Best Left Backs Ever

The Left Back position has been graced by some of the finest names in the world game. A position that requires, in the modern game, not only pace, toughness and ability by also the flexibility to be a prominent attacking forces as well as a defensive lynch pin. These players all matches that criteria and more and hence must be considered as some of the Top Left Backs of all time.

Denis Irwin

For any footballing fan who followed the rise of the Manchester United team under Alex Ferguson, there were many ever present figures who Ferguson crafted his team around and one such figure was the ever reliable and dependable Denis Irwin. Throughout his career Irwin became one of the most consistent and prolific performers in the left back position.

Irwin won 56 caps for republic of Ireland, playing in the 1994 World Cup, where he continued to show his quality but the side struggled and it will always be his club career for which Irwin is remembered. Irwin was at Manchester United for 12 years and nailed down the left back position for his own. Being involved in the team at that time Irwin won trophy after trophy including 7 Premier League titles, 3 FA Cups and the Champions League. He was vital during United’s 1999 Treble winning season.

His strengths lay in his defensive prowess and his ability to remain tough to beat despite his size. Going forward Irwin offered pace, could easily beat a man, had an eye for goal and was a deadly crosser. He also was a deadly set piece taker scoring some breathtaking free kicks. In essence Irwin was the perfect modern Left Back. Once retired he relaxed with online casinos usa seeking great fun from his new career.

Roberto Carlos

Fans tend to remember Roberto Carlos for his free kick ability and in particular the free kick he scored against France in 1998…still one of the most impressive free kicks of all time. Roberto Carlos loved to shoot and this often frustrated fans but it frustrated opposition even more when he nailed a screamer and he made a habit of scoring wonder goals. He dominated the left back position during his international career and played for some of the finest clubs in the world. He revolutionised the position and spent more time attacking than defending. He was pacey and fast making him tough to beat but what he offered going forward was unrivaled.

More of a winger than a left back Carlos breezed past the opposition, could put in a killer cross and of course score goal  after goal. Four times La Liga champion, 3 times Champions winner and several accolades in his home nations was testament to the difference Carlos could make to a team. 125 caps for Brazil were peaked when he lifted the 2002 World Cup and he was a main stay in one of the most successful eras for the country. Carlos redefined what it meant to be an attacking left back and set the mould for the rest.

Paolo Maldini

A master of the Italian defensive style of play Paolo Maldini is one of the finest footballers ever to grace the game. Not only was Paolo Maldini a great leader, a class act and an impenetrable defender, he was a model professional and inspired a generation.

His entire career, spanning over 25 years, was spent with AC Milan where he ranks at the very top of their all time greats. Dedicated to the club, adored by the fans and respected by all, Paolo Maldini was a defensive master with an eye of reading the game, winning aerial battles, delivering deadly crosses and being  stable and reliable defender who was tough to beat. Testament to this is his trophy cabinet which includes 7 league titles and an astonishing 5 European Cups. In fact Maldini has played in 8 European Cup/Champions League finals, a record. He won 126 caps for Italy and played in the 1994 runners up side and Euro 200 finalists.

In essence Paolo Maldini was a model professional and any left back wanting to improve his game needs only look at the style and technical ability of one of the finest defenders in the history of football.

Andres Brehme

Andres Brehme will forever be remembered for scoring the winning goal in the 1990 World Cup Final. Over his 86 game career for Germany he netted 8 times, but the scenes of him scoring that goal in Italia 1990 will always spring to mind above all else. But lest not forget that Brehme was not only a left back, but perhaps one of the finest left backs in the European game.

Oppositions hated playing against Brehme as getting round him was nigh on impossible. His blistering pace and tackling timing made him a master at winning the ball and even though he size dictated otherwise, he was difficult to beat in the air. Brehme was also a nightmare for opponents as with the all at his feet he was handful. Like playing online slots for real money and football at the same time! Whether it was taking a monstrous free kick or hitting  40 yard pass onto the head of an opponent Brehme typified the attacking left back and was years ahead of his. 

Giacinto Facchetti

In terms of setting new trends in the position of Left Back, the Italian Giacinto Facchetti made strides in the 1970s. Rightly considered to be one of the very first truly “attacking”  full backs, he played his entire career at Inter Milan where fans still sing his name. Indeed, after his death the club retired the number 3 shirt in honour of a man who was the perfect defender.

Giacinto Facchetti began by concentrating on his defensive game making him hard to beat, a tough tackling dynamo and one of the best readers of the game in history. As his game progressed he became an attacking force and his crosses, goals and assist lead his team to 4 league titles, 2 European cups and winning him 94 caps for Italy.

Worlds Greatest Centre Backs

The Centre Back position is the lynch pin of successful teams. Without a solid partnership of defenders able to stop the finest strikers in the world, teams struggle to make an impact and taking a look at any of the greatest sides in footballing history, there is always a world class centre back at the heart of the team. Here are the finest 5 centre backs to grace the football field.

Franco Baresi

The Italians are noted for producing world class defenders and priding themselves on a defensive style of football and Franco Baresi epitomised that ethos. Like many legendary Italian players, Baresi played for AC Milan throughout his career and helped them become one of the finest teams the world has ever known. 6 Serie A titles, three European Cups and multiple time Player of the Season Baresi dominated domestic footballer with his impenetrable defence.

Baresi was a wise, intelligent player who often saw what the striker was going to do before he knew he was going to do it! A master reader of the game and tactician Baresi understood the game and used this to shut down all attacks. He has pace, technical skill and power but his brain was his main weapon. Rarely was he beaten on the air or indeed on the ground and he held together the back line throughout his 81 caps for Italy which involved victory in 1982.

Bobby Moore

It is rare than a tackle goes down in history as a classic footballing moment but that is exactly what happened in the career of Bobby Moore. In 1970, at the World Cup, Pele in full flight encountered Moore who carried out the finest tackle seen in the game. This was typical of Moore who built his career at West Ham, proving impossible for attackers to beat.

His crowning moment came when England, under his leadership were crowned Champions of the World in 1966. The image of him receiving the Jules Rimet trophy from the Queen herself is forever ingrained in the minds of England fans. He led the team throughout the tournament, like uk online casinos and helped pick them up in extra time. The great Pele says Moore is the finest defender of all time and who are we to disagree. With pace, power and stamina Moore displayed everything a defender needs.

Franz Beckenbauer

Franz Beckenbauer is without doubt not just one of the finest centre backs in football history, but simply put he is one of the finest players of all time. A leader, a winner, a professional and a warrior Franz Beckenbauer epiglottises footballing greatness. As a leader he is unrivaled and led many great teams and like all great leaders he led by example. Faultless throughout his career Franz Beckenbauer was a model of consistency and professionalism.

He was a vital cog in the 1970s Bayern Munich team that dominated proceedings and proved an ever present lynch pin in the defence keeping the team organised and disciplined. He won 4 league titles, 4 domestics cups and 3 consecutive European Cups. Without Franz Beckenbauer the Bayern Munich side would have struggled to keep up this winning rate but his defensive skill helped the team with their impeccable defensive records.

Franz Beckenbauer also made his name on the national stage winning the World Cup in 1974 as captain and then managing the team to success proving his tactical knowledge of the game. He won the Ball D’Or on two occasions and is respected as much among professionals as he is among fans. The greatest German footballer of all time and one of the finest players to enter the football pitch, Franz Beckenbauer is a true legend of the sport.

Ronald Koeman

It is quite easy to forget that the great Dutch master Ronald Koeman was actually a centre back as he scored more goals than many of the strikers who played on his teams. Indeed in 503 matches in domestic leagues he score 103 goals, unprecedented for a centre back but that is what makes Komen  a unique and worthy of a place on any list ranking the world’s finest players in the positions.

From the back he delivered sweeping passes to assist his teammates, he scored stunning free kicks, was a masterful crosser and a penalty master. Defensive wise he was pacey, read the game well and tackled tough. Koeman was hard to beat and difficult to stop. 78 caps for Holland including winning the 1988 European Championships were matched with 13 goals for the national side and a bid for cancasinos online casino ensued. Koeman was unique as a centre back and we have never seen the likes since!

Daniel Passarella

Often overlooked when drawing up lists of the greats of World Football, Daniel Passarella quite simply can match any centre back in terms of success, ability or skill. In fact Daniel Passarella is considered by some as the finest centre back of all time. He won 4 domestic league titles in his home nation but rose to fame as a member of the Argentinean national team where he captained the team to the 1978 World Cup and his leadership drove the team to success.

Daniel Passarella game after game withstood attacks from the finest players of the decade and with his back to the wall he was unbeatable. Watching matches back from the 1978 tournament Daniel Passarella was never beaten in the air, rarely beaten on the ground and held the attacking play together with his accurate passing.

But Daniel Passarella also did something else a lot of centre backs didn’t…score goals. 181 goals in 556 matches is an impressive record for anyone let alone a centre back making him as much of a goal threat as a goal stopper.

Greatest Ever Midfielders

B-Charlton

The Centre Midfield birth is one of the heart beats of any footballing team. Whether a tough tackling ball winner or a creative goal scorer the position is home to a diverse range of individuals and some of the finest players to have ever laced up a pair of boots have played there. Let us take a look at the top 5….

Zico

No list of the finest players in any position can be completed with a Brazilian or two, and centre midfield is no expectation. Nicknamed “the White Pele” Zico is often ranked amongst the finest players to have ever donned the famous yellow shirt. He drove the national side forward through his illustrious career and led by example, consistently dominating games and controlling entire oppositions.

Although many will remember his stunning long range goals and devastating free kicks, which were key part of his game, he was an all round world class player with the eye to pick out a crucial pass and virtually impossible to push off the ball. His record of 66 goals in his 88 caps for Brazil is evidence enough for his box to box approach, he also had a love for real money casino games and he is one of the most clinical finishers to have emerged form a midfield position.

Michel Platini

Technically gifted, stylish, professional and reliable….words cannot describe just how good Platini really was. He possessed that rare quality of being able to make an average team a dangerous one just purely for the fact that he was in it. Any midfield boasting Platini at its centre was difficult to beat and difficult to contain. This Frenchman had it all!

Platini is one of the best passers the game has ever seen. His percentages speak for themselves but just watching the man, the way the ball stuck to his feet, the way his passes always hit their targets and ripped open defences made him a joy for fellow professionals to play with. From free kicks, corners and in terms of crossing he was unrivaled during his career. Winning titles across the continent, Platini was a winner and would drive his teams on throughout every moment of the match. In 1984 this reached his peak as not only did he win the European Player of the Year award but also led France to the 1984 European Championships title.

Alfredo Di Stefano

Perhaps the greatest player ever to have played football, Di Stefano graced the centre midfield spot like no other before or since. An icon, a leader and a devastating opponent, Di Stefano ranks among the most famous sportsmen of all time and rightly so.

De Stefano controlled the game from the midfield and although he often lined up as a striker his box to box play makes him more accustomed to this position and a more accurate description of his position on the field of play. He would drive through the heart of any team, combination passes, skills to beat men, long shots that rasped in the corner. His ability to dominate a game from whistle to whistle and from box to box was a key reason in Real Madrid’s 5 consecutive European Cups. Never one to go missing, never one to let his performance drop and certainly never one to fail, Di Stefano was an utterly dominating player with the ability to control a game and win matches on his own.

The greatest.

Zinedine Zidane

The image the world should remember of Zidane should not be the infamous heat but, the the simple fact that Zidane was one of the finest players to grace the game and simply one of the best central midfielders of all time. Genius is a word that is often overused but that does not come close to describing what Zidane was all about. He dominated world football for many years even trying online casinos canada and winning the Ballon d’Or in 1998 was backed up with a record-equaling 3 European Footballer of the Year wins. Respected by fans and critics Zidane had that rare quality of being universally admired.

In 1998 he drove France through the world cup on home soil, capped off my two goals in the final to lift the trophy. His absence four years later was sorely missed but again he was the maestro in taking them to the final in 2006. Never has a player had so much influence on a team. Zidane could pass, score, tackle, head and retain position, all with an unrivaled quality. He scored stunning goals, took accurate free kicks and could perform devastating passes with clinical precision. He has his own unique style, his own unique footballing intelligence and quite simply he was THE player of his era.

Bobby Charlton

England fans still rank Charlton, who as of 2015 remains the nations highest scorer in international football. Charlton was a lynch pin of the 1966 World Cup Winning side and the Manchester that that recovered from the Munich Air crash to in the European Cup 2 years later. He was a box to box dynamo with every possible quality needed for a centre midfielder. Most of the footage you will see of Charlton shows his thunderous strikes and scoring ability but there was much more to his game.

He was a tough tackler, a precision passer and an inspirational leader. Defensively he was hard to pass and made sure his midfield was organised and efficient. Charlton also had one of the best engines in the game, despite running box to box for 90 minutes, he would still be as fresh and raring to go in the final few moments of matches as he was at the start.  A true match winner and an icon of the English game, Charlton typified the box to box, free scoring style that often thrives in this position.