Top 10 Best Left-Backs In the World (2023)

Federico Dimarco best left backs in the world MILAN, ITALY - AUGUST 19: Federico Dimarco of FC Internazionale in action during the Serie A TIM match between FC Internazionale and AC Monza at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on August 19, 2023 in Milan, Italy.
(Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images)

The left-back position is one of the most important positions in football. In this article, we will look at the best left-backs in the world in 2023.

The primary role of a left-back in football is to defend and win balls from the opposition wingers.

However, in modern football, many left-backs often play very active roles in the attack, driving the ball forward and making crosses for attackers.

The left-back position was once the most unappealing position on the team.

Oftentimes, managers don’t mind deploying the least gifted player on the team; they usually event aren’t even left footers sometimes, but recently, the dynamics have been changing.

Full-backs and, indeed, left-backs can now even play as a winger or an attacking midfielder and are often seen bumping up and down the wings, attacking and defending at the same time.

Left-backs are not just defenders anymore but can also be Jack of all trades, including attackers, creators, scorers, and set-piece takers.

Many left-backs have impressed over the past year. A few have, however, distinguished themselves with noteworthy performances in various competitions. Here are the top 10 best left-backs in the world in 2023.

1. Theo Hernández 

Theo Hernández MILAN, ITALY - AUGUST 26: Theo Hernandez of AC Milan celebrates after scoring the goal during the Serie A TIM match between AC Milan and Torino FC at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on August 26, 2023 in Milan, Italy.
(Photo by Claudio Villa/AC Milan via Getty Images)

Theo Hernández has averaged at least five goals and four assists in each of his last four seasons for AC Milan in the Serie A just from his left-back position.

It’s not a secret that the Frenchman is a cheat code, an advantage, and an asset attacking-wise for AC Milan.

As a modern-day full-back, Hernandez is able to time his forward runs well. However, his tactical prowess, positioning, and defensive skill make him impressive while defending.

He is not just a defender who loves to bump forward; he attacks with intent without putting the defensive aspect in jeopardy, and his immense speed gives him the opportunity to recover and join the attack when needed.

In fact, his spectacular solo goal won the Serie A Goal of the Season award last season

2. Alphonso Davies

Alphonso Davies best defenders in the world MUNICH, GERMANY - AUGUST 27: Alphonso Davies of FC Bayern Muenchen runs with the ball during the Bundesliga match between FC Bayern München and FC Augsburg at Allianz Arena on August 27, 2023 in Munich, Germany.
(Photo by Boris Streubel/Getty Images)

It’s so difficult to determine whether to focus on Alphonso Davies’s playing qualities or his highly enviable trophy cabinet for his teams (club and country) or individually. In short, he needs no introductions.

Alphonso Davies packs one of the fastest paces in world football and doesn’t even leave his defensive duties to suffer when he goes up front.

It is no wonder he is also sometimes deployed as a winger and even as a midfielder.

The Canadian already has 3 assists in 4 appearances for Bayern Munich this season. He has the potential to become one of the greatest left-backs in football history.

3. Andy Robertson

Andy Robertson best left-backs in the world LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - AUGUST 19: Andrew Robertson of Liverpool looks on during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and AFC Bournemouth at Anfield on August 19, 2023 in Liverpool, England.
(Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

When you are attacking Liverpool, you have to be on your defensive alert. This is because both of the Reda full-backs are attacking threats anytime, any day.

Andy Robertson is one of the best crossers of the ball, and it is one of the reasons why he has managed to hit double-digit assists in the Premier League more than four times in the last couple of seasons at Anfield.

He has the pace and energy to keep this up for 90 minutes, which makes him a key but underrated player for Jurgen Klopp. It’s even more scarier when you realize that Trent Alexander-Arnold is another attacking gem and his flank-mate.

4. Pervis Estupiñán 

Pervis Estupiñán best full-backs in the world BRIGHTON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: Pervis Estupinan of Brighton and Hove Albion during the Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Luton Town at American Express Community Stadium on August 12, 2023 in Brighton, England.
(Photo by Jacques Feeney/Offside/Offside via Getty Images)

Pervis Estupiñan has impressed at Brighton since Roberto De Zerbi took over the team, as his left-sided link-up with Kaoru Mitoma and Levi Colwill has proven too hot to handle in multiple games last season as the seagulls made European football.

Pervis Estupiñan signed for Brighton in the summer of 2022 for a fee of around £17m from Villarreal, and he continues to make them forget Marc Cucurella at Amex.

The Ecuadorian is undoubtedly one of the best full-backs in the world and has the potential to grow further.

5. Nathan Aké

Nathan Aké SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND - AUGUST 27: Nathan Ake of Manchester City during the Premier League match between Sheffield United and Manchester City at Bramall Lane on August 27, 2023 in Sheffield, England.
(Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Nathan Aké’s versatility is so potent he is often deployed at center-back up to the extent that not many take notice of the fact that he can also play as a left-back.

Aké transitioned from a relegation club player with Bournemouth to become one of the key defenders for Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, helping the club to silverware success in the last two seasons, including last season’s treble.

6. Oleksandr Zinchenko

Oleksandr Zinchenko best left backs in the world LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 26: Oleksandr Zinchenko of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Fulham FC at Emirates Stadium on August 26, 2023 in London, England.
(Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Oleksandr Zinchenko’s influence on Arsenal’s team last season, when he joined the Gunners from Manchester City, was so immense that many accredited the newfound winning belief of The Gunners to his presence.

The Ukrainian is not the fastest; he is not even the tallest of players on the pitch, but he does have resilience and leadership skills.

His statistics are not one of the most impressive, but what stands out the Ukrainian is his playing style and his ability to carry the ball forward into central positions, dictating the play even from his defensive duties.

7. Federico Dimarco

Federico Dimarco best left backs in the world MILAN, ITALY - AUGUST 19: Federico Dimarco of FC Internazionale in action during the Serie A TIM match between FC Internazionale and AC Monza at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on August 19, 2023 in Milan, Italy.
(Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images)

Dimarco is a 25-year-old left-footed defender who usually plays as a left-back, although he is also capable of playing on the right.

The Italian full-back player a vital role as Inter Milan reached the final of the 2022/23 UEFA Champions League.

He is known in particular for his pace, tireless running, eye for goal, and his powerful and accurate shot from set pieces, as well as his ability to interpret the game, which enables him to aid his team both defensively and offensively.

In spite of his small stature and slender physique, he possesses significant strength and good technical skills. Federico Dimarco can also play as a wing-back.

8. Raphael Guerreiro

Raphael Guerreiro best left-backs in football ROTTACH-EGERN, GERMANY - JULY 18: Raphael Guerreiro of Bayern Muenchen looks on during the pre-season friendly match between FC Bayern München and FC Rottach-Egern on July 18, 2023 in Rottach-Egern, Germany.
(Photo by Stefan Brauer/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

Raphael Guerreiro’s statistics will make you wonder if it is that of a left-back or a midfielder.

The Portuguese defender has managed to hack the left-back role, becoming a strong attacking outlet for Borussia Dortmund and the Portuguese national team.

In the last five seasons, he has managed to average 15 goals contribution with goals and assists, and in seven years at Borussia Dortmund, he has made over 160 appearances, scoring nothing less than 30 goals and for the national team, he has won the UEFA Euro 2016 and the UEFA Nations League with the Portuguese national team.

His playing strength is based on a more grounded play, but he is also good at crossing the ball into the opposition box.

The Portuguese isn’t one of the best in terms of a strong aerial presence defensively, but his tackling skill is very strong and can be a source of goal from dead balls.

9. Alejandro Balde

Alejandro Balde best left-backs in the world BARCELONA, SPAIN - AUGUST 8: Alejandro Balde of FC Barcelona during the match between Barcelona v Tottenham Hotspur (Joan Gamper Trophy) at the Lluis Companys Olympic Stadium on August 8, 2023 in Barcelona Spain
(Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)

Alejandro Balde is more or less a budding youngster who recently broke into the Barcelona main team.

However, he is a precocious talent for the left-back role, and his talents have attracted interest from the Premier League, including former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola.

It is only left to be seen what the future has in stock for the 19-year-old after featuring in 33 games for the Blaugrana last season with six assists in the La Liga with a goal to show.

10. Mario Rui

Mario Rui best left-backs in football The Napoli player Mario Rui during the match Frosinone-Napoli at the Benito Stirpe stadium. Frosinone (Italy), August 19th, 2023
(Photo by Massimo Insabato/Archivio Massimo Insabato/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)

Marco Rui may not be the most popular of all the names on the list, but he doesn’t lack when it comes to experience playing as a left-back and did so consistently last season, helping Napoli to the Scudetto.

Strong in the tackle, Rui reads the game like a forward, and he is comfortable taking the ball into the opponent’s half, beginning the attack with a key pass to open up space or dribbling past a player or two to get his side moving towards goal. He’s also a strong crosser of the ball.

Honourable Mentions:

  • Javi Galán (Celta Vigo)
  • Marc Cucurella (Chelsea)
  • Denzel Dumfries (Inter Milan)
  • Benjamin Mendy (Real Madrid)
  • Borna Sosa (Ajax)
  • Mario Rui (Napoli)
  • Leonardo Spinazzola (AS Roma)
  • David Raum (RB Leipzig)
  • Jordi Alba (Inter Miami)
  • Nuno Mendes (PSG)
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