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Stats: Hazard the dribbling king ahead of Mbappe

Stats prove Hazard is the World Cup dribbling king, but Mbappe is showing promise

July 10, 2018 By Ali M.
The Frenchman and Belgian stars will battle it out in Tuesday's highly-anticipated semi-final encounter.

Tuesday will see France and Belgium lock horns in what is the most anticipated World Cup semi-final game – no offense to Croatia vs England. Two European giants with amazing players will lock horns for a spot in the final and a chance to lift the coveted title.

One of the most intriguing aspects of this game is the upcoming duel between Kylian Mbappe and Eden Hazard. One is a rising youngster who is showing the world he can become the best while the latter is an experienced talent who is shaking off inconsistency to reach his true potential.

While their playing style differs from area to area, with the French teenager being a bit more direct with his electrifying pace, both are difficult to defend against. Mbappe has scored three goals, Hazard has netted twice and assisted as many, but it is in their dribbles and take-ons where they shine more than others.

No one can forget the 19-year-old's masterclass in the 4-3 win over Argentina in the round of 16. He came up against arguably the greatest dribbler in football, Lionel Messi, but it was the teenager who earned the rave reviews. He completed seven take-ons and had the whole world talking.

However, this is a section where Hazard bosses. The Red Devils ace has attempted 30 take-ons in Russia, the fifth-highest tally behind the likes of Mbappe and Messi. However, only Leo and Isco (both 23) have been more successful with their attempts than Eden (22).

Kylian Mbappe, Eden Hazard, France, Belgium, FIFA World Cup

Furthermore, his 73.33% success rate is a number trumped by none – not even by Messi or Neymar. In the 2-1 quarter-final win over Brazil, the Belgian captain came out with a 100% take-on rate which Mbappe can only admire in awe.

France's number 10 has completed 13 dribbles in the knockout stage alone, which is a feat on its own for a player competing in this first World Cup tournament. While he has not mastered this skill as his 27-year-old counterpart, his numbers are promising nonetheless.

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