How important is dribbling for forwards? Why were most all time great forwards also great dribblers?

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How important is dribbling for forwards? Why were most all time great forwards also great dribblers? Empty How important is dribbling for forwards? Why were most all time great forwards also great dribblers?

Post by Adit Sun Sep 20, 2015 7:09 pm

Discuss.
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Post by futbol_bill Sun Sep 20, 2015 8:07 pm

I'm not too sure of your statement / opening premise. I don't recall most great forwards being great dribblers. I think most great dribblers are AMs. I think you are confusing dribbling with the ability to feint to beat a man one on one. Most great forwards do have that skill but few IMO are great dribblers.

I'l speak about Spain to which I am most familiar. There was a time when Raul / Morientes were are only scoring threats. Neither one of them were good dribblers and had difficulty in one on one situation yet both were good, if not great in the case of Raul.

Yet we became a world power once we had WC midfielders and great dribblers in AMs. Dribbling is an important skill but more in support of possession futbol than in forwards or goal scoring.
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Post by Kick Mon Sep 21, 2015 4:05 am

I think the importance of their dribbling ability entirely depends on what type of forward they are.

For example, RVN or Klose didn't need great dribbling ability because they're world class poachers, but players like Aguero or even Messi wouldn't be effective CF's without their dribbling ability.

I also wouldn't say most of the all time greats were great dribblers, but it certainly helps to make players more complete.
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Post by BarrileteCosmico Mon Sep 21, 2015 4:15 am

When you get the ball you have three options: pass, dribble or shoot. Forwards work in the final third where spaces are tight so they have less passing options than midfielders or defenders, so they must be able to dribble in order to move the game forward and be effective.
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Post by BORUSSIA!! Mon Sep 21, 2015 4:54 am

This may as well be called "How important is being able to play football for forwards? Why were most all time great forwards also great at being able to play football?"

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Post by Lord Awesome Mon Sep 21, 2015 5:06 am

I think Forwards should be good at Scoring to be successful. Dribbling can help just like having a good aerial game.

Was Muller the greatest dribbler? Nope.
Good aerial game? Nope.
Fast? Nope.
Ran alot? Somewhat.
Mentally quick/smart? Yep.
Could he score? Certainly.

Every player has an asset to help their game but what matters for forwards more often than not is their ability to score.
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Post by chad4401 Mon Sep 21, 2015 5:28 am

^^ pretty much this, no amount of dribbling can replace real finishing, sure it looks nicer and more impressive, but being a finisher is key, regardless of pace or technical ability..... end product>>>flash in the pan.
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Post by titosantill Mon Sep 21, 2015 5:43 am

it depends on the team. a striker on a team with good midfielders/wingers shouldn't be tasked with dribbling the ball up and down the pitch, shooting from distance, being a pass master, none of that. dribbling is an accessory for a striker, not a necessity. he's job is to put the ball in the back of the net. dribbling becomes important only when fans look at the aesthetic aspect of the game...its why a trezeguet, an inzaghi, a prime michael owen, a ruud (who could actually dribble but rarely did so), etc...may be looked down upon compared to other artistic strikers

for me, if my striker can't position himself to put the ball in the back of the net consistently, but can dribble, pass, shoot from long range on occasion, build up play, i'd rather he play attacking midfielder or sit on the bench. the strikers who can dribble and score as well  isn't necessarily the norm they're the cream of the crop; not everybody regardless of the foolish stats people will bring up, is going to be ronaldo (phenomeno), henry, van basten, romario, pele etc

someone brought up raul and mori. the most successful madrid side in recent time had two strikers that couldn't dribble, nor had any pace for shit. when morientes started getting slandered (from like 2000 to 03, the media and fans were killing mori for being "just" a poacher....florentino even tried to sell the man to barca) and flo and his media cronies started focusing on aesthetics over getting the job done, it went downhill from there. dribbling and all that stuff is good, but its not something imo to be necessarily expected of your striker.
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Post by Art Morte Mon Sep 21, 2015 7:55 am

I agree with the people pointing out the numerous great forwards who have not been great at dribbling.

However, I do tend to think that dribbling ability has some correlation with how good a player is.

Mastering dribbling, and I mean really mastering it, is perhaps the single most difficult thing to achieve as a footballer. If you've put in the countless of hours of hard work to become really great at dribbling, well, the chances are that in the process you've also become a very good footballer. Dribbling and ball control just are the very essence of football.

How many truly great dribblers there have been who haven't also been good/great players?
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Post by Bankz Mon Sep 21, 2015 8:41 am

Just like tito said, dribbling is good, looks nice and impressive but isnt a foundamental tool a forward must have. Positioning, and great finishing are all thats required for forwards to be great. But if u can add the aestetic part (dribbles, feints, tecnique) to it just as successfully i.e ronaldo da lima (this one did it to excellence), pele, romario (was damn good at dribbling too shame people dont realize) then you're regarded as the cream of the crop. But u will be regarded as a scrub or average at best if u dribble all u want and have crap positioning or finishing. Positioning is one of the most, if not the most important skill in football, both for a forward, mid or a defender.. And why its all the more valuable is that it isnt what one can learn or be thought. U either have it or u dont. Plus the fact that those tend to remain relevant in the game deep into their career.


Last edited by Bankz on Mon Sep 21, 2015 9:23 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Bankz Mon Sep 21, 2015 9:07 am

Well the question should be how many great/highly rated forwards do u know that were great at dribbling without being great at putting the ball at the back of the net? People only remember u as a great dribbling forward when u are damn good at finding the back of the net first and foremost like ronaldo (el phenomeno), romario, messi, van basten, pele, henry and ibra then u have others, pure poachers like rvn, inzaghi, shearer, muller, klose, raul, vieri, trezeguet, owen, puskas etc. Now all great/highly rated/insane forwards, some fast, technical, ball wizards who could even easily beat any Am in the talent department (ronaldo, pele, messi) while u have others who were as slow as snails (raul, inzaghi) and probably couldn't even juggle the ball properly but then again if u notice, they all have that one thing in common, they are the ultimate tap-in merchants, the perfect opportunists, ruthless finishers, unreal off the ball movements first and foremost but never the other way round.
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Post by titosantill Mon Sep 21, 2015 9:20 am

@art morte, some of the great dribblers who as you point out are great footballers haven't necessarily been strikers, which is what the discussion is focused on. mastering the art of dribbling is difficult, which is why young strikers have to understand, you'll not be the next messi, henry, el phenomeno, or whoever. its okay to work on that aspect of your game, but if you're a striker and you're focusing on that rather than off the ball movements and awareness of space within the area (which are probably easier to learn and more useful for the position), then the sense of priorities are misplaced

btw, there are a lot of great dribblers who aren't great players, you'll find them all over brazil (with all due respect, as they have also produced g.o.a.t status players) and in freestyle vids on instagram. you also have players who made it professionally and could dribble, but never lived up. denilson for example. quaresma, robinho (was actually getting somewhere but lost it along the way)...

i find the biggest problem with young forwards who seem focused more on dribbling than the basics, fall into this trap where the coaches don't know where to play them. they can't play them as 9's cos they don't have the sense to move without the ball for shit, they only know how to play with the ball. they can't play them as 10s because they can't pass- they're ball hogs who'll dribble for entertainment till they get hacked. they can't play them down the wing because they can't cross neither, and don't have the talent to consistently cut in and shoot

i value dribbling, being innovative, and ole moments but even then, those things can be learned as time goes on...you crawl before you walk. even henry wasn't an artistic player until maybe after his first or second year at arsenal
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Post by El Gunner Mon Sep 21, 2015 9:50 am

Art Morte wrote:I agree with the people pointing out the numerous great forwards who have not been great at dribbling.

However, I do tend to think that dribbling ability has some correlation with how good a player is.

Mastering dribbling, and I mean really mastering it, is perhaps the single most difficult thing to achieve as a footballer. If you've put in the countless of hours of hard work to become really great at dribbling, well, the chances are that in the process you've also become a very good footballer. Dribbling and ball control just are the very essence of football.

How many truly great dribblers there have been who haven't also been good/great players?

I've always thought that a lot of dribbling (those of the very great footballers) come natural.
Not saying it can't be learned over time. But most of it comes naturally imo
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