Best Left-footed Football Players in the World - Uncommon yet Dominating

Josip Brajkovic
Josip Brajkovic
Published: 27. ožujka 2024.

Even though studies across the world show that only 10% of the people are lefties, the left-footed players are overrepresented amongst the world's elite. As you'll see with this list of the best left-footed players in the world, as it's almost an exact list of the best players in the world. With a much higher overlap than the 10%.

Of course, having this rare attribute is an inherent advantage as the opponents are less used to guarding the left-footed players.

Being left-footed also allows for a different, outswinging curve when passing the ball. Providing the ability to get rid of a press in a safer way, with the ball travelling further from the opponents before reaching its target.

Lefties also have the ability to send in outswinging corners from the left side, enabling harder headers.

While this is a breakdown of the sheer best left-footed players, we're giving the advantage to players who are primarily quality because of their left-foot ability. For instance, while Ederson and Thibaut Courtois are top goalkeepers, and play with their feet, they still do less than outfield players.

On the other hand, Theo Hernandez is one of the best left-backs in the world, yet his primary attributes are his physicality, energy, and leadership. Not the technical ability of his left foot per se.

#10 Bukayo Saka (Arsenal/England)

Bukayo Saka

Bursting onto the footballing scene, Bukayo Saka already has a stat line that he can be proud of, despite being only 22 years old. With 54 goals scored and 53 goals assisted in 216 games for Arsenal - which alone is a feat - Saka has truly become a fully developed player. The England international also has 19 goal involvements in 32 senior national team games! Of his 44 league goals, 32 have come with the left foot. As well as 15 of his total 33 PL assists.

#9 Phil Foden (Manchester City/England)

Phil Foden

After years of being proclaimed as possessing the highest potential by those surrounding him, Phil Foden has finally become one of the best English players. His technical ability was never in question though, it was his composure and ability to make the right decision. In the Premier League, Foden has scored 46 times, 34 by his left foot. Of the 26 assists, eight have come with his left foot. The 23-year-old has already scored 78 goals, making 51 assists in his overall 259 appearances for City. With an ability to generate a lot of power with little wind-up, as well the soft touch needed for chips and precise placements, Foden will continue terrorizing keepers for years.

#8 David Alaba (Real Madrid/Austria)

David Alaba

While he is a defender, David Alaba has been known for his technically refined left foot, scoring 16 of his total 17 league goals since the 2014/2015 campaign with it. Alaba hasn't been a stranger to taking both free kicks and penalties, a testament to his ability with his left foot. The perpetual trophy collector has scored 36 goals in his 533 club games, with another 64 assists.

#7 Paulo Dybala (Roma/Argentina)

Paulo Dybala

When Paulo Dybala opens up his body to the left, the audience gasps. Even when the Argentinian is 40 metres from the goal. A piece of magic is always a split-second away. Looking back since his days at Palermo, Dybala scored 119 league goals, 107 of with his left foot! Of the 62 league assists, 16 have come with the left foot. Overall, the 30-year-old has scored 177 goals and made 79 assists in 471 club games. Dybala has spoken about his peculiar training methods, which included writing with his left foot (yes, foot) so he would develop a clearer control of the foot.

Dybala is also a member of the small-membered society of secondary-strikers where his long-range ability makes the opponents take cover.

#6 Bernardo Silva (Manchester City/England)

Bernardo Silva

Bernardo Silva is another one of the best left-footed players in the world who scores most often with his left-foot, but assists more with his right. Such is the case for left wingers. Silva has bagged 51 league goals with his left foot since arriving at Monaco, and 12 split evenly with his right foot and header. The Portuguese maestro has bagged 50 league assists, 16 of which have come with his left foot.

Silva has managed to bag 99 goals and 90 assists in his 530 club appearances, while his international saldo records 11 goals and 29 assists in 88 games. The agile player can be found all around the pitch and pressuring hard - especially for someone of his stature - yet his technical ability is what made him an elite player.

#5 Martin Odegaard (Arsenal/Norway)

Martin Odegaard

It might seem wrong to put Martin Odegaard over Bernardo Silva and Dybala based on their trophy hauls. Yet the Norweigan is a more important player for his teams than Silva is for City. Additionally, it seems that his playing style is a lot more focused on using the left side of his body. The 25-year-old is captaining Arsenal and has 54 goal involvements (33G/21A) for the Gunners in 141 games. In his 151 appearances across the top five leagues, the Norweigan bagged 29 left-footed goals, three with his right, and one header.

With an uncanny precision for a player who’s job is primarily to create actions in their earlier stages, Odegaard is certainly a weapon when joining up from the deep. As well as when left with some space in front of him.

#4 Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid/France)

Antoine Griezmann

One of the most versatile players in the game, Antoine Griezmann is still dominantly left-footed. The Frenchman has scored 145 league goals since the 2014/2015 season and 107 of them have come with a left foot strike! Only 21 with the right and 17 with a header. In total, Griezman has scored 263 goals and made 118 assists in his 683 club career games, while scoring 44 times in 127 matches for France, with 38 assists. The 33-year-old is combative, creative, and hard-working, yet it's the left foot that was needed for him to be one of the best players of his generation.

#3 Mohamed Salah (Liverpool/Egypt)

Mohamed Salah

Mohamed Salah is the best technical goalscorer leftie in Europe's top five leagues, as he is capable of unleashing projectile shots and making the goalkeeper look inexperienced with lobs. The numbers back his left foot as well, considering he scored 148 of his 187 league goals since the 2014/2015 season with the left foot. Only 30 with his right and nine with his head.

But, as a left wing player primarily, he assisted with his left foot 21 times, and 57 with his right. Still, Salah is so difficult to guard because of his dribbling ability as well and he primarily uses his left foot for that. Overall, the 31-year-old Salah has scored 284 goals in 588 club career games, with 141 assists.

#2 Erling Haaland (Manchester City/Norway)

Erling Haaland

Of the 116 goals Erling Haaland scored in the Bundesliga and the Premier League for Borussia Dortmund and Manchester City, 85 have come with his thunderous left foot! While the right foot and the header shared 15 each, and one goal is recorded as scored by other body parts. Probably the hair.

Erling is not the most elegant left-footed player, yet he gets the primary and the most difficult job done - scoring goals. He also recorded 13 league assists with his left foot, compared to 15 with his right one.

Overall, the Norweigan has 216 goals in 269 club career games for the two mentioned sides alongside Molde, Red Bull Salzburg, and Bryne, with 51 assists as well. His international record is also frenzied - 27 goals in 30 games, alongside three assists.

#1 Lionel Messi (Inter Miami/Argentina)

Lionel Messi

On the comedown of his career, yet Lionel Messi’s left foot is still both museum and pitch-worthy. Leo became known as the best player in the world primarily because of the ability of his left foot.

Messi's trophy hauls are widely known, including eight Golden Ball awards, four Champions League trophies, one World Cup, and 10 La Liga titles! Messi scored 726 goals and made 346 assists in 894 club games! Alongside 106 goals and 56 assists for Argentina in 180 matches. Having the most assists in the 21st century overall.

In his last nine league seasons in Europe, Leo Messi bagged 212 goals with his left foot. Compared to 32 with his right and nine with his head. However, Messi recorded more assists with his right foot 81 to 29. Mostly because he would cut in from the left go towards the goalline and then thread the ball back to a teammate with his right foot.

It just happens to be that the best left-footed player in the world is also the world's best player. Ever.


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