Saturday, 20 Apr 2024

FC 100: The Best Men’s Soccer Left-Backs in 2022-23

As we delve into the world of football, we encounter players who excel in every position on the field. And today, we shine the spotlight on left-backs. These players possess a unique blend of pace, intelligence, and skill, making them valuable assets in both attack and defense. Moreover, their ability to deliver precise crosses with their left foot is a rare commodity that can turn the tide of a game. In this article, we will explore the top left-backs in the world during the 2022-23 season, as recognized by the esteemed panel at “Pesstatsdatabase.”

AS Roma/Italy

left back in soccer

Why he’s on the list: Leonardo Spinazzola is a player with undeniable skills. If it weren’t for the restrictive tactical system imposed by Jose Mourinho, Spinazzola could have ranked even higher on this list. His versatility as an inverted full-back sets him apart from others in the game, although some coaches might prefer a more defensive approach from their full-backs. Despite occasional injury setbacks, Spinazzola’s contributions cannot be ignored.

Expectations for 2023-24: Spinazzola will continue to shine at AS Roma, where he played more than 2,500 minutes in the previous season. As long as he remains fit and agile down the left wing, he is bound to be considered among the elite left-backs in the world. His unique playing style and determination make him a force to be reckoned with.

Borussia Dortmund*/Portugal

Why he’s on the list: Raphael Guerreiro is a trendsetter in modern football, epitomizing the attacking full-back role. Ever since joining Borussia Dortmund from Lorient in 2016, Guerreiro has consistently displayed his goal-scoring prowess, creative assists, and exceptional chance creation. He is also known for his versatility, often playing in central midfield.

Expectations for 2023-24: Guerreiro has since joined Bayern Munich, the German giants. This move adds another layer of intrigue to the competition between Guerreiro and Bayern’s other left-backs. How he adapts to this new environment and the potential shift to a central midfield role remains to be seen. Nonetheless, his talent and experience make him a valuable asset for any team.

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Barcelona/Spain

Why he’s on the list: Alejandro Balde combines defensive solidity with technical finesse, making him one of the best left-backs in the world. As a product of Barcelona’s youth academy, La Masia, Balde has shown immense growth throughout his career. In the 2022-23 season, he played a crucial role in Barcelona’s defense, allowing only 20 goals in the league. Although not the most physically imposing, Balde’s ball retention skills and defensive awareness set him apart.

Expectations for 2023-24: Balde, still only 20 years old, has a bright future ahead. His position in Barcelona’s starting lineup is secure, and with continued development, he may become a symbol of the club’s success. As Barcelona looks to bounce back from a challenging season, Balde is expected to play a prominent role in their pursuit of glory.

Ecuador

Why he’s on the list: Pervis Estupinan is a perfect example of the magic De Zerbi, the Italian manager, can work. Under De Zerbi’s guidance, Estupinan’s performances skyrocketed, establishing him as one of the best left-backs in the world. The Ecuadorian international possesses intensity, energy, attacking flair, and defensive toughness.

Expectations for 2023-24: The upcoming season promises to be even better for Estupinan. With more time to gel with De Zerbi’s system and a full preseason, he will continue to elevate his game. Estupinan’s experience in both the Champions League and Europa League will be invaluable as he looks to lead his team to further success before potentially moving to a bigger club.

Manchester United/England

Why he’s on the list: Luke Shaw’s journey from being out of favor under Jose Mourinho to becoming one of the best left-backs in the world is remarkable. Shaw’s defensive positioning and reading of the game are second to none, making him an integral part of Manchester United’s backline. He has also showcased his versatility by excelling as a makeshift center-back when needed.

Expectations for 2023-24: Shaw had a good season, but consistency will be key for him in the upcoming campaign. With a new long-term contract secured, he will bear the weight of expectations as Manchester United aims to regain their winning ways. Additionally, his recent experience as a left-sided center-back adds an intriguing dimension to his future role with the club.

Netherlands

Why he’s on the list: Nathan Ake’s perseverance has paid off, as he went from playing a limited role at Manchester City to becoming a key player in their defense. Ake’s ability to contribute to the team’s buildup play, coupled with his solid defensive skills, make him an asset in both phases of the game.

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Expectations for 2023-24: Ake carved out his place in a loaded Manchester City team, but staying at the top will be a challenge. However, with rumors of a contract extension, it seems that his future lies with the club. As long as he remains fit and committed, Ake is set to continue his journey as a vital part of Pep Guardiola’s system.

Liverpool/Scotland

Why he’s on the list: Andrew Robertson may not have had his best season, but his consistency and ability to provide assists make him a valuable member of the Liverpool squad. Despite the team’s struggles, Robertson remained reliable on the left wing and showcased improvement in his combination play.

Expectations for 2023-24: Robertson’s place in Jurgen Klopp’s starting lineup is secure. As Liverpool aims to bounce back from a challenging season, he will play a crucial role in their revival. If the team finds success, Robertson could become synonymous with this era of Liverpool’s history, solidifying his status as a club legend.

Ukraine

Why he’s on the list: Oleksandr Zinchenko’s move from Manchester City to Arsenal proved to be a masterstroke, as he showcased his versatility and leadership qualities. Zinchenko’s impressive attacking contributions, combined with his tactical acumen, made him an important asset for Arsenal, even during their title push.

Expectations for 2023-24: Zinchenko’s ability to adapt quickly to a new team has been evident. As Arsenal’s leader on and off the field, he will aim to guide them to success. With his experience at the highest level and a desire for silverware, Zinchenko’s influence will be crucial for Arsenal’s aspirations.

AC Milan/France

Why he’s on the list: Theo Hernandez’s goal-scoring prowess and solid performances in Serie A are testaments to his quality. Although he may not have had his best season, Hernandez’s contributions in attack and defense solidify his status as one of the best left-backs in the world.

Expectations for 2023-24: The battle for the left-back starting position within the French national team will be a fascinating subplot in the upcoming season, as Lucas Hernandez returns from injury to compete with his brother Theo. Theo will need to be at his best to maintain his place in the team and help AC Milan regain their former glory.

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Canada

Why he’s on the list: Alphonso Davies, at just 22 years old, continues to impress with his incredible speed and dribbling abilities. While still refining his defensive game, Davies remains one of the best left-backs in the world. He has been a key figure in Bayern Munich’s success, leading them to numerous domestic titles and even guiding Canada to their first World Cup in 36 years.

Expectations for 2023-24: Davies’ future has come into the spotlight due to contract negotiations. However, regardless of where he ends up, his talent and potential ensure that he will continue to be a major force in world football. As long as he stays fit, Davies will be a prominent player for many years to come.

FAQs

Q: How were the top left-backs selected?
A: The top left-backs were chosen by an esteemed panel at “Pesstatsdatabase,” considering their performances during the 2022-23 season, overall contributions to their teams, and individual skill sets.

Q: Are there any notable left-backs who missed the list?
A: While the list highlights some of the best left-backs in the world, there are always other deserving players who narrowly missed out. Football is a dynamic sport, and the rankings may vary based on individual opinions and preferences.

Q: Can we expect any breakthrough left-backs in the upcoming seasons?
A: Football is known for its ability to surprise and produce remarkable talents. As the game continues to evolve, we can anticipate the emergence of talented left-backs who will make their mark on the world stage. Keep an eye out for rising stars in this position.

Conclusion

Left-backs play a crucial role in modern football, combining defensive solidity with attacking prowess. The top left-backs in the world possess unique qualities that set them apart from others, making them invaluable assets for their respective teams. As the game evolves, we can expect even more exceptional talents to emerge in this position. Remember to follow “Pesstatsdatabase” for the latest updates on football and the performances of these incredible left-backs.