique, it becomes evident why Barrera is consistently causing defenders problems. There does seem to be a likeness between himself and a certain Alexis Sanchez, and that is due to their similar build, similar style of play and the fact that they are both speedy number sevens. Barrera is currently on loan at Zaragoza, where he is trying to prove his ability to compete at the highest level. Pablo still has time to develop and is certainly one to watch over the next few years. Don't expect him to be breaking records anytime soon, though.
Aaron Lennon is quite possibly one of the quickest players in world football. One of the few players who consistently burns Evra, Lennon's speed is a headache for even the most adept defenders. Blessed with excellent dribbling skills and unmatched speed on the ball, it is a wonder why Aaron has not yet reached the heights. For all his raw talent, Lennon remains a fringe player on the England national team and struggles to get on the score sheet. He should still be recognized as a phenom for some of his mesmerizing runs, but it has become apparent that Lennon's career is not destined to progress much further. For now, he just needs to continue his dribbling skills, and he will prove an entertaining and effective asset for his Tottenham side.
Ricardo Quaresma has endured a tumultuous career. There were times when he was known best as Ronaldo's protege. However, those days have long subsided as his career has seemingly drifted into the abyss. Quaresma has been on several teams, including Sporting, Barcelona, Porto, Inter and Chelsea. He has finally settled-in in the Turkish Super Lig at Besiktas, where Ricky looks to be enjoying his football once more. It has become apparent that Quaresma is destined to end his career as a mediocre player. However, fans will not forget his storied dribbling skills and will remember him most fondly for his days at Porto. Ricardo still possesses a significant measure of skill and is still one of the best tricksters around.
This highly coveted youngster is still 20 years old and looks to be promising. For those of you who haven't been acquainted with this rising talent, get used to seeing his name around, because it looks as if Eden is here to stay. Dubbed the next Ronaldo, Hazard definitely mirrors the superstar with his quick footwork and impressive step-overs. Rumored for a switch to Arsenal, Hazard could be headed to the Premier League to live up to the hype. Certainly Arsene Wenger is in dire need of an infusion of talent, and Eden would provide a viable opportunity.
Those of you who don't follow Turkish football likely don't know Arda Turan. By that virtue, many of you probably do not recognize his name. Get used to hearing the name, though, because he has just transferred to Atletico Madrid from Galatasaray and is expected to cause a significant impact. This stocky player has superb technique and has the ability to get past several defenders simultaneously. Arda Turan has a competent football brain and will be a force to be reckoned with for the upcoming La Liga campaign.
At lucky number 13 is the prodigious Neymar. At the tender age of 19, Neymar has a long career ahead of him and a big set of boots to fill. Dubbed the new Pele by the man himself, Neymar will need his luck to ensure he lives up to the hype. Rumours of his departure to Real Madrid have yet to be corroborated. However, it seems likely to be happening sooner or later. A move to Real Madrid would provide an opportune chance for the young starlet and could usher his rise to superstardom. For now, he is still recognized as a skilled dribbler where he currently showcases his talent for Santos and the Brazil national team. A few years can see Neymar's meteoric rise above this list. For now though, we will all have to wait and see.
Ronaldinho will be best known for his preceding years. His move from AC MIlan has trumpeted his official decline. Ronaldinho will still be strutting his stuff for Brazilian side Flamengo. His silky touch and entrancing step-overs haven't yet escaped him, and for that reason he still makes this list. Ronaldinho's revolutionary skill-set helped transform dribbling and placed a new face on entertainment in football. Ronaldinho will not be staging the comeback many fans hoped for, but he will leave European fans with vivid memories of his excellence.
Pedro is a player that makes Barcelona click. He is not what one would consider the best player on his team, yet he consistently employs quick and effective moves that yield his team success. Pedro uses his quick feet and equally quick legs to burn defenders consistently in La Liga. A product of the youth system, Pedro certainly makes Barcelona fans proud and will continue to do so for years to come.
Adam Johnson has only recently proven his mettle for Manchester City. His performances last season were excellent, and he is likely to feature prevalently for the English National team. Johnson possesses a silky touch and excellent technique. He wriggles past opponents with ease and, although not afraid to employ step-overs, prefers to glide past defenders in the same way Messi does. Adam is much like a hybrid between Messi and Ronaldo, with a combination of flair and effectiveness (although not as good). The increased competition for positions will be difficult for Adam Johnson to handle, but he should weather this storm with flying colors, given the enormous amount of skill he possesses.
Aguero has long been known as a prodigy in the making. His inevitable departure from Atletico Madrid has been sealed, and he has made his way to the great club of...Man City? All jokes aside, it seems Aguero will provide his new team with an extra touch of brilliance and has directly put them in the title race against current holders Manchester United. Aguero's impact in the Premier League is already evident, as it seems he will be cementing his position amongst the best in the World. Aguero employs a dribbling style reminiscent of his Argentina teammate Messi, deservingly drawing up such comparisons.
Iniesta certainly isn't the first player that comes to mind when flair is mentioned. He prefers to use his technique to frustrate opponents and is successful in that. Iniesta may not be the king of the one-v-one situation, but his close control style earns him a spot on this list. Iniesta's impact and overall ability is undeniable, yet he possesses another skill, one of dribbling. Iniesta utilizes his dribbling skills to keep hold of the ball and aid his team, rather than humiliate his opponents. However, it is for this reason his skill has gone undetected thus far.
Recognized just as much for his dribbling skills as his acting ability, Robben certainly does know how to beat opponents. And if he doesn't, he is likely to go down. Despite this not so glamorous aspect of his game, Robben is certainly a game changer and can wreak havoc if left unchecked. Currently showcasing his stuff for both Bayern Munich and Netherlands respectively, Robben will likely continue his reputation of frustrating defenders. He will certainly be disappointed at losing the World Cup last summer and will only redouble his efforts to win trophies in the forthcoming years.
Gareth Bale has been a revelation this season and has made a fool of Maicon in the process. There is certainly great hype surrounding him following his string of impressive performances for Tottenham. Bale is certainly one to watch, but the hype surrounding him is a tad exaggerated. Nonetheless, Bale possesses a great touch and an ability to achieve the spectacular. He is quick and is always an effervescent threat down the left-hand side. To further cement his position at the top, Bale needs an increased amount of consistency.
Part of a lengthy transfer saga, Sanchez has finally completed his wish to play for Barcelona, turning down offers from Manchester City, Manchester United, Inter Milan and a host of other clubs. Fans certainly hold high expectations for their new signing, and, initially, it seems as though he might just live up to the hype. While a final verdict on Alexi may be premature, he seems to have settled in well at the Camp Nou. Blessed with unbelievably quick feet and excellent agility, Sanchez is one of the best dribblers around. His mesmerizing step-overs are unbelievably smooth and are used to consistently embarrass opponents. Not only are Sanchez's moves impressive, but the frequency in which he employs them is surprising indeed.
Nani has only recently cemented his place amongst the best wingers in the world. There was a period of time where many were wondering when Nani would have his breakthrough. This time has arrived and, my word, has it been impressive. Nani's transformation from inconsistent whiner to a world beater has been meteoric, and he is only likely to continue his ascendancy. Part of a rejuvenated Manchester United side, Nani is sure to impress this season yet again.
Perhaps best known for his successive step over combination, Robinho's career has been far from the success his skills would suggest. Having played for Real Madrid, Man City and AC Milan, Robinho has certainly been around. Yet the biggest disappointment of his career is his failure to convert his pure talent to something tangible. Robinho has always been missing the killer touch and the ability to turn a game around, and, as a result, his talent has never come to be fully appreciated. However, he does seem to feel comfortable at AC Milan and may vindicate himself over the coming years.
Ronaldo was just edged out from the number one spot due to a couple of reasons. His skill is undeniable, as well as his overall ability. Yet despite Ronaldo's unbelievably quick feet and amount of flair, he has one minor problem. His moves, while often effective, are not nearly as effective as some of the other players on this list. Ronaldo is king in the one-v-one situation but is not a player that can be relied on to expose opposing teams solely due to his dribbling skills. His moves are often times done in vain and for the sake of showmanship, not for the benefit of his team. Nevertheless, Ronaldo is still one of the best players and dribblers around, and he is certain to retain that title for years to come.
Messi is not only one of the best players in the world, but apparently he is the best dribbler in the world. No player around can dribble with such consistency and effectiveness. Messi has the ability to open up a deadlocked game with a few touches and has the ability to dribble past a whole team. Messi may not opt for the flamboyant side of the game, but his ability to smoothly glide past opponents renders him one of the most potent dribblers in the history of the game. Messi is certain to win many more accolades with his team Barcelona and will continue to torment defenders each week in La Liga and Champions League.