Best Left-Back in Football History: Left-backs and right-backs are usually expected to have different skills, even though they play on opposite sides of the field. Left-handed players and right-handed players naturally have different abilities. Players who have played on the left side of the field are often known for their great skill and finesse, which is better than their right-sided counterparts. While they might not be as strong at defending, the top left-backs make up for this by being really good at controlling the ball and understanding the game.
Best Players In The World By Position
In this article, we will be unveiling a list of the top 10 left-back players in history. The left-back position holds immense significance due to its critical role in both defense and attack. It demands a combination of exceptional skills and physical prowess.
Best Left-Back in Football History
Join us as we explore the standout individuals who have excelled in this position throughout the years.
10. Nilton Santos
The Brazilian player of the past is hailed as a legend, particularly for his time at the Brazilian club Botafogo. He played an impressive 723 matches for them and is considered the top left-back of the 1950s.
His incredible performance at the club level also earned him a spot in the Brazilian national team. He became a key figure in the team’s success, participating in four World Cups.
During these tournaments, he played a pivotal role in Brazil’s victory, winning the World Cup twice in both the 1958 and 1962 editions.
9. Andreas Brehme
This notable German player played for several clubs in both Germany and Italy. The most prominent ones were Bayern Munich and Inter Milan, where he earned numerous titles.
What made this German player special was his skill in using both feet adeptly. He played a crucial role in the German national team, particularly during the 1986 World Cup, when they reached the final but lost to Argentina.
However, he got his revenge in the 1990 World Cup final, where Germany faced Argentina again. In this match, he scored the winning goal from a penalty kick, leading his team to victory and becoming the ultimate champion.
8. Ashley Cole
Undoubtedly, Ashley Cole stands out as the finest left-back in English football up to now. He was remarkable for his balanced skills in defense and attack, and he represented the England national team in 107 international matches.
Throughout his career, he played for various clubs, especially Chelsea and Arsenal in London. He achieved considerable success with Arsenal, including a notable Premier League victory, which is their only “golden league” win in Premier League history.
Additionally, his time at Chelsea was significant, helping them secure nine titles, notably their first-ever European Champions League victory in 2009.
7. Rod Kroll
He led the Dutch national team during the 1978 World Cup and is considered the greatest left-back in Dutch football history. Experts rank him among the ten best left-back players ever.
Kroll played a crucial role in Ajax Amsterdam’s dominance in both domestic and European football during the 1970s, winning numerous titles, including an impressive three consecutive Champions League titles.
He was also a key figure in the Netherlands’ outstanding team of the 1970s, known for their innovative playing style. Despite reaching two consecutive World Cup finals, the team didn’t manage to win any titles due to unfortunate circumstances.
6. Bicente Lizarazu
He’s the finest left-back from the 1990s and one of the best ten left-backs ever. He made a big impact with his impressive defense and his offensive skills, including creating goals. He played a key role in his country winning the 1998 World Cup and the 2000 European Championship.
His roots trace back to the Basque Country in Spain, which gave him the opportunity to play for Athletic Club Bilbao.
His golden years in club football were with Germany’s Bayern Munich. He won numerous local championships with them, along with the European Champions League and the Club World Cup.
5. Paul Breitner
He’s the remarkable left-back from the 1970s who played a big role in Germany winning the European Nations Championship in 1972 and the World Cup in 1974. When it comes to clubs, he’s most famous for his time with FC Bayern Munich. He won the local league five times with them and earned many other titles, especially the European Champions League.
There was another phase when he became a star at Real Madrid and helped them win the Spanish La Liga title twice.
Breitner wasn’t just focused on defense or setting up attackers. He’s known as one of history’s notable defenders and goal-scorers, having scored 131 goals in his professional career.
4. Jacinto Facchetti
Facchetti wasn’t just incredibly good at defending, but he was also a key player in attacking. He’s a legendary figure in Italian football, especially for Inter Milan.
In memory of him, the team retired the number 3 jersey. He was respected for his strong character and good values. He played a big role in helping Inter Milan win many local titles and even the European Champions League twice.
For the Italian national team, he helped them get to the 1970 World Cup final and win the 1968 European Nations Cup.
Even though some people criticize the Brazilian Marcelo and Real Madrid’s left-back for his defensive skills sometimes, his attacking abilities are what make him special. He’s considered the best left-back of his time and one of the top 10 in history.
Marcelo made a big impact during his almost 15 years with Real Madrid. Fans of the team and football in general really appreciate him. He played a big part in helping his team win many local, continental, and international championships, especially the European Champions League title which they won four times.
Marcelo also played 58 matches with the Brazilian national team. He was part of the team when they won several titles, most notably the Confederations Cup in 2013.
2. Paolo Maldini
He’s a true legend and could be seen not just as one of the top 10 left-backs ever, but as one of the greatest football players in history.
Listing all the amazing things he did in his 25-year career is tough. He started out as a right-back and later played in the center of defense.
He shone brightly at AC Milan and for Italy’s national team. He achieved so much and set many records. He’s still remembered as a symbol of football greatness throughout history.
1. Roberto Carlos
When we talk about the left-back position in soccer, one name that stands out is Roberto Carlos from Brazil. He’s famous for his amazing skills, especially when it comes to attacking. He was really good at making important passes, scoring goals, and taking incredibly powerful shots.
Because of his fantastic performances, many people consider him not just one of the top 10 left-backs in history, but actually the very best out of all of them.