Europe’s top 10 dribblers of 2017-18: Hazard, Messi, Neymar, Zaha…
A former Manchester United winger finds himself among Barcelona and Chelsea stars as one of the most prolific dribblers in European football in 2017-18.
We’ve taken a look across Europe’s top five leagues to find the 10 players who complete the most dribbles per 90 minutes – with a minimum of 1,000 minutes played – and there are a few surprise names.
A big shout does go to Middlesbrough winger Adama Traore, who has averaged an incredible 9.9 successful dribbles per 90 in the Championship this term, which would put him way ahead at the top of this list.
10. Arthur Masuaku – 4.0
Aside from a spitting incident in West Ham’s FA Cup loss at Wigan which saw him banned for six matches, Masuaku has impressed supporters with his forward drive and dribbling ability from full-back.
The 24-year-old left-sider has registered three assists in the Premier League this term, while completing 83 successful dribbles.
9. Kingsley Coman – 4.2
The best dribbler in the Bundesliga is 21-year-old Coman, who incredibly picked up his sixth major league title this season, having lined up for PSG, Juventus and now Bayern in his short career.
He has amassed just 10 starts and 11 substitute appearances in the German top flight this season, but scored three and created three, while completing 54 successful dribbles at a rate of 4.2 per 90 minutes.
8. Wilfried Zaha – 4.2
Palace winger Zaha has earned rave reviews for his performances under Roy Hodgson, playing a significant role in their successful run to Premier League survival.
The 25-year-old has hit an impressive nine goals in the league this season, and has even been touted as the best Premier League player outside the top six.
7. Allan Saint-Maximin – 4.3
Nice winger Saint-Maximin won the club’s Young Player of the Year award in his first season at the club after a number of nomadic years.
He has lined up for Saint-Etienne and Monaco already despite only being 21 years of age, adding loan spells to Hannover and Bastia to his extended CV.
Across 30 Ligue 1 appearances this term he has averaged 4.3 successful dribbles per 90 minutes as he attracts interest from clubs in England and around Europe.
6. Sofiane Boufal – 4.5
Southampton winger Boufal scored one of the goals of the season against West Brom back in October when he took on a number of men and slotted the ball in the bottom corner.
But the Moroccan has been frozen out at St Mary’s since a dispute with new manager Mark Hughes, being left to train on his own and being quoted as wanting a move back to France.
5. Douglas Costa – 5.3
On loan at Juventus from Bayern Munich, Costa will join the Italian giants this summer for a previously agreed €46million.
He has managed just 18 starts this season as Massimiliano Allegri’s side won a fourth successive domestic double, and has been named in the final 23-man Brazil squad for this summer’s World Cup.
4. Lionel Messi – 5.6
Having lifted his fifth European Golden Shoe award, Messi’s worth to Barcelona was proved as his side lost for the first time this season while the Argentine sat out on the penultimate match of the season.
Messi has completed 5.6 dribbles per 90 minutes this season, more than any other La Liga player, while also scoring 34 goals and adding 12 assists.
3. Felipe Anderson – 6.0
Anderson has played just 1,152 minutes in Serie A this season, but the Lazio No.10 finds himself as the best dribbler in the Italian top flight.
The Brazilian has managed four goals and seven assists in nine starts in the league this season, netting 34 times in total since joining Lazio in 2013.
2. Eden Hazard – 6.1
In a season in which Hazard is considered to have been below his best, he has still managed the most successful dribbles per 90 minutes in the Premier League.
Hazard has scored 12 goals in Chelsea’s disappointing campaign, while registering an impressive 6.1 successful dribbles per 90 minutes, equating to an impressive 165 over the course of the season, failing only 35 times.
1. Neymar – 7.1
With 7.1 successful dribbles per 90 Ligue 1 minutes, Neymar is officially the best dribbler in Europe’s top five leagues.
The world’s most expensive footballer has torn up the French top flight in his debut season despite making just 20 appearances, with 19 goals and 13 assists as part of a deadly front line.
He fractured his metatarsal in February and hasn’t played since, though he has been named in Brazil’s final World Cup squad as he aims to be fit come mid-June.