Middlesbrough winger rated Europe's 'best dribbler', ahead of Hazard and Neymar

Jamie Spencer
90Min
Middlesbrough winger Adama Traore has surprisingly come out on top as the best dribbler in Europe's big five leagues this season in the latest fascinating study by the CIES Football Observatory. To take into account dribbling in both quantitative and qualitative perspectives, players have been ranked using a 'dribbling index' which the CIES report explains is 'calculated by dividing the number of dribbles attempted by the percentage of successful ones'. With 70% of his 194 attempts successful,...

Middlesbrough winger Adama Traore has surprisingly come out on top as the best dribbler in Europe's big five leagues this season in the latest fascinating study by the CIES Football Observatory.

To take into account dribbling in both quantitative and qualitative perspectives, players have been ranked using a 'dribbling index' which the CIES report explains is 'calculated by dividing the number of dribbles attempted by the percentage of successful ones'.


Swansea City v Middlesbrough - Premier League

With 70% of his 194 attempts successful, Traore has statistically been the best there is with the ball at his feet, even his end product has often been lacking for Boro.

In second place, Chelsea's Eden Hazard has completed 75% of his 169 attempted dribbles, the highest success rate of any player to have tried more than 100 this season.

Bastia youngster Allan Saint-Maximin has completed an impressive 64% of his 217 attempted dribbles, while Barcelona's Neymar has tried a continental-high 269 dribbles. Only just over half (53%) of the Brazilian's attempts have been successful, though.


FC Barcelona v Sevilla FC - La Liga

Another Premier League player in resurgent Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha round off the top five with a 53% success rate from 231 attempts. That puts the Ivory Coast international ahead of five-time Ballon d'Or winner and El Clásico hero Lionel Messi, no less.

English football is further represented in the top 10 by Mousa Dembele and Alexis Sanchez, while Amine Harit of Nantes is statistically the ninth best dribbler in Europe this season. In tenth, Lazio's Felipe Anderson is the highest ranked Serie A dribbler.

RB Leipzig's Naby Keita is the highest ranked Bundesliga dribbler in joint 20th place alongside Bournemouth loanee and England international Jack Wilshere.

CIES Football Observatory's Top 20 Dribblers in Europe's Top 5 Leagues (2016/17):

Player​ Attempted Dribbles​ % Successful​ Dribbling Index
​Adama Traore (Middlesbrough) 194​ 70%​ 100.0​
Eden Hazard​ (Chelsea) ​169 ​75% 99.7​
Allan Saint-Maximin ​(Bastia) ​217 64%​ 98.5​
Neymar (Barcelona)​ 269​ 53%​ 95.0​
Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace)​ 231​ 51%​ 89.9​
Lionel Messi (Barcelona)​ 176​ 57%​ 88.6​
Mousa Dembele (Totenham)​ 87​ 78%​ 87.2​
Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal)​ 140​ 61%​ 86.5​
​Amine Harit (Nantes) 122​ 64%​ 85.8​
Felipe Anderson (Lazio)​ 220​ 47%​ 85.5​
​Wylan Cyprien (Nice) ​63 ​87% ​84.9
​Manuel Lanzini (West Ham) 115​ 63%​ 83.6​
Ryad Boudebouz (Montpellier)​ 141​ 55%​ 82.6​
Oscar Trejo (Toulouse)​ 131​ 57%​ 82.5​
Marco Verratti (PSG)​ 57​ 86%​ 82.1​
Alejandro Gomez (Atalanta)​ 140​ 54%​ 81.6
​Michail Antonio (West Ham) ​139 54% 81.2​
Paul Pogba (Manchester United)​ 115​ ​59% ​81.1
​Yannis Salibur (Guingamp) ​102 63%​ 81.0​
Jack Wilshere (Bournemouth)​ 90​ 67%​ 80.9​
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