Khvicha Kvaratskhelia Champions League Dribbling skills
|Khvicha Kvaratskhelia of SSC Napoli in action during the Serie A TIM match between AS Roma and SSC Napoli at Stadio Olimpico on December 23, 2023 in Rome, Italy.(Image-Getty)
Dribbling is one of the most beautiful scenes in football. His dribbling ability also plays a major role in determining the quality of a footballer at the individual level. Lionel Messi has been highly regarded for two decades due to his special skills in dribbling. However, in modern football many would like to downplay this individual style. Instead of dribbling, more emphasis is placed on playing a role in team play.
Despite this, the position of dribbling is still very high among football fans. Still, when a footballer dribbles forward, it mesmerizes the audience. Many star footballers have caught the eye by showing their dribbling skills in the group stage of this year's Champions League. In the absence of Messi-Benzema-Neymar, the group stage of the Champions League was naturally more dominated by youngsters in the dribbling list.
However, the top name in the list of successful dribbling in the Champions League is quite surprising. Napoli's young Turk Khicha Cavaraskeia has overtaken Europe's most talked-about dribblers like Kylian Mbappe and Gabriel Martinelli. This Georgian winger, known as the 'new Maradona', has dribbled the most in the group stage, 46 times.
Kavaraskeia was instrumental in Napoli's return to the league title last season. This name was given to him because he can perform like Maradona on the ball. However, this footballer known as 'Cavaradona' lost his rhythm in the last part of the last season. Kavaraskeia has found that lost rhythm at the beginning of this season as well. In between, however, the complications caused by Napoli's coach change also affected Kavaraskeia's performance.
Kavaraskeia has indicated that he is gradually getting back into the rhythm. He also played a role in Napoli's progress to the last sixteen in the Champions League. Although Kavaraskeia did not score a goal in 6 matches in the group stage, he also assisted only one goal. However, Kavaraskeia will need to return to full form to advance ahead of Napoli.
The second name on the list after Kavaraskeia is quite predictable. Mbappe dribbled 44 times en route to securing PSG's last-16 finish after a desperate fightback. This French star also scored 3 goals. AC Milan's Rafael Liao is third in the list by dribbling 36 times. However, it did not help, could not prevent the departure of the team from the group stage. After finishing third in the group stage, AC Milan will now play in the Europa League.
However, the name at number four in this list is quite surprising. FC Copenhagen star Elias Ashuri made it to the list by dribbling 32 times. The Tunisian footballer was also instrumental in securing a ticket to the last sixteen in Copenhagen by topping Manchester United. 1 goal and 1 assist.
Apart from this, Real Sociedad's Ander Barencia (30), Bayern Munich's Leroy Sane (27), Manchester City's Joao Cancelo (26) and Jeremy Docu (26), Arsenal's Gabriel Martinelli (26) and PSG's Ousmane Dembele (25) have dribbled.
However, Real Madrid's Vinicius Junior could not make it to this list as he was knocked out due to injury after playing only 3 matches in the group stage. A statistic released last May showed that Viney outscored all under-23s in dribbling in one year. Who knows, the winger could have challenged Kavaraskeia for the top spot if not for the injury.