Belgium’s Eden Hazard is the third best dribbler in the five major European championships, according to a report published on Monday by the CIES football observatory. In its weekly newsletter, CIES classified players in the Big-5 according to the number of championship minutes they spent on successful dribbles in matches played between 18 February 2018 and 17 February 2019.
Five-time Golden-Ball winner Lionel Messi heads the list with a successful dribble every 19.2 minutes, ahead of Frenchman Allan Saint-Maximin of Nice (1 every 19.8 minutes) and Hazard (1 every 21.0).
The Red Devils captain had the best success rate for players attempting at least 100 dribbles during the period under review, weaving past his opponent 73% of the time. Three other players are in the +70% bracket: Tunisian Naïm Sliti (Dijon), Frenchman Marcus Thuram (Guingamp) and Seville’s Ever Banega, who hails from Argentina.
The only other Belgian in the rankings is Eden’s brother, Thorgan Hazard, who plays for Borussia Mönchengladbach. He is ranked 41st, with a successful dribble every 39.1 minutes.
The study only includes players who were on the field for at least 1,800 minutes in the one-year period, which explains the absence of Kevin De Bruyne, injured at the start of the season.