Football is one of the most entertaining sports in the world, and one of the most exciting aspects of the round-leather game is dribbling — which requires great skills, belief, confidence, and hard work.
For many football fans, there aren’t many better things to witness during a soccer match than a perfect dribble. Simply put, dribblers are a joy to watch when they are on the ball.
Sometimes, when the opposition defences sit very deep, the only way to break through is with some individual brilliance.
There are dribblers that are all about speed, those that are all about tricks, and the best of them are the ones who combine both to bamboozle defenders.
Although the likes of Lionel Messi, Neymar, Eden Hazard, Kingsley Coman, Riyad Mahrez, etc., have established themselves as the most exciting dribblers in the world of football, this list is about the best dribblers during the 2021/22 season.
This is why Messi et al. missed out.
Also, most dribblers lack end product, as is the case with most players on this list. That’s why they are not among the overall best players in the world.
1. Adama Traoré – (6.5 per 90)
Adama Traore has been one of the best dribblers in the world for the past couple of seasons.
He had 7 successful dribbles per 90 minutes in the first half of the campaign at Wolves and 5.7 per 90 in the second half of the campaign on loan at Barcelona. This means that at both clubs, Traore averaged around 6.5 dribbles per match in 2021/22.
He also had a dribble success ratio of over 70%, making him the best dribbler in the world.
Traore’s excellent physique — along with his blistering pace — makes him one of the most lethal attackers in the world.
His major flaw is his lack of end product.
2. Allan Saint-Maximin (4.9 per 90)
The kind of joy that Allan Saint-Maximin brings when he is on the ball is incredible, which is why he is one of the best dribblers in the world.
Despite playing in one of the toughest leagues in the world for a struggling Newcastle side, the Frenchman strike fear into opposition defenders with his mazy dribbles and direct runs.
Saint-Maximin has searing pace — which, combined with his dribbling skills — helps him beat defenders almost seamlessly. He has consistently been one of the best dribblers in the Premier League since his arrival.
He completed 150 successful dribbles last season, with a ratio of 4.9 dribbles per 90 min.
He is one of the most exciting attackers in the Premier League.
3. Kamaldeen Sulemana (4.8 per 90)
Ghanaian wonderkid Kamaldeen Sulemana is one of the youngsters lighting up the French Ligue 1.
The 4.8 dribbles he pulled off per 90 minutes last season was the highest in Ligue 1.
The Ghanaian exciting and dynamic winger is definitely one to watch out for at the World Cup later this year. He is currently one of the top young African football talents.
4. Samuel Chukwueze (4.5 per 90)
Full of pace, dribbling skills, and possessing a majestic left foot, Nigerian winger Samuel Chukwueze has regularly drawn comparisons with Arjen Robben.
He struggled with injuries last season but still managed to complete so many dribbles in the few matches he played.
Chukwueze’s dribbling stats rose consistently from January as he averaged 4.5 successful dribbles per 90 mins, which was best in the whole of La Liga.
5. Alphonso Davies (4.1 per 90)
Alphonso Davies may be a defender, but he is an absolute nightmare to opposition sides. The Canadian wing-back is a versatile, exciting, and flair-filled player.
At some point last season, he struggled to hit the same heights of previous campaigns but later recaptured the kind of form that made him a vital part of Bayern’s historic treble-winning team.
He averaged 4.1 dribbles per 90 minutes.
6. Ousmane Dembélé (3.8 per 90)
Ousmane Dembele is always a nightmare for opposition defences. Undoubtedly, one of the best wingers in the world, the Frenchman has also cemented his place among the top dribblers in football.
Last season was arguably his best at Barcelona. Looking as direct and dangerous with the ball at his feet as ever while finally adding consistent end products that have eluded him in previous years.
He had 11 assists in La Liga in 2022 — only Kylian Mbappe had more in Europe’s top five leagues this calendar year.
So good is Dembele that when his contract ran out this summer, many clubs jostled to sign him — with Barca eventually persuading him to commit to a new contract.
7. Jeremie Boga (3.7 per 90)
Ivory Coast international Jeremy Boga has long established himself as the undisputed dribble king in Serie A.
In 2021/22, he completed 3.7 successful dribbles per 90 minutes — more than any other player in the Italian top flight last season.
As a right-footed winger, Boga possesses the technical ability to control the ball in close range, and is very adept at driving into the final third with his pace.
8. Rafael Leao (3.6 per 90)
Slightly behind Boga is AC Milan’s Rafael Leao, whose dribbling abilities — along with his vision and creative skills — greatly benefited Milan on their way to the Serie A title win last season.
Leao completed 95 dribbles last season with a rate of 3.6 successful dribbles per 90 min — making him one of the best dribblers in the world right now.
The Portuguese forward is currently being sought-after by many of the top football clubs in Europe, because of his impressive performances.
9. Vinícius Júnior (3.3 per 90)
Vinicius Junior finally stepped his game up last season at Real Madrid, helping them win the La Liga, Supercopa Espana, and scoring the winning UEFA Champions League goal.
The Brazilian’s mesmerising pace, flair, and dribbling abilities make him a constant threat to opponents.
Vinicius completed over 100 successful dribbles last season with a ratio of 3.3 per 90 min.
10. Kylian Mbappé (3.0 per 90)
Mbappe is one of the best players in the world. He is an almost complete attacker who possesses almost everything despite his young age.
His dribbling mostly comes from his deadly pace, which he uses very effectively. The Frenchman is also a lethal goalscorer, which makes him one of the best strikers in the world.
He completed over 100 successful dribbles last season, with a ratio of 3.0 successful dribbles per 90 min.
Mbappe also scored the most goals and provided the most assists in Ligue 1 last season.
- Sofiane Boufal
- Lionel Messi
- Wilfried Zaha
- Mateo Kovacic