Who is the best dribbler in football history?

10 of the greatest dribblers ever

Football is arguably the only sport that allows spectators to see beautiful things. No other game can match the level of beauty and pure genius that this one offers. It is so beyond the pale of human comprehension that it seems to have materialized out of thin air.

Of course, a Roger Federer forehand or a Michael Jordan dunk come close.

Just watching a player stroll past three or four helpless defenders is all it takes to fall in love with this magnificent game. And only a select few football players worldwide have mastered the skill of dribbling. Here is a list of the top 10 footballers in history, in no particular order: 

  1. Roberto Baggio

The image of “the divine ponytail” standing with his head hung as Brazil celebrated their first World Cup in more than 20 years is most often linked with the name Roberto Baggio. His legacy as a showman, though, should have had a better conclusion.

He is regarded as one of the best players of his generation and among the greatest Italian players ever. Baggio is recognized for his charisma on the ball and has one Ballon d’Or and one FIFA World Player of the Year title to show for his accomplishments.

Baggio was an anomaly in Italian football, which is typically thought of as a defensive game. He was a performer who occasionally dazzled the audience with his excellent control and precise touches. One of the best dribblers in the game, he was able to outsmart opponents with his flare, quickness, body feints, and rapid changes in acceleration.

  1. Pele

Even though he is regarded as one of the best players of all time, one of his abilities has never received the respect it deserves. The very term Pele conjures up images of a flawless goal-scoring machine. Few people are aware of his ability to breach defenses, though.

We have celebrated his legacy and seen his incredible goal-scoring prowess. But we haven’t really discussed his dribbling abilities much. One of football’s biggest tragedies is that there are so few videos of the legendary Brazilian player. Even the few videos, though, show how exceptional Pele’s dribbling skills were.

The ball constantly appeared to be anchored to his feet. Pele had superb ball control and could even maneuver himself out of awkward situations. He would keep control of the ball while surrounded by defenders in the 18-yard box and still manage to score.

  1. Rivellino

Three World Cups were won by Brazil thanks to the mustachioed trickster Roberto Rivellino. He was renowned for his vision, long-range passing accuracy, bending free kicks, long-range shooting, and of course, his dribbling abilities. One of the most graceful football players ever is another way to describe him.

Rivellino’s invention of the “flip-flap” or “elastico,” which was famously imitated by players like Romario, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, and Cristiano Ronaldo among others, is what will be remembered about him. The Brazilian, who is credited as its fair-filled creator, said that he had only improved the maneuver after watching a former teammate use it.

Rivellino, in any case, was a player who delighted in and lived torturing the opposition. Even Diego Maradona cited the former Corinthians star as one of his childhood idols because of his exceptional left foot tight control.

  1. George Best

Many consider George Best, a former player for Manchester United, to be one of the all-time greats. He excelled on the football pitch. He spent four seasons at United, scoring 179 goals in 470 games to lead the team in goals scored.

He was not just a prolific goal scorer, but also an excellent dribbler. Some people even rank him among the all-time great dribblers. Best played predominantly on the right flank and had an unrivaled ability to defeat defenders with ease while combining speed, balance, technique, feints, and two-footedness. He was equally skilled with both feet, but he primarily used his right foot to cut off the opposition’s defenders. The best player made use of both the inside and outside of the foot to change direction rapidly, avoid tackles, and open up space for a shot or a pass.

In Belfast, there is a proverb that reads, “Pele good, Maradona better, George Best.” And he was the best, plain and simple.

  1. Johan Cruyff

One of the cornerstones of the Holland national team that provided us with complete football in the early 1970s was Johan Cruyff. Although primarily a center-forward, Cruyff consistently produced on all fronts as his national team’s new style of play needed more of every player. Many even thought of him as Pele’s natural successor. Cruyff had a remarkable talent for seeing the defense’s weak points. When he noticed the opening, he would abruptly accelerate and move for the penalty spot. He was such a terrific dribbler that his signature move, the “Cruyff turn,” was dubbed in his honor.

He stood out from the competition because it was unheard of for a center forward in those days to drop deep or drift wide. He was the total deal thanks to his amazing poise, perfect balance, outstanding ball control, and an amazing burst of speed.

  1. Ronaldo Nazario

Most people agree that Ronaldo Nazario, sometimes known as El Fenomeno, is the best center forward to ever play the game. Like Pele, he was renowned for his ability to score goals and his precise finishing, but the Brazilian hitman was a unique breed.

He was the total package since he could score, create, and outwit his adversary at will. He was frequently observed making breath-taking solo runs and eventually putting the ball past the goalie easily. Ronaldo effectively used his signature step-overs.

He might have been the best player ever if it weren’t for the injuries. He might have left behind an even greater legacy than he already has. Nothing could have stopped him at his peak, and his three FIFA World Player of the Year titles are proof of his greatness.

  1. Diego Maradona

Diego Maradona’s career was founded on brilliance, a willingness to cross lines, and, of course, spectacular excess. Maradona was one of the few people to use the World Cup as a stage to captivate the entire world.

He cemented his legacy in 1986 by turning probably the most spectacular World Cup performance ever, single-handedly guiding an otherwise ordinary Argentine team to victory. Controversial? Of course. Nevertheless, he was adored and cherished for his erratic skill.

The Argentine has elements of a prince and an urchin. He used his low center of gravity to great use, which made him one of the best dribblers in football. He was squat, impudent, and omnipotent. It was hard to knock Maradona off the ball due to his impeccable control.

He dribbled past four English outfield players and the custodian to score one of the greatest individual goals in history, which was eventually chosen as The Goal of the Century.

  1. Ronaldinho

Ronaldinho made a name for himself by putting on a number of incredible performances for the Brazilian national team, which helped them win the 2002 World Cup. Then, in 2003, Barcelona outbid Manchester United to acquire his services, and the rest is history, as they say.

The ‘age of Ronaldinho’ had officially begun. He dominated world football for the following four years like no other player. He exuded such an aura of majesty. Everything he did, from his cunning feints to his abrupt shift in speed, was done with a smile on his face.

He was praised for his technical proficiency and originality and was regarded by many as one of football’s most skilled players. He might have even been considered the greatest player of all time if only his prime had lasted longer. But if anything, watching him play football was always enjoyable.

  1. Lionel Messi

There will always be someone who will make all of the tactical perfection used by supporters of modern football to neutralize the “threats” appear futile. And Lionel Messi stands out in that category more gracefully than anyone else in this generation.

When the left-handed magician first appeared on the scene in 2004, he rapidly made a name for himself as one of the top performers of the day. Like his predecessor Diego Maradona, Messi is short and has a low center of gravity, which enhances his mobility.

He is renowned for his quick direction changes and tackle evasion skills while running incredibly fast past the opposing defenders. Messi is regarded as the world’s best dribbler and possesses unmatched skills.

  1. Garrincha

He was dubbed “The King of Dribble” by his contemporaries.

This player is recognized for his exquisite dribbling, unlike other football superstars who are remembered for the goals they have scored. He goes by the name of Garrincha and is recognized as the best football dribbler of all time. Unthinkable was his connection to football. On a football pitch, he was capable of feats that no one else ever has or will. When he was on task, he exuded a sense of self-assurance. According to some, Garrincha made the ball at his feet communicate.

He would humiliate and demoralize his opponents in addition to defeating them handily. He would repeatedly outfox his opposition using sudden acceleration and a variety of body feints. His capacity for amusement in making other players look foolish earned him the nickname Alegria do Povo (people’s joy).

Best Dribbler in Football FAQs

1) Who was the best football dribbler ever?


He was dubbed “The King of Dribble” by his contemporaries. This player is recognized for his exquisite dribbling, unlike other football superstars who are remembered for the goals they have scored. He goes by the name of Garrincha and is recognized as the best football dribbler of all time.

2) Messi or Maradona: who has greater dribbling skills?

For numerous reasons, Maradona is at the top of our list of all-time great dribblers. Maradona was the master of dribbling, while Messi is getting closer and closer to reaching the same heights as his Argentinian predecessor. In his “Gambetta” dribbling style, he would exploit his body position to deceive defenders into moving in the incorrect direction.

3) Who is the greatest football skiller of all time?

Pele. Pele is not only considered one of the sport’s greatest players but also the player with the highest level of skill in the entire globe.

4) Messi or Neymar, who dribbles more?

Messi’s numbers are 5.62 of 7.76 (72.4%) and Neymar’s are 6.13 of 10.09 (much behind on 60.8%), while the bulldozing Spaniard has completed 6.25 of 8.43 dribbling attempts per 90 (74.2%). The Brazilian’s success rate is actually lower than the 165 players studied as a whole (62.1%).


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