Former World Cup Winner Analyzes What Makes Neymar a ‘Dribbling Magician’

Ever since Neymar joined Paris Saint-Germain in 2017, he has polished his dribbling prowess to a world-class level.

Just this season, Neymar has had some standout dribbling showcases in all competitions for PSG and the Brazilian national team. In Champions League play this season, he is averaging 4.0 dribbles per game, which ranks just behind Lionel Messi’s 6.0 figure. And for Brazil, he has had some memorable dribbling performances, including recording 18 dribbles completed against Bolivia earlier this season.

Former French and World Cup-winning defender Bixente Lizarazu knows very well what it takes to go up against players who possess an elite dribbling prowess. And with watching Neymar, he is thoroughly impressed with just how easy he makes it look. Lizarazu analyzed Neymar’s dribbling skill set in speaking to Telefoot (via Canal Supporters).

“Neymar is really a dribbling magician,” Lizarazu said. “He can do everything. I don’t think anyone can do as much left foot as right foot. It is illegible, elusive, unbearable for a defender.

“His fault is that he loves dribbling so much that he sometimes abuses it. He sometimes gets distracted by his pleasure in dribbling, when he wants he makes extraordinary passes in the tempo of the race and the call. After that, he has a little emotional fragility, and the defenders sometimes play on it. He then tends to insist on dribbling to gain the upper hand over the opponent.”

Neymar has had a history of being on the wrong end of aggressive challenges by defenders. Instead of challenging Neymar’s on-ball movements, defenders have often resorted to simply fouling him instead. This is why he has faced multiple injuries in recent seasons. Still, this does not take away from the Brazilian’s top-class dribbling skill.

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Tags Bixente Lizarazu Neymar
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