Best dribbler in Europe, Neymar Jr receives praise from former coaches Dunga and Lima
Dribbling is one of the main ways Neymar Jr has to overcome his opponents. The striker is off the pitch treating the fifth metatarsal on his right foot, however, he still holds the lead in the top leagues of European football when it comes to dribbling per game. Dunga and Lima, two former players and Neymar Jr´s coaches in different periods of the career, spoke exclusively about the athlete´s creativity and why it is so difficult to stop him.
The striker playing for Paris Saint Germain is the first on the list in this regard, according to a survey performed by the website "WhoScored.com", specialized in football statistics. The data includes players from the Premiere League (Ingalterra), Ligue 1 (France), Bundesliga (Germany), Serie A (Italy) and Spanish League (Spain).
In the 2019 season, Neymar Jr played during 13 French league games, a total of 1129 minutes - not counting Champions League and the National Cups. There are 4.8 dribs per game.
In an interview to the site [www.neymarjr10.com] about the player's 10-year career anniversary, the former Brazilian coach Dunga joked with the situation. "I use to talk a lot about Neymar and commented that he has ABS [braking system that prevents the wheels from locking and slipping], he dribbles to the left, to the right, accelerates, brakes. It's very difficult to do", he says.
In addition to coaching, Dunga was Brazil´s captain in the four-time world championship win in 1994, in the United States. Inside the field, he has always been known for his firm style in marking his opponents. During the chat he was asked what he would do if he faced Neymar Jr 1 on 1. The answer came with a funny metaphor. "In a One on One situation, one of us will have to die", said the coach who lived with Neymar Jr on the National Team between 2014 and 2016.
Former player Lima, who was Pelé's teammate in the Santos FC gold team that charmed the world in the 1960s, recalled a passage he had with the player when he commanded Santos´ youth teams. "I told him at that time: 'the kind of dribble you have, if you go one on one against anyone, you win them all. If you face anyone ten times one on one, you will win nine, because when he turns to stop you, you are already inside the goal with your speed".
Lima also said that before an official youth match, he asked if Neymar remembered a conversation they had about the opponents' defense players and that in the second game they would hunt him down. "He answered, 'Today, they won´t even find me'. And I added saying that I hoped he would do just that, otherwise he would not touch the ball because they will beat him the whole game. He finished the game and we won them 4 to 1 and he scored two goals", Lima recalled.
The biggest dribblers of the European season:
1 - Neymar (Brazil) - Paris Saint-Germain / France - 4,8
2 - Hatem Ben Arfa (France) - Rennes / France - 4
3 - Allan Saint-Maximim (France) - Nice / France - 4.3
4 - Sofiane Boufal (Franco-Moroccan) - Celta de Vigo (Spain) - 4,1
5 - Lionel Messi (Argentina) - Barcelona / Spain - 3,8