Top 10 Football Players With The Best Ball Control (2023)

khvicha kvaratskhelia footballers with the best ball control CASTEL DI SANGRO, ITALY - AUGUST 02: Khvicha Kvaratskhelia of SSC Napoli in action during Pre-season Friendly match between SSC Napoli and Girona Futbol Club at Stadio Teofilo Patini on August 2, 2023 in Castel di Sangro, Italy.
(Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images)

Ball control is one of the best first basic and yet most important football techniques and skills that are taken seriously and taught to youngsters.

A good ball control is one of the key attributes that teams and coaches look for in a player; it’s not even about being an outfield player; strikers, midfielders, defenders, and even goalkeepers now are needed to be good with their feet to receive passes and have the ball under their control for the next line of action.

Sometimes ball control can make or mar a move and attack; lack of control can lead to loss of possession lost, loss of goal-scoring opportunities, and more.

Simple ball control can lead to several other greater things like dribbling, assists, and even goal-scoring. Some of the best footballers with the best ball control in past include the likes of Dmitri Berbatov, Dennis Bergkamp, Ronaldinho, and Zinedine. However, who are football players with the best ball control right now.

In this article, we will take a look at the top 10 players in world football now that have the best ball control.

1. Riyad Mahrez

Riyad Mahrez football players with the best first touch MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 22: Riyad Mahrez of Manchester City controls the ball during the Carabao Cup Fourth Round match between Manchester City and Liverpool at Etihad Stadium on December 22, 2022 in Manchester, England.
(Photo by Tom Flathers/Manchester City FC via Getty Images)

Ball control, first touch, speed, pace, dribble, and goals, Riyad Mahrez packs them all.

The African winger’s ball control is considered to be one of the best in the world, and his shoes seemingly have magnetic control over the ball, as it never escapes even a yard away from his feet.

His insane ball control also helps his dribbling, crossing and playmaking. The left-footed winger is also said to be the player with the best first touch in football.

The 32-year-old may have moved to the Saudi league with Al Ahli, but his contributions to Manchester City’s success as a team are never in doubt.

Before Manchester City, he helped Leicester City win the 2016 Premier League, and for all the skills, the Algerian said he learned them from the streets: “When you have this skill, it is easier. It is about technique, control, dribbling, and I just learned this playing street football.”

2. Marcelo

Marcelo Viera football players with the best first touch RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JUNE 27: Marcelo of Fluminense controls the ball during a Copa CONMEBOL Libertadores 2023 Group D match between Fluminense and Sporting Cristal at Maracana Stadium on June 27, 2023 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
(Photo by Wagner Meier/Getty Images)

It is definitely a safe bet to say that no defender has the quality of ball control that Brazilian left-back Marcelo possesses.

He possesses an exceptional ability to control the ball with his feet, exhibiting a mesmerizing display of agility and precision despite his age.

Marcelo is often regarded as one of the greatest left-back of all time, and ironically, that tag is not mainly due to his defensive capabilities but rather his offensive quality, technical skills, and trickery.

He is Real Madrid’s most decorated player of all time, with 25 trophies to his name, and one of Brazil’s most decorated defenders.

3. Neymar Jnr.

Neymar football players with the best ball control BUSAN, SOUTH KOREA - AUGUST 03: Neymar Jr of Paris Saint-Germain celebrates with after scoring the team's second goal during the preseason friendly between Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors and Paris Saint-Germain at Busan Asiad Stadium on August 03, 2023 in Busan, South Korea.
(Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Paris Saint-Germain Football/PSG via Getty Images)

Neymar is one of Brazil’s most popular players in recent years and is popular because of his initially precocious talents as an attacking player, which includes dribbling, trickery, goal-scoring abilities, and his ball control and first touch.

With his exceptional touch and finesse, Neymar often showcases an extraordinary display of ball control, which leaves the crowd in a state of amazement.

For a player like himself, it is not difficult to keep the ball at his feet and control the ball. He has once controlled a ball dropped from a height of 35m without any mistake.

He has a special rabona ball control that is very impressive.

Apart from being one the footballers with the best ball control, Neymar is also an amazing playmaker and goalscorer. He also has one of the best vision in football.

4. Phil Foden

Phil Foden footballers with the best first touch TOKYO, JAPAN - JULY 26: Phil Foden of Manchester City controls the ball during the preseason friendly match between Manchester City and Bayern Muenchen at National Stadium on July 26, 2023 in Tokyo, Japan.
(Photo by Lexy Ilsley – Manchester City/Manchester City FC via Getty Images)

Phil Foden is a youngster who has almost completed football save for a Euro Championship trophy and a FIFA World Cup.

The English midfielder has one day had a Premier League and every couple to Manchester City and has helped England reach the Euro finals previously.

The player’s remarkable control over the ball was a sight to behold, as he easily weaves his way through the opposition’s defense with astonishing ease.

Phil Foden is often seen confidently showing off his ball control skills on social media, alongside his Manchester City and England teammates, including juggling, which they say helps improve ball control.

5. Vinicius Jnr.

Vinicius Jr football players with the best ball control ORLANDO, FL - AUGUST 02: Real Madrid forward Vinicius Jose Paixao attacks with the ball in a breakaway in the first half during the Soccer Champions Tour match between Juventus and Real Madrid on Wednesday, August 2, 2023, at Camping World Stadium, Orlando, Fla.
(Photo by Peter Joneleit/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

It is very hard to see a Brazilian player who does not know how to control the ball or show some skills; Vinicius Junior doesn’t fall into the category of that kind of player.

The diminutive winger is one of the footballers with the best control in the world. He can control the ball perfectly with any part of his body and use it to deadly effect.

Although it all didn’t come together for him in his first few seasons at Real Madrid, his talent has always been there for all to see.

Now, it is no surprise that the youngster is among the new kids on the block as Real Madrid continues to rebuild their Galacticos which now includes Jude Bellingham, Aurelien Tchouameni, Eduardo Camavinga, Arda GĂĽler amongst others.

Today, you can bring a list of the best wingers in the world without mentioning Vinicius Jnr.

6. Khvicha Kvaratskhelia

khvicha kvaratskhelia footballers with the best ball control CASTEL DI SANGRO, ITALY - AUGUST 02: Khvicha Kvaratskhelia of SSC Napoli in action during Pre-season Friendly match between SSC Napoli and Girona Futbol Club at Stadio Teofilo Patini on August 2, 2023 in Castel di Sangro, Italy.
(Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images)

It is way easier to control a ball than to try and pronounce Kvicha Kvaratskhelia as a non-Georgian.

Kvicha’s direct playing style is often described as a throwback to the classic wingers of old, as he uses his pace and dribbling skills to breeze past defenders and create scoring opportunities for his teammates

However, he is also known for his impeccable ball control, which allows him to maintain possession of the ball even in tight spaces.

The Georgian pushed Napoli to the Scudetto title last season alongside Nigerian striker Victor Osimhen.

Kvaratsheklia has only spent a season in a mainstream European league, but he has managed to show what he is made of with skills, passing, and technical abilities. 12 goals and ten assists in 34 Serie A matches don’t disagree.

7. Kaoru Mitoma

Kaoru Mitoma best ball control HARRISON, NEW JERSEY - JULY 28: Kaoru Mitoma #22 of Brighton & Hove Albion in action during the Premier League Summer Series match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Newcastle United at Red Bull Arena on July 28, 2023 in Harrison, New Jersey.
(Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images for Premier League)

Kaoru Mitoma is a dynamic winger who possesses incredible speed and agility, which he uses to great effect while charging up and down the right flank.

In addition, he has the innate to tame long balls with his deft touches and excellent ball control.

Although he has barely spent a season in the world’s biggest football league, the Premier League, but he’s already shown not just technical ability but also translated academic and theoretical insight into football into practical. He is said to be one of the top dribblers in football at the moment.

So confident in his abilities, Mitoma did a thesis on dribbling, and his findings could help understand why he’s comfortable with ball control.

“I learned that the good players weren’t looking at the ball. They would look ahead and trap the ball without looking down at their feet. That was the difference.”

We are taking notes, Kaoru, we are taking notes.

8. Kingsley Coman

Kingsley Coman Football Players With The Best Ball Control TOKYO, JAPAN - JULY 29: Kingsley Koman of Bayern Muenchen in action during the pre-season friendly match between Kawasaki Frontal and Bayern Muenchen at National Stadium on July 29, 2023 in Tokyo, Japan.
(Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images)

It does definitely feels like a cheat code if a football player is well-built like Kingsley Coman, who, besides having magnificent ball control, has immense pace, trickery, and shooting abilities to accompany it.

The Frenchman’s impeccable ball control is a testament to his remarkable skill and technique, as he often showcases a dazzling array of dribbling moves.

It is either there is a glitch in the matrix, or Kingsley Coman has something going on for him as he has never failed to win a league title or a trophy since the 2011/2012 season up until the most recent 2022/2023 season, winning titles in France, Italy, and Germany.

9. Antony 

Antony footballers with the Best ball control LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JULY 30: Antony of Manchester United during the pre-season friendly match between Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund at Allegiant Stadium on July 30, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
(Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images)

Another Brazilian on the list, perhaps the biggest showboater amongst them but ironically the least productive of them all.

Antony possesses a bag of skills and astounding level of ball control.

If these skills had been working well to give Antony more productivity in the Dutch league with Ajax, it has definitely not yielded the same results with Manchester United in the Premier League.

The Brazilian forward played at the last World Cup with the national team, but as the new 2023/2024 season approaches, it’s most likely possible that Erik Ten Hag will ask the Manchester United forward to tone down his excessive skills for much more direct football but definitely not the ball control skills.

10. Kylian Mbappé

Kylian Mbappé best French soccer players
(Photo by Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Kylian Mbappé did not become one of the best soccer players in the world with mediocre ball control.

The forward is capable of controlling the ball in difficult situations with his superb first touch and skillset.

At 24, Kylian Mbappe remains one of the biggest contenders to take the baton of the world’s best footballer from the duo of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

It’s already evident in the kind of deal and contractual agreement he has with PSG, which, unfortunately, has put him in a dilemma and drama with the French Club..

It’s no surprise that Saudi club sides are ready to spend around €300 million to bring him to the Middle East, although Real Madrid is hoping that he will join the team on a free transfer in 2024.

Nevertheless, the transfer and the contractual saga of Kylian Mbappe with PSG is a result of the immense talent of the 24-year-old, which no true big curbside would want to miss out on.

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