The significance of the left winger position has waxed and waned over time, but in the modern era it has reached the pinnacle of its acclaim.
A key part of the three-pronged front line used by most of the best sides in the world, it is often the goalscoring and creative hub. In-keeping with its importance, there are many different approaches that one can take to the role.
Languid playmakers, fleet-footed speedsters and most skillful inside forwards are just three examples of the diversity that the position facilitates.
The best left wingers in the world however, cherry pick the best qualities of all these approaches to create something beautiful. Here are five such players doing exactly that right now. In other words, the best left wingers in the world.
It may not have worked out for him since joining Real Madrid for close to £100m last summer, but in order to command that fee in the first Eden Hazard had to build up quite the fearsome reputation.
During his heyday at Chelsea, the forward was a bonafide world beater winning the Blues’ Player of the Year award on no fewer than four occasions.
The ample-buttocked Belgian is blessed with precise close control and is wondrously two-footed, making defending against him one of the toughest jobs in football.
Expect him to be back to his best for Los Blancos during the 2020/21 campaign.
Experiencing a challenging childhood and being subjected to vile treatment by sections of the British press, Raheem Sterling is used to rising above adversity.
He has developed at a remarkable rate since bursting onto the scene as a teenager at Liverpool in the early 2010s. Since then, he’s turned from a diamond in the rough into one of the most ruthless forwards in the world.
His decision making and off-the-ball intelligence has helped him net an incredible amount of goals since joining Manchester City and England fans will be hoping he can replicate this form on the international stage.
Sterling is a serial winner and the crown jewel of the Three Lions’ extensive attacking options.
Despite entering the second half of his thirties recently, Cristiano Ronaldo shows no signs of slowing down.
Since moving to Juventus in 2018, his doubters have tried to pick holes in his game, criticising him for ‘only scoring goals’. Well, we’re pretty sure any manager in the world would take a player whose main deficiency is netting too often…
CR7’s obsessive training habits and freakish natural athleticism are a shining example to any young pro wanting to thrive in the cut-throat world of football.
Long may his reign over Serie A continue.
Hated, adored, never ignored. Neymar is never far from controversy. In fact, he thrives on negative publicity and is always eager to prove his critics wrong.
The fanfare surrounding the Brazilian can often cloud his performances on the pitch, which is a shame because they are often earth shatteringly brilliant.
A carefree street footballer who just happens to be performing on the biggest stage, Neymar possesses a box of tricks to rival any other player in history.
Few are better placed to win the Ballon d’Or over the next few years.
Sadio Mané’s path to superstardom has not been the most conventional. There’s not been one big money move or standout moment, his career has been a story of hard work and constant improvement.
Ever since he snuck away from his village in Senegal to follow his dream of becoming a professional footballer, Mané has busted a gut to get the top. Now, he is one of the most fearsome goalscorers and creators in African football history
Since joining Liverpool he has become a champion of England, Europe and even the world. He would walk into any side in the globe and instantly improve them and it will be fascinating to see how his story continues over the next few seasons.