Unpredictability is the hallmark of many top attacking players, most of whom cannot afford for defenders to anticipate what they’ll do next.
It is the difference between beating your man and creating for yourself or a teammate, or being dispossessed and losing the ball.
Here’s a look at eight unpredictable player that can open any defence…
Still several months away from his 20th birthday, Real Madrid winger Vinicius Junior is a rising star of world football and is full of pace and trickery that make him a defender’s nightmare.
Los Blancos knew they were onto a good thing when Vinicius was just 16 and made sure to secure his signature two years before he could actually join them.
Leaving the security of Manchester City’s academy at the age of 17 and moving to Germany with Borussia Dortmund proved to be the making of Jadon Sancho, who has thrived under the pressure and expectation associated with first-team football.
Although a winger, Sancho is just as capable of scoring a goal as he is assisting.
Adama Traore is so fast and so powerful with the ball at his feet, sometimes even predicting what he is about to do doesn’t mean defenders can stop him doing it.
The Wolves winger has really started to display his talent more consistently this season in the Premier League, much to the pain of Manchester City, who he simply loves playing against.
Pace, power, skills and a lethal shot make Marcus Rashford unplayable at times. He makes Manchester United tick and the team struggles to perform without him.
Still only 22, Rashford is capable of scoring all manner of different goals, from close-range finishes to long-range piledrivers and everything in between.
Say what you want about Neymar, but the Brazilian is still one of the naturally talented and skilful players on the planet, manipulating the ball as he sees fit.
Those skills were honed as a boy back home in Sao Paulo, where futsal and street football were his early bread and butter. Translate that schooling to the professional game and opposing defenders find it impossible to know what he’ll do next.
He may turn 33 this year, but Lionel Messi is still the single best player in the world.
He remains unplayable even on his off days and there is not a team on the planet capable of stopping him - that much has been proven time after time, year after year, for what is now beyond a decade of dominance. He is truly frightening.
More so than even Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane is the key man at Liverpool that gives the reigning European champions an extra something in attacking areas.
He’s so direct and driven that he unlocks defences in a flash if his markers lapse or hesitate for even a second.
To think just how much Kylian Mbappe had achieved by the time he turned 21 at the end of 2019 is mind boggling. Even in an era dominated by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, the Frenchman is the closest thing the world has seen since Ronaldo, the explosive Fenomeno.
His pace is frightening and his goalscoring ability belies his young age.
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