Who is the king of dribbling skills in football?

You’ve probably been thrilled time and again by the swerves and quick moves professional footballers display on the field in their split-second dribblings and epic finishes. And while we can’t doubt that there have been many footballers with this ability to get past their opponents skillfully, just who is the best of the best when it comes to dribbling?

Lionel Messi is widely regarded as the god of dribbling. Messi’s tactfulness and effectiveness in getting past defenders distinguish him from all other good dribblers. His successful dribbling record and Ballon d’Or winning streak are a few simple proofs that validate his god status in dribbling. 

There are probably many other opinions regarding who the god of dribbling on the football pitch is. However, when it comes down to judging skillful maneuvering and the sheer brilliance to fool defenders, it’s best to look through the records. And getting down to this is what this post is all about.

Who Is World’s Best Dribbler?

Player Number Of Take Ons  Successfully Completed Take Ons
Lionel Messi  1,880 1,075
Eden Hazard 1,220 697
Franck Ribery  939 450
Sergio Aguero 832 388
Cristiano Ronaldo 816 360
Joaquin 798 406
Hatem Arfa 770 390
Andres Iniesta 739 450
Roberto Firmino 736 418
Neymar 734 368

The Argentine football star, Lionel Messi, stands out as the best dribbler in world football. His ability to create chaos in the opposition while keeping the ball glued to his feet is unparalleled. Besides being excellent at dribbling, he is reputable for effective moves and for crowning most with great finishes.

Messi’s status as the god of dribbling is not without proof, as you’d have to consistently and effectively pave your way through the opposition time and again to bag such a title, especially in this current generation that has a good number of the many phenomenal football talents of our time.

It’s impossible not to pay attention to the former Manchester United player Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar jr, Sergio Aguero, Eden Hazard, Franck Ribery, and other amazing dribblers. These players are dribbling sensations, and that’s a fact. But just what stands Messi out as the world’s best dribbler? Are his abilities innate, or are there any specifics that characterize the star’s moves on the field?

Here are a few things that make Messi’s dribbling skills steal the show:

His confidence

Not many players have the confidence Messi does. It takes incredible confidence to march up against defenders and attempt to break through to the net, especially when you’re up against players larger in size than you.

However, that’s Messi’s story. And although he is not even as tall as the average professional soccer player, he’s put the odds behind him and has the highest dribble attempts to his credit.

His balance

The ability to dribble is enhanced by a low centre of gravity and bent knees, with chest and head over the ball. Coincidentally, the Argentine soccer king has this going for him by nature. Being just 1.69m in height, which means a low center of gravity, his build allows him to accelerate, decelerate, and quickly change direction in one breath.

Nonetheless, even though it’s obvious that he was gifted with a strong skeletal chassis and a body toned to enhance his dribbling skills, he dribbles with his hands out, and this gives him good balance when executing his dribbles.

Keeping the ball trapped to his feet with minor touches

Messi has such close control of the ball such that he can take it with him and run through the defense, all while keeping the relationship between the ball and his legs just as intimate as it should be and no more.

His step overs and stellar moves

Attempting to predict Messi on the field using his body movements has always proven futile. You can’t place him and will most likely get swerved for trying to since he’s so savvy with faking his turns and moves; his step overs are unmatched. From suddenly pulling away from defenders in one direction to immediately taking the ball sideways, he’s just feint perfect.

His ability to quickly change direction

Short dashes, sharp cuts, and quick moves are typical of Messi’s dribbles, all while he changes direction at very acute angles.

His extraordinary mashup of speed, strength, and endurance

Every phenomenal dribbler has speed on their feet, strength, and the ability to endure, among other things, in their arsenal of skills set. You need these three skills to successfully dodge tackles from defenders, and Lionel Messi is a case study regarding these qualities.

Messi’s motion on the field is unorthodox as he sprints in different directions when showing off his dribbling skills. Generally, this kind of sprinting is more tiring than running straight through the opposition and requires a lot more energy than the latter. However, he manages to do this so effortlessly.

His very nature

Several scientific studies have speculated that Messi’s ability to keep up with the taxing energy demand for his dribbles goes beyond the normal and could be due to genetics other than just natural ability. However, this speculation is plausible because the Argentine star had hormones injected in his legs from age 12 due to a growth disorder.

Who Is A Better Dribbler, Messi Or Neymar?

Messi is a better dribbler than Neymar when it comes to overall dribble attempts, although that’s chiefly because he has featured in more matches than Neymar has. The stats tell it all. Messi has made 1,880 dribble attempts, and Neymar sits at just 734, so he tops when judging by this metric.

Messi has completed more dribbles than Neymar, which is understandable, especially considering that Neymar jr wasn’t a professional player when Opta began keeping dribbling records in 2006. Neymar’s debut match was in 2009, three years after, while Messi has been in the game since 2004.

Although Messi has had more time to build his dribbling record and so has more dribbles to his credit than Neymar, here are a few other reasons why he beats Neymar at dishing out dribbles.

Effectiveness of executed dribbles

Neymar lives for the flair and beauty of artistically executed dribbles that are pleasant to watch. This is a typical Brazilian trait that you’ll find in his predecessors like Ronaldinho. On the other hand, Messi is very direct in the execution of his dribbles and utilizes his sheer force of speed and excellent ball control in his delivery.

However, Neymar has a higher dribble success rate than Messi. But, this is not an accurate means to assess who’s better since their number of dribble attempts still differs greatly. That still leaves Messi at the very top of the dribbling scoreboard.

Dribbling skills

While Neymar’s moves are very catchy and ever an interesting sight to teeming spectators, Messi’s dribbles beat his in simplicity and delivery. He just has some of the best ball control tactics you could see at his fingertips and dribbles with an incredible pace.

Opponent-matching ability

The Argentine and Paris saint germain star is renowned for being very collected with his dribble styles and only serves moves when necessary. His simple but sharp moves enable him to get past defenders, sometimes a group of 3 to 4 at once.

On the other hand, Neymar is savvy with executing dribbles when in a one-on-one situation with an opponent, and we are yet to see him confuse a group of defenders as Messi does.

Both Messi and Neymar are talented dribblers, and saying for certain who beats the other to the chase is a challenging task. But the stats are all in Messi’s favor, which only proves he’s way ahead of the talented Brazilian and PSG star, Neymar.

Also Read:

Who Are The Greatest Dribblers in World football history?

Some of the greatest dribblers in world football history include Diego Maradona, Garrincha, Johan Cruyff, George Best, Ronaldo, Pele, Zinedine zidane, Cristiano ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and Ronaldinho. These are some of the most prominent dribblers in the game’s history.

Many of these players were prominent for signature moves which they creatively came up with. Here are a few popular signature moves and their originators.

The Cruyff Turn Created By Johan Cruyff

The Cruyff turn is a popular dribbling style first displayed by Johan Cruyff at the 1974 World cup. This famous trick involves dragging the ball behind your fixed foot using your crossing foot while attempting to cross the ball. The Cruyff turn leaves defenders helpless since it gives the executor enough time to suddenly accelerate in the opposite direction.

The Zidane Roulette By Zinedine Zidane

The Zidane roulette is quite a spectacular move and a difficult one to execute. It’s not just a turn around a ball but a spin while holding the ball, making it difficult to maintain balance and incredible ball control.

This move was first used by Diego Maradona but Zinedine Zidane perfected it hence the name “Zidane roulette”. It’s a move in which he turns 360 degrees with the ball while maintaining excellent ball control.

The Ronaldo Chop By Cristiano Ronaldo

This movie was developed by Cristiano Ronaldo. To execute this move, use the inside of your left foot to cut the ball to the right, and the inside of your right foot to cut the ball to the left. The direction of the ball will change by almost 60 degrees allowing you to either cut inside from flanks or confuse defenders by leading them on in the wrong direction.

The Step Overs Of Ronaldo

Ronaldo played for the Brazil national team and came up with this famous trick. It typically involves circling your feet around the football in the direction you intend to trick defenders to believe you are going in. After making your planned number of stepovers, you can then knock the ball in the direction opposite the defenders.

Ronaldinho’s Elastico

Ronaldinho was not just one of the best players in football history, he’s also one of the few names that were fit to bag the title of greatest dribbler in the world during his active career. The elastic was his signature move. Performing it involves making two quick touches to the ball while keeping the ball close to your boot all the while.

Messi’s Body Feints

This subtle move by the Argentine star helps him beat defenders to the test and dribble past defenders. To perform this move, you have to feign motion in one direction and then quickly change direction. This move helps you dodge tackles and move past several defenders if executed properly.

Who Has Most Dribbles In Football?

Lionel Messi stands out as the single player with the highest number of dribble attempts in the football game. With about 1,880 dribbles to his credit, he has the most dribbles in world football since Opta began keeping the records back in 2006. Messi leads his closest rival on the list, Eden Hazard, with 660 dribbles.

Other players on the list of top dribblers include amazing talents like Franck Ribery, Sergio Aguero, Cristiano Ronaldo, Joaquin, Harry Ben Arfa, Andres Iniesta, Roberto Firmino, and Neymar. This list cannot be complete without Zinedine Zidane. He also had excellent ball control and dribbling skills.

These are all equally amazing football talents, and while most of these players belong to the current generation of footballers, Messi still sits in a class of his own. To bet on football you can visit the page sports online betting.


Many talented players in football history have had the uncanny ability to keep the ball next to themselves while dashing through the opposition’s defense. It’s a given that exceptional dribbling skills are not commonplace, but those possessed by Lionel Messi are just out of this world. You can read more information about popular games visit this page.

Related Posts

Log In
Sign Up
ℹ️ Password must be at least 8 characters long and include at least one uppercase letter, one lowercase letter, one number, and one special character.
I confirm that I am 18 years old or over and I agree with Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.