CIES Football Observatory

n°252 - 26/02/2019


Best dribblers in the big-5: Messi ahead of Saint-Maximin

Issue number 252 of the CIES Football Observatory Weekly Post relies on OptaPro data to rank big-5 league footballers according to the number of domestic league minutes played per successful dribble over the last 365 days. Lionel Messi heads the rankings with a dribble achieved every 19.2 minutes, ahead of Allan Saint-Maximin (19.8) and Eden Hazard (21.0). The analysis only includes footballers who played at least 1,800 minutes (1,500 for current Bundesliga players).

Five players who grew up in France are in the top 8 positions: Allan Saint-Maximin, Naïm Sliti, Ousmane Dembélé, Marcus Thuram and Jeff Reine-Adelaide. The young English prodigy Jadon Sancho is the best-ranked player of those currently playing in the Bundesliga ahead of Ihlas Bebou and teammate Achraf Hakimi. Paulo Dybala heads the rankings for Serie A footballers ahead of Rodrigo de Paul and Federico Chiesa.

The Belgium and Chelsea striker Eden Hazard has the best success rate among players who attempted at least 100 dribbles during the period considered (73%). Three other players had a success rate of more than 70%: Naïm Sliti, Marcus Thuram and Éver Banega. At the opposite end of the table are Roberto Pereyra (43%), Fabián Orellana (44%) and Joshua King (also 44%). This unique tool exclusively developed by the CIES Football Observatory allows you to compare the technical profile of big-5 league footballers.

Lowest minutes per successful dribble in the big-5

Club(s) - % of successful dribbles - Domestic league matches between 18/02/2018 and 17/02/2019 - At least 1800 minutes played (1500 for current Bundesliga players)

Editors: Raffaele Poli, Roger Besson and Loïc Ravenel