Best Left-Backs in the World

Josip Brajkovic
Josip Brajkovic
Published: 4. prosinca 2023.

We’re taking a look at the best left-backs in the world right now, judging them by the impact on their teams, trophy hauls, what levels are they proven on. But also of course the statistics like goals and assists. Further supplemented by advanced stats that are ever so important for such versatile positions. Meaning both those for attack and defence. Of course, we’re looking at more than just the last season, but don’t allow coasting on old glory.

#10 Leonardo Spinazzola (Roma & Italy)

Leonardo Spinazzola

A fan’s favourite, even if you don’t like the club with the famed momma wolf on its crest. Leonardo Spinazzola simply plays the game that will make the viewers jump out behind the left line while he’s dribbling in front of it. A European champion with his country, a Conference League winner with Roma, and previously a Scudetto winner with Juventus who gave away the flairy left-back far too easily. Bouncing back strong after a terrible injury during the Euros, Spinazzola became the symbol of that trophy-winning team.

#9 Alejandro Balde (Barcelona & Spain)

Alejandro Balde

Now the youngest man on this list, and with 20 candles on his last birthday cake, it’s amazing to see Alejandro Balde already have 68 appearances for Barcelona. Forcing the long-time Blaugrana left-back Jordi Alba into exile with his mature performances that came in the times Barca needed them the most. Balde’s talents have been recognized by Spain too and the youngster already has seven caps on a senior level. Coming in from La Masia, it’s hard to imagine Balde not being Barca’s main left-back for the next five years at least.

#8 Luke Shaw (Manchester United & England)

Luke Shaw

When we talk about Cinderella stories in football, it's hard to surpass what Luke Shaw has achieved. A see-saw career trajectory that would terrify even financial brokers, Shaw started as a highly-touted youngster. He didn't deliver on his potential as quickly as needed and faced harsh criticism from Jose Mourinho. Yet, when everybody thought he was ready to join a lesser Premier League side, Shaw came back stronger than ever. Still only 28, Shaw recorded 263 appearances for The Red Devils, making 28 assists.

#7 Nuno Mendes (Paris Saint-Germain & Portugal)

Nuno Mendes

Second-youngest player on this list, 21 in 2023, with already 70 games for French juggernaut PSG, in which he provided nine assists. In addition to 47 games for Sporting, and getting to 19 caps for Portugal's A team. Facing some stiff competition we'll see again below. Mendes thrives in defensive aspects of the game too, lunging in for tackles on a fairly consistent rate.

#6 Raphael Guerreiro (Bayern Munich & Portugal)

Raphael Guerreiro

It's hard to find a player on this list of best left-backs in the world that has a better statistical return than Raphael Guerreiro. With 50 assists and 40 goals in 224 matches for Borussia Dortmund, it's no wonder the Bavarians were quick to snatch up the technically gifted Portuguese. Although Guerreiro did play as a left midfielder on a lot of occasions and this has to be noted. But his national team successes make him a lock for best left-backs right now as he won the Nations League and the Euros with Portugal.

#5 Oleksandr Zinchenko (Arsenal & Ukraine)

Oleksandr Zinchenko

To make Oleksandr Zinchenko's inclusion on the list of top five best left-backs in the world even more amazing, we have to recall that he started his career as an attacking midfielder. The versatile Ukranian has filled in the gap at LB so well that he continued playing at that position with Arsenal. Even though he is included a lot in the build-up process, and had the 8th most passes into the final third in the 2022/2023 season of the PL, he is also a tenacious defender.

#4 Alejandro Grimaldo (Bayer Leverkusen & Spain)

Alejandro Grimaldo

Bayer Leverkusen is a side that has players in both this list of best left-backs in the world, and that of their colleagues on the opposite side of the pitch. Making their recent successes all that more understandable. In his first 18 games with the German side, Alex recorded nine goals and six assists! His stellar record with Benfica cannot be overlooked either, with 303 games played, 27 goals scored and 66 assists made. Grimaldo, 28, has made just a single cap for Spain but is now managed at a club level by a national team legend Xabi Alonso. So we expect him to use his prime on the international stage as well.

#3 Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich & Canada)

Alphonso Davies

Another very young player who makes the best left-backs in the world clique with no questions asked. Alphonso Davies already has 171 appearances for Bayern Munich, making 28 assists and scoring eight goals after coming from Canada where he got 12 goals and 14 assists in 81 matches for the MLS side Vancouver Whitecaps. His record for Canada is also quite strong with 15 goals as a left-back in 44 matches. Speedy Davies creates a difference through his successful take-ons, for which he has been in the Bundesliga's top 10 players for five seasons straight! Placing similar rankings in progressive carrying distance too.

#2 Andrew Robertson (Liverpool & Scotland)

Andrew Robertson

Probably the most consistent left-back in the last five seasons, which made Andrew Robertson a lock for the high ranking amongst the world's best left-backs. With 63 assists in 275 games for LFC, and nine goals to that, Robertson was a massive part of both the Champions League and the Premier League-winning seasons. A key player for Scotland too, but Robertson does shine in his club career where he was an assist-leader in multiple seasons - 3rd two times in the Premier League! Key passes, passes into the final third, into the penalty area, crosses taken, touches, progressive carries, progressive passes... you name it and Andy Robertson has done it at the highest level in England for multiple seasons.

#1 Theo Hernandez (Milan & France)

Theo Hernandez

Theo Hernandez is one of those players that doesn't just do the tasks of his position, he makes the whole team significantly better. With his mentality, with his leadership, with his aggressiveness. While also being an outstanding player for progressive carrying distance in Serie A and in the top five leagues across several seasons. Hernandez proves his combativeness by being ranked 8th for the success rate of aerial duels won in Serie A's last season. In 181 games for Rosonerri, the 26-year-old has 26 goals and 30 assists! Also, the man is actually taking the penalties when no primary striker is on the pitch for Milan. Theo also broke through to the France national team and has 23 caps.

What settled Theo Hernandez as our pick for the best left-back in the world right now is that if you were tasked with building a team, starting with this position, there’s no one you’d rather have right now.



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