Greatest Dribbler of All Time

buchansleftleg

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Some people have mentioned people here that can run well with the ball, others have mentioned people that can do tricks and feints but to me that is not really dribbling.

For me the winner is Best...just watch his highlights and imagine that in most cases that ball is a sodden lump of soaking wet leather with all the bounce and consistency of a ball of concrete made by toddlers. Then look at how you can't predict whether each run will end in a pass, a cross, a rifled shot or a simple tap in. As Paddy Crerand said - defenders against him would suffer from "twisted blood"

That's the difference for me. Others wait until they got in optimum position to either cross or shoot once they have beaten the last man. Georgie could do anything at anytime and could hurt you in multiple ways. Probably only Garrincha and Ronaldinho had the same confidence in their dribbling ability to actively goad the defenders into trying to tackle them again, but they did not offer quite the same range of threat that Best did
 

Rozay

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Lionel Messi, although to be fair, he’s just the best at football.
 

B20

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You bumped a four year old thread for that comment?

Would not read again.
 

Rozay

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Messi. Not the best player ever, but best dribbler for sure
And passer and finisher and team-player/football IQ. Could be world class in about 8 positions on the pitch I suspect. Brilliant forward but also better at being Iniesta than Iniesta when he felt like it.
 

RedRonaldo

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Always prefer Maradona, he has combination of perfect flair, close control and explosiveness. But Best and Messi is just about same level in terms of effectiveness. All 3 of them are capable of dribbling past half of the team in one go. Although from footage I've watched, Best is probably the best dribbler - he adds an extra layer of unpredictability than the other 2, but with the same inch-perfect close control and body turn. Messi has least variety in his dribbling, but he is so good at what he is doing, that he could easily anticipate opponents movement and easily get past any challenge with combination of close control, quick feet and low centre of gravity of body movement.

L.Ronaldo is capable if dribbling past half the team in one go too, but he wasn't the same after his injuries, such a shame. Ronaldinho is most flashy one, with most beautiful tricks, but his execution wasn't just as deadly.

1. Best
2. Maradona
3. Messi
4. L.Ronaldo
5. Ronaldinho
 
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Skills

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It's Messi. That version of him from 2008-12 was a fecking nightmare for anyone, because he coupled his athletic peak alongside the start of him being an amazing passer & incredible shooter/finisher.

It must have been a nightmare, because he could do anything.
 

flameinthesun

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Not the greatest by a mile, more of a favourite of mine. I think in terms of close dribbling Nani was better than Ronaldo and probably the best close dribbler we have had under sir alex....
 

Red the Bear

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For me it's Maradona, Don't know how much of it is rose tinted glasses doing their job but I always felt that at his very best no one ever came close.
His 1986 performance is still the best by leaps and bounds even.
Messi comes second.
 

spaceboyRSA

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And passer and finisher and team-player/football IQ. Could be world class in about 8 positions on the pitch I suspect. Brilliant forward but also better at being Iniesta than Iniesta when he felt like it.
Would you say you’re a fan?
 

Stacks

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And passer and finisher and team-player/football IQ. Could be world class in about 8 positions on the pitch I suspect. Brilliant forward but also better at being Iniesta than Iniesta when he felt like it.
its strange because from what I remember of Ronaldinho he was outstanding at all of these also. still think Ronaldinho is the best dribbler.
 

Gehrman

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Messi in his peak dribling prime year he on average beat 9 players pr Match. Hard to leave out Best, Garrincha and Maradonna though.
 

Gehrman

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its strange because from what I remember of Ronaldinho he was outstanding at all of these also. still think Ronaldinho is the best dribbler.
He certainly had the best flair.
 

Red the Bear

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Well I've got some stats and it seems Maradona's world cup dribbling exploits were indeed legendary (as suspected).
He helds the record for most dribbles in a single edition and fittingly held the all time dribbling record of all time before being eclipsed by Messi in the last edition (who i reckon has played more games).
He was also the most fouled player a record which he still holds so considering how lax they were in those times its fair to say that he was without peers in that area of the game.
 

Maluco

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Not the greatest by a mile, more of a favourite of mine. I think in terms of close dribbling Nani was better than Ronaldo and probably the best close dribbler we have had under sir alex....
Surely doing a disservice to Giggs there? His speed and control was great to watch in his early days. And he was so good with the ball, he was playing midfield in his late 30s at the very top level.
 

tomaldinho1

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Between Ronaldinho and Maradona for me - both had all the tricks but with such power/explosive pace
 

Bobski

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Surely doing a disservice to Giggs there? His speed and control was great to watch in his early days. And he was so good with the ball, he was playing midfield in his late 30s at the very top level.
And still sitting guys on their backsides with a body swerve at 40.

Giggs the player is atrociously underrated now.
 

Gehrman

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On the flipside, you can't take on defenses in the modern game like they did in the past. The tactics played were completely different, defenses nowadays are better organized and offer attackers less space to dribble into. All those guys you see in Best, Pele, Garrincha videos are also very quick to go into tackles which is what dribblers love. You don't want these defenders who stay on their feed and track you in order to slow you down and get a second or third guy to corner you. You rarely saw this in the early stages of football where every defender flew into tackles trying to steal the ball immediately.

It all evens out, somehow. Messi would've been a completely different player adjusted to the conditions in the 50's to 70's just like Best, Garrincha or Pele would profit from modern conditions and cope better with the higher physical, tactical and technical demands.
Agree with this. I was a fairly good dribbler and there is nothing you want more than a defender to lunge at you and skip past him rather than than a defender who stays on his feet.
 

Matt007a

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Messi is probably the best ever. Certainly the most efficient dribbler there has ever been.

I’d rather watch R9 or Ronaldinho though. Their dribbling was more about tricks and flair and in R9s case explosive speed.
 

flameinthesun

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Surely doing a disservice to Giggs there? His speed and control was great to watch in his early days. And he was so good with the ball, he was playing midfield in his late 30s at the very top level.
I reckon Nani is a better close dribbler than Giggs. I should clarify that close dribbler was probably the wrong choice, I mean from a standing start one on one, rather than dribbling at speed whilst flying down the wing. I think Giggs and Ronaldo have him beat on that, but put pretty much any defender against nani in the corner, both at a stop, his feet were ridiculously quick.
 

Frank Grimes

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Maradona for me. Stylistically I prefer his style to Messi's, not as frantic. They would be my one and two.
I also thought Zidane was a beautiful dribbler, such elegance. His use of the stepover was perfect, never just for show but for effect. Also it's a lot harder to dribble when you are not a shortarse.
 

Mainoldo

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Robben
Maradona
Messi
Ben Arfa
Giggs

No particular order as I couldn’t decided. Hands down say I don’t think Messi is the best though.
 

Avero

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Messi most effective, Ronaldinho most enjoyable to watch
 

Bobski

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Robben
Maradona
Messi
Ben Arfa
Giggs

No particular order as I couldn’t decided. Hands down say I don’t think Messi is the best though.
I wonder who would be considered the best primarily right footed dribbler of all time, guys like Ronaldinho, Zidane from the modern era though very different styles than the lefties. George Best of course but he was so 2 footed it would almost be an insulting question to him.