Five of the best: Showboating footballers

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Every football fan loves to see a player beat his man with a neat piece of skill, but there are some talented footballers that can rile up opponents and fans alike with their humiliating dribbles.

Here is our list of five players that divide opinion like few others with their showboating antics.

Nani | Manchester United

Timewasting is painful to watch, and few Arsenal fans will have forgotten Nani’s ‘seal dribble’ in the latter stages of their 4-0 defeat at Old Trafford back in 2008.

The Portuguese winger is a thrilling talent who can beat defenders at will with his quick feet and mesmerising step-overs. But like Cristiano Ronaldo in his teenage years, the 26-year-old is a notorious showman that can also annoy fans with needless tricks and feints when a simple pass could be more effective.

Similar to most of the players in this list, Nani is a flashy player whose 

confidence and form is key to his impact on games.

Adel Taarabt | Queens Park Rangers

The Moroccan sensation can appear to lack enthusiasm from time to time, but when he is in the mood there is no denying his immense talent.

When he is playing well, the mercurial 23-year-old is almost impossible to mark - effortlessly dazzling both supporters and defenders with a plethora of erratic flicks and tricks.

Unpredictability is both the greatest strength and most significant weakness of the Morocco international. Depending on the mindset of the former Tottenham man, his outrageous moves are not always successful and can be either incredible or infuriating to watch.

It is a shame the two-footed QPR man is so moody, because when on song he is one of the most exciting players in the world.

Cristiano Ronaldo | Real Madrid

Although more mature and sensible in his decision making these days, we can all remember Cristiano Ronaldo bursting down the wing with a barrage of useless step-overs in his younger days.

The former Manchester United winger often frustrated his own supporters with his tendency to dribble into traffic rather than passing to a team-mate in space.

But his talent was obvious as a teenager at Sporting Lisbon and the Portuguese superstar has developed into the complete attacking weapon as many predicted.

Neymar | Santos

The glitzy Brazilian has the world at his skilful feet. At only 21-years-old, the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City, Real Madrid and Barcelona are already vying for his signature.

As the above video suggests, defenders are intimidated by the typical South American swagger of the Brazilian and combined and his astonishing dribbling ability, they have every reason to be frightened.

Neymar is one very confident young man on the pitch and he is not afraid to taunt his marker with ostentatious ball juggling, repetitive body feints or even simply standing still in possession.

Some claim the slight build of the Santos megastar will prevent him from succeeding outside Brazil, but there are countless videos on YouTube that suggest he certainly possesses the ball control and skill required to play for any top club.

Ronaldinho | Atlético Mineiro

I mentioned earlier in this article that the players in this list have just as many critics as fans, but Ronaldinho is an exception.

One of the most popular players of all-time, any football fan will agree that the Atlético Mineiro star was a pleasure to watch in his pomp.

Unlike the other four mentioned in this list, most of the former Barcelona man’s graceful skills were executed with purpose and conviction. The legendary Brazilian could manipulate the ball beautifully and lure defenders in before blazing away in a flash.

The former FIFA World Player of the Year has left many opponents red-faced throughout his career, but his pure love for the game has earned him the immense respect in world football and possibly forgiveness for his humbling skill moves.

Although not the unplayable force he once was, the 33-year-old is still smiling on the football pitch at Atlético Minerio, and it will be a great shame when he eventually hangs up his boots.

Do you think showboating while 1-0 up in stoppage time is acceptable? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

Follow me on Twitter: @LukeKarlik


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Cristiano Ronaldo
Luis Nani
Adel Taarabt

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