Hazard, Ronaldo, Giggs: Who is the best dribbler in Premier League history?

Who is the best dribbler in Premier League history?

It can be quite difficult to determine who’s the best at taking the ball around an opponent.

Dribbling statistics aren’t quite readily available – or reliable – than goalscoring or assist stats.

So a lot of it is based on the eye test. How good does a player look when dribbling with the ball?

It can be very much based on opinion and FourFourTwo have given it a go at ranking the best 15 dribblers to have played in the Premier League.

It will no doubt cause plenty of debate but there are some legendary names in the list.

Let’s check it out:

15. Jay-Jay Okocha

What a joy Okocha was to watch. If he’s willing to produce a rainbow flick in a Premier League match, then he fully deserves his place.

14. Hatem Ben Arfa

Remember Ben Arfa’s goal for Newcastle against Bolton where he ran from inside his own half, beating numerous players before finishing? Well, that’s what the Frenchman was capable of.

13. Dimitri Payet

Another Frenchman comes next in the form of West Ham’s Payet. He may have been more renowned for his free-kicks but Payet also showed his incredible dribbling ability during his 18 months in west London.

12. Juninho

Juninho had that Brazilian samba magic and used his diminutive stature to nimbly weave in and out of players.

11. Matt Le Tissier

For someone who had absolutely no pace, Le Tissier could beat people for fun. 

Even Barcelona legend, Xavi, sat up and recognised his dribbling talents. 

“He could simply dribble past seven or eight players but without speed – he just walked past them,” Xavi said.

10. John Barnes

Barnes was probably at the peak of his powers before the Premier League era but he did play seven years in the newly formed league. The Englishman was poetry in motion with his wand of a left foot.

9. Riyad Mahrez

Talking of a left foot like a wand. Mahrez has wowed us for many years now. Defending him must be an absolute nightmare as he’s constantly checking back, dummying to shoot and has the ability to use either foot. 

8. Gianfranco Zola

He may have been small but Zola could dance through defenders easily. Just ask Jamie Carragher…

7. Chris Waddle

Another left-footed wizard capable of making a right-back look stupid with a simple stopover.

6. Thierry Henry

Possibly the greatest Premier League player of all time but only the sixth-best dribbler. The Arsenal legend’s goals against Tottenham and Liverpool at Highbury spring to mind.

5. David Ginola

Ginola’s feet were a joke and watching him in full flow – with his beautiful hair bouncing around – was just iconic.

4. Steve McManaman

McManaman had a similar dribbling technique to Ginola – and we’re not just talking about his hair. The former Liverpool man was direct and could go either way, making him very difficult to defend.

3. Cristiano Ronaldo

Ronaldo is one of the greatest players of all time but dribbling perhaps isn’t his best attribute – especially in recent years. But when he was a tricky winger at Manchester United, the Portuguese was impossible to defend.  

2. Ryan Giggs

How can a player so one-footed be such a good dribbler? Giggs was an absolute master and his first thought was to run at the right-back. More often than not, he beat them with his incredible pace and skill. 

1. Eden Hazard

Hazard has been named as the greatest dribbler in Premier League history. The Chelsea hero’s low centre of gravity, his quick change of direction, his two-footedness, his large derriere, Hazard was just so good on the ball and is a worthy winner.

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