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6 Best Left Backs in the World

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The best left-backs in the world have defensive and offensive qualities. They provide the extra width in attack but are mindful of their primary job. The position wasn’t the most admirable and these players rarely received recognition. The left-back position has evolved, thanks to a change in tactical approach, as managers maximize the use of each player. Here are the best left-backs in the world.

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Alphonso Davies

Bayern Munich left back Alphonso Davies. Source: Wikimedia licensed by CC-BY-SA-4.0

In 2020, Alphonso Davies was deemed the best left-back in the world. His contribution to Bayern Munich’s Champions League and Bundesliga titles was evident. The Canadian’s pace, technical skills, positioning and awareness were on display. Davies is a prime example of modern left-back.

He’s continued being a major part of the team, making 29 appearances, winning 254 tackles, 20 crosses, 1785 intensive runs and 792 sprints. However, his form tailed off after his breakthrough season and has been linked with moves to Real Madrid.

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Ferland Mendy

Mendy arrived in Real Madrid in the summer of 2019 in Lyon. He was Marcelo’s replacement, and that was a big role to fit. The Brazilian had been Los Blanco’s outright starter and was a key part of Madrid’s success. Mendy has shown he can keep up with the club’s demands.

In the 2023/24 season, the Frenchman played 23 games, with a pass completion rate in the 99th percentile and passes attempted in the 78th percentile. He’s helped Madrid to two La Liga and a Champions League victory, to claim a spot in our best left backs in the world list. 

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Destiny Udogie

Destiny Udogie’s arrival at Tottenham Hotspur helped the team solve one of their problematic positions. His ability to recover the ball and disrupt the opposition attack makes him a good fit. Additionally, Udogie isn’t afraid of venturing forward, a dynamic that fits perfectly into Spurs play. He spent his first season on loan at his former club Udinese in the Italian league.

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Pervis Estupinan

The Ecuadorian joined English Premier League side Brighton & Hove Albion in 2022, bringing a wealth of experience. Pervis Estupinan was a Europa League winner with Villareal and has also featured in the Champions League. 

This is the type of player a team like Brighton needs and he’s been beneficial. Firstly, the Seagulls needed a solid player and has so far made 54 appearances. He’s kept 8 clean sheets, 87 tackles, 58 interceptions and 14 blocks. These numbers stake his claim as one of the best left-backs in the world.

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Alejandro Balde

Alejandro Balde has big shoes to fill. He’s looking to replace Jordi Alba, who cemented this position. After a great 2023 campaign, his form dipped and concerns grew about the lack of an experienced head in this position. His absence exacerbated the situation, but reports show that Barcelona isn’t rushing to acquire a left back, so Balde has to step up.

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Nathan Ake

Nathan Ake playing for Manchester City. Source: Wikimedia licensed by CC-BY-SA-2.0

When Nathan Ake moved to Manchester City from Bournemouth, many questioned his quality. It skips many fans’ minds that he played for Chelsea, after which he featured for less glamorous teams, which is probably why he has a low profile. 

He didn’t feature in the league in the 2023/24 campaign, but his overall statistics tell he’s as reliable as any defender. He has 225 appearances and scored 18 goals. The Dutch wins tackles 61% of the time and has made 257 interceptions and 899 clearances.

These are the best left-backs in the world. They’ve proven to have defensive and offensive capabilities, which is the threshold for modern players in this position. Which other left-backs do you enjoy watching?

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