Recent research suggests that only 19% of the world’s population is left-footed. However, this statistic hasn’t come in the way of people being witness to some sensational left-footed footballers.
Typically, people tend to fall in love with left-footed players more easily due to the natural guile, poise and elegance with which they play the game. Historically, players like Alfredo Di Stefano, Diego Maradona, Johan Cruyff, Roberto Carlos and more recently, Lionel Messi and Raul are considered some of the best ever players to have graced the football field, and one common attribute which this elite bunch possessed is the ability to amaze audiences with their mesmerising skills on the ball.
Di Stefano’s impeccable balance and ability to control the entire flow of the game, Carlos’ exquisite set-pieces, Cruyff’s trademark turn, Maradona’s ‘The Maradona Turn’, Messi’s spellbinding dribbling skills and Raul’s finishing prowess are idiosyncrasies which are synonymous with the beautiful game.
We usually talk about the greatest defenders, attackers and country specific playing elevens. Ever thought about having a go at formulating the best left-footed playing eleven of all time?
Goalkeeper: Iker Casillas
Although the past few years haven't been kind to him, there is no doubting Casillas' incredible pedigree. With over 137 international caps, 600 club appearances and an astounding 16 titles to his name, Casillas is undoubtedly one of the greatest players ever.
Image Source: Twitter
Right-Back: Ruud Krol
Krol was an extremely versatile defender who could play anywhere across the back-line and operated in both the full-back spots. He spent most his career at Ajax and was capped 83 time for Netherlands. Image Source: Soccerworld
Centre-Back: Giorgio Chiellini
The five-time Serie A winner is best known for his combative and aggressive style of play, and is still one of the cornerstones of Juventus' defence. Image Source: The Telegraph
Centre-Back: Daniel Passarella
Passarella is one of the best goal-scoring defenders ever. He scored 140 goals in 447 club appearances and 22 goals in 70 games for Argentina. Image Source: FIFA
Left-Back: Roberto Carlos
Roberto Carlos was one of the most entertaining fullbacks in footballing history. Carlos spent 11 trophy laden years at Real Madrid, winning four La Liga titles and three Champions League trophies. He represented Brazil 125 times and scored a total of 113 goals in his career. Image Source: Twitter
Central Midfielder: Edgar Davids
The perfect combination of combativeness and creativity, Davids was one of the best midfielders to ever represent Netherlands. The diminutive Dutchman played for Milan, Juventus and Ajax amongst others, and won six domestic league titles, three domestic cups, the Champions League and the UEFA Cup. Image source: Twitter
Central Midfield: Alfredo Di Stefano
Di Stefano was one of the very first legends of the game, and represented Real Madrid for more than a decade. He operated as a midfielder and a striker, Di Stefano scored around 500 goals in his career, averaging a goal-per-game. He strongest attributes were his finishing prowess and ability to control games.
Image source: FIFA
Right Wing: Lionel Messi
Probably the player nobody from this generation needs an introduction about, Lionel Messi is considered the greatest footballer ever by many. Messi has scored 500 career goals, has won eight La Liga titles, six Ballon d'Or titles and doesn't look like slowing down anytime soon. Image source: Goal
Left Wing: Johan Cruyff
Regarded as one of the most revlutionary figures of modern football, Johan Cruyff's philosophy towards the game changed perspectives all around the world. Hailed as one of the best footballers of all-time, Cruyff played anywhere across the front line and outwitted defenders with his intelligent movement and brilliant skills on the ball. Image source: FIFA
Attacking Midfielder: Diego Maradona
Arguably one of the most complete players of the lot, Maradona had an inimitable playing style and a unique persona both on and off the field. His agility, pace and dribbling skills were all unmatched. Maradona won 91 caps with Argentina and single-handedly won his country the World Cup in 1986 with the famous 'Hand Of God' goal. Image source: FIFA
Striker: Ferenc Puskas
Arguably the most lethal striker to have played competitive football, Puskas had a left foot which struck the ball with viciousness and accuracy in equal measure. He scored a jaw dropping 616 goals in 620 appearances during his career. He also scored 84 times in 85 appearances for Hungary.
Image source: FIFA
Substitutes: Ryan Giggs and Gareth Bale
The two prodigious Welsh wingers could seamlessly slot into the wing positions of this team due to their phenomenal left foots, trickery and poise on the ball. Image source: Twitter
There is no doubting the fact that Raul's finishing prowess, technical ability and overall genius could definitely add something to this stellar line-up. Image source: Twitter
Some people might be surprised to see Cech's name on this list, but he's been one of the greatest goalkeeper's in the Premier League and Chelsea's history. Image source: Twitter
Regarded as the best Montenegrin player ever, Savicevic was a player who was lazy and barely trained. Although, his natural footballing ability compensated for all of it. Known best for his brilliant dribbling skills, Savicevic was capable of producing magical moments on the pitch. Image source: SempreMilan
The amount of effort and heartbreak that went into formulating this list was way more than what anyone could’ve envisaged. A 4-2-3-1 formation provided optimum balance to the team and also provided an opportunity to include more attackers. There were innumerable standout candidates and there is a huge possibility of one of your favourites not making the cut. Who do you think we’ve missed out? Have your say in the comments below.