The art of soccer is often hinged on the skills of dribblers. The sort of fashion with the ball that keeps us going and gives us an idea of how beautiful the game can become.
With the likes of Rivelino, Cruyff, Baggio, Zidane, Ronaldinho, Messi, Garrincha, Weah who mastered the most difficult art in football, we list the top-10 young dribblers in World Football at this moment who could be an addition to these names when they retire.
10. ANTHONY MARTIAL:
Philippe Auclair once labelled him as the next Thierry Henry, not because of his flair or power but more for his technique. Although in the past few years we haven’t seen much of the free-flowing Martial who shined in the attacking setup manoeuvred by Monaco that earned him the big money move to Old Trafford, time is running away from his most important developing stage and we should be starting regularly to get back to his best. With Mourinho preferring a more defensive lineup it is unlikely that we’re going to see one of the most talented dribblers flourish under him.
9. AMINE HARIT:
“The Bundesliga Rookie of the Year” was more than just that. He was brilliant in most of the games for Schalke last season that helped them secure the second spot after Bayern Munich with weeks remaining. Growing up in Nantes where we’ve seen stars like Desailly, Deschamps, Karembeau, Makélélé, Toulalan and Dimitri Payet prosper, it was just a matter of time before he impressed as a midfielder in Germany. Although he needs to work on his finishing, he can easily become one of the best midfielders to have represented Morocco.
8. LEROY SANE:
The hottest prospect in English football at the moment, Leroy Sane is a sensation to watch whenever he has the ball in his left foot. A traditional winger marked with acute pace, it is often a nightmare to defend against him. He traditionally likes to cut inside and loves to run at the opposition with the ball. His biggest weakness had been his first touch in Germany, which he has drastically improved over the past couple of years and is more of a dribbling sensation for Manchester City at this moment.
7. KYLIAN MBAPPE:
Although cornered in France, Monaco has produced the most talented set of French footballers in recent times. But maybe not someone as good as Mbappe. One of the most talented dribblers, Mbappe suddenly came into the picture after having a dream season at Monaco, which earned him the move to PSG involving a shattering cash deal. With his blistering pace and technical skills, he can easily become one of the greatest attackers in world football with his reading of the game and improved maturity. In other news, Mbappe also became the first teenager to score in a World Cup final after Brazilian Pele.
6. DAVID NERES:
In the words of Ajax’s Chief Scout before joining the club, “He is a real winger, not a classical right winger, but one that must play with freedom to make his actions. He can create something out of nothing. Of course, he will need time to acclimatise.” And oh boy! he was a fan-favourite within a few months in Amsterdam. He’s one of the most acute dribblerd of the ball, just like his idol Ronaldinho. Something that he needs to work on is his position which can give him a boost in the long run.
5. ADAMA TRAORE:
A weird combination of excellent dribbling and pace, covered with lack of discipline and poor finishing, Adama Traore is undoubtedly one of the brightest dribblers of our generation but with very less end-product, thus reducing his productivity for club and self. A Barcelona reject, who grew up in La Masia as a regular for Barcelona B regarded as one of the brightest things in world football at that moment. Things changed, but his dribbling skills remain second to a few in Europe and with his move to Wolves this season, he might light up life in the Premier League.
4. LEON BAILEY:
Might well be the new Arjen Robben in the making, Leon Bailey is flourishing in the Bundesliga at this moment possessing a similar style to that of his heir in the league. “I can go down [the outside], cut inside and shoot, but for me it’s about more than that. I can make defenders think more,” the Jamaican said when asked about his favourite position and his style of play. Bailey shares a birthday with coaching greats Otto Rehhagel, Mario Zagallo and Roy Hodgson. Perhaps Bailey will shine in the dug-out in the future, but it is with another Leo born on the same date, Chelsea star Willian, he shares the most attributes for now.
3. KINGSLEY COMAN:
Regarded as one of the most promising young players of his generation, Coman is a quick, talented and technically gifted winger, with excellent dribbling skills, vision, pace and acceleration. He is capable of playing on either flank, or even in the centre, as an offensive midfielder or as a striker. Although he is naturally right-footed, his preferred position is on the left, which allows him to beat opponents in one on one situations, cut into the centre onto his right foot, and either shoot on goal, create chances for teammates, or make attacking runs into the area. The best thing is that he is exceptionally good in one-on-one situations. Still just 22, he has already played for PSG, Juventus and Bayern Munich.
2. RAHEEM STERLING:
Known for his pace, low centre of gravity, and dribbling skills, Sterling can play as an attacking midfielder or striker, though he is more comfortable as a natural winger. In April 2015, BBC Sport columnist Phil McNulty wrote that Sterling was “very good with the potential to be outstanding” but remained a “work in progress” due to inconsistent performances. He also wrote, “He is blessed with natural pace that makes even the best defences and defenders take a step back.” The biggest weakness that remains in Sterling’s game is his finishing, and an improvement in that area can naturally improve his appetite to try and become the best.
1. OUSMANE DEMBELE:
A wunderkind who’s not even sure which one is his weaker foot and that is how good this guy is. Dembele was mocking defenders in the Bundesliga for few a few seasons back, right before his move to Barcelona. Ousmane’s acceleration is similar to that of a sprinter. Whenever he catches top speed, not even the paciest players can keep up with him. He feels most comfortable when given space to run at defenders, although he is quite good at dribbling in short spaces too. He uses a vast amount of cuts and body feints to trick defenders before getting past them. Maybe a fitter and settled Dembele could actually be a successor to Lionel Messi.
Which other dribblers do you think deserves to be in this list? Comment below.