Football is a lot bigger than scoring and defending. It is a game of skill, finesse, and valor. It is a sport of passing-masters and ball-carriers, a game that rewards the brave.
Real Madrid, the most prestigious club in the world, have been fortunate enough to field many world-class footballers over the years. Some of them have not only influenced the game with passes and goals but also their unmatched dribbling skills.
Here, we will take a look at five Real Madrid players of the century who have been rather difficult to handle for defenders. Now, without further ado, let us check out Real Madrid’s top five dribblers of the 21st century.
Special mentions: Marcelo, Angel Di Maria, Arjen Robben
#5 Karim Benzema
Until Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure in 2018, Karim Benzema did not get the chance to claim the spotlight at Real Madrid. Now, three years since Ronaldo’s absence at the Bernabeu, Benzema is being backed to win his first Ballon d’Or.
Benzema joined Real Madrid in the summer of 2009, alongside the likes of Ronaldo, Kaka, and Xabi Alonso. 12 years later, it is only the former Lyon man who remains in the Spanish capital.
Benzema has endured quite a few rough patches over the course of his illustrious Real Madrid career, but his dribbling has always been impressive. He is not very quick, to be honest, but the close control he possesses makes all the difference.
Benzema famously dribbled past Atletico Madrid’s staunch backline in the second leg of the 2016-17 UEFA Champions League semi-final to set up Isco’s goal. Real Madrid secured a 4-2 aggregate win and went on to reach the finals, thanks to Benzema’s out-of-the-world ball control.
#4 Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo is the most prolific goalscorer in Real Madrid’s illustrious history. He has outscored the likes of Raul, Alfredo Di Stefano and Ferenc Puskas to climb to the top, averaging just over one goal per game.
His outrageous numbers are not only a testament to his world-class off-the-ball movements, but they are also down to his ball-carrying skills.
Cristiano Ronaldo is a lot more than a fox in the box. He used to dominate the left-hand side of the pitch in the early days of his Real Madrid career, used to beat defenders at will. The Portuguese ace’s blistering pace and stamina allowed him to emerge as a world-class dribbler, with his exploits only matched by a certain Lionel Messi.
At Real Madrid, Ronaldo’s dribbling skills were generally accompanied by head-turning trickery and clever change of pace. He even added long-range shooting to his arsenal to become one of the most complete forwards in the history of Real Madrid.