In soccer, the dribbling skill was considered lethal if the right player used it. Sadly it has now become known as “showboating” thanks to players that use it unnecessarily. I think dribbling is what makes the game more exciting in situations where the tactical aspect stands out. The arguments are that dribbling is just used to show off superiority when a game is set or to upset your opponent. Without a doubt, there both good points but the use of a skill should not be questioned.

When I was growing up the dribbling skill was a joy to watch. It also gave you a point of reference as to how and when to use a specific move, but you had to have the natural ability if you wanted to execute them. I was lucky enough to see Ronaldo’s “step over”, Zidane’s “roulette” and the best of all Ronaldinho! He was the reason why dribbling became an art. Fans applauded him regardless of the team they supported, rivals idolized him regardless of how bad they got humiliated. Ronaldinho set a new standard in football and up to date, nobody is close to emulating him. If he brought joy, why criticize dribbling?The main player behind it is Neymar. The “golden boy” of Brazilian soccer had the natural dribbling talent and was backed up by legends like Romario or Ronaldo himself. His arrival at Barcelona was linked to Ronaldinho and what could become the second chapter in terms of skill shows and unopposed victories, in return all they got was extreme diving and unnecessary dribbles.


He uses dribbles only when the team is winning by a large margin of goals or against inferior teams. These two reasons are enough to make him a very disliked player even if he has legends that support his style. Do I like him? No, because he only shines if Messi is next to him and in the national team he feeds of Marcelo, Lucas Moura or Coutinho. I admit that he promised a lot when he was beginning at Santos. The constant use of dribbles in games that have no positive outcome in comparison to Ronaldinho or even Zidane are ridiculous. They managed to create goal chances and create spaces in areas of the field that had no flow, true talent and Youtube can prove it. Cristiano Ronaldo shares part of the blame as well because instead of perfecting the step over he used it to show off, something that’s not well received nowadays.

It’s not all lost for the art of dribbling though as midfield players have rescued this trait in recent years. Players like Xavi, Iniesta, Andrea Pirlo, Marco Verratti gave dribbling a tactical approach, making it more lethal than ever. In terms of Neymar, I honestly hope that he stops diving so much and starts playing. In the end, he has to know that he is the new hero to present and future generation of children that watch the sport.


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