15 Best Wingers in the History of Football

Who is the best winger in football?

Winger or side-midfielder is one of the most important roles in a football team. Although not every team uses a formation that has wingers, this position later give birth to many world's best players such as Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo, Eden Hazard, Jesus Navas, and many more.

In addition to those famous name, I want to present a list of other players who deserve the title as the best winger of all time. Most of the players have high running speed, good dribbling skills, accurate crossing, and also often score important goals in a match. Without further ado, here is the list:

15. Gareth Bale

Maybe a lot of people think it is too early to include Gareth Bale into the list of world's best wingers. In my opinion, this player has successfully proved his quality in the two toughest leagues in Europe, Premier League and Spanish League. The most surprising thing is the high productivity of Bale in scoring goals, although he is positioned at the side of the field. If he is able to maintain his consistency in Real Madrid and not troubled by his prolonged injury, I believe Bale is able to be one of the greatest players in the history of football.

14. Zbigniew Boniek

Until now, Boniek is regarded as the greatest footballer from Poland. This mustachioed player played a major role in bringing Poland finished third in the 1982 World Cup, the highest position ever achieved by this country. His remarkable dribbling speed made Boniek noticed by many big clubs in Europe. He was recruited by Juventus and won a lot of individual and team awards before being transferred to AS Roma, the club where he ended his career as a professional football player.

13. Roberto Rivelino

Brazil national team does not have too many stand out wingers. Maybe because this position attracts less attention than the strikers. From the few of Brazilian wingers, Roberto Rivelino is one of the best examples. This player helped Brazil win the World Cup in 1970 and popularized a trick called "flip-flop," an action to outwit the opponent defender on the sidelines by shaking legs to the right and to the left. This movement was later imitated by many of today's football players, such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Ronaldinho.

12. Tom Finney

Tom Finney played during the period of 1946 to 1960. The player who spent his entire career with Preston North End is one of the most important figure of England national team in various international tournaments. Although he has amazing skill and great scoring ability, Finney has never won a trophy in his career.

11. Marc Overmars

Marc Overmars is a Netherlands ex-footballer who was famous for his great speed. He once held the record as the fastest player in the Premier League when he played for Arsenal. This player also always became a troublesome opponent for the defenders because if he left free, Overmars would instantly send great passing or even score a goal. Together with Dennis Bergkamp, Emmanuel Petit and Thierry Henry, Overmars was an essential player who made Arsenal become one of the most feared teams in the Premier League.

10. Dragan Dzajic

This player is not very well known because he spent most of his career in a Yugoslavian club, Red Star Belgrade. However, in terms of skills, Dzajic is probably one of the best wingers ever. Operated on the left-wing, this player was famous because of his super accurate crossings. He also possessed great speed and his left-foot free-kicks often resulted goals.

9. Luis Figo

The quality of a Luis Figo as a winger made him once valued as the most expensive player in the world. As a winger, Figo could play on the right and left sides equally well. Although he was not too fast and strong, this player possessed tremendous technique. Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Inter Milan are the examples of some of clubs who took benefit of Luis Figo's greatness in providing assists and scoring goals.

8. Arjen Robben

Fast and dangerous. Arjen Robben started to be recognized when he played brilliantly in Chelsea. Although he is a little selfish, Robben is a type of player who always causes problems for the opponent's defenders. Unlike most winger who prefers sending a cross pass to the striker, Robben tends to enter the opponent's defense from the side of the field. Having made ​​it into the penalty box, he will try to shoot the ball which usually results a goal.

7. Ryan Giggs

In his prime-time, Ryan Giggs was a winger who often displays magic on the field. Playing on the left side of the field, Giggs and David Beckham became the mainstay of Manchester United in building attacks. He often outwits his opponents with beautiful tricks before sending a cross to the center forward. Dwight Yorke, Andy Cole and Ruud van Nistelrooy are examples of some strikers who were served by Giggs' highly accurate passings.

6. Stanley Matthews

Best is dubbed as "The Wizard of Dribble" and "The Magician" because he possessed great dribbling skills. Spending most of his professional career at Stoke City, Matthews was the source of energy for England national team. He played on the right-side of the field and helped his team win the match with his great dribbling, crossing and finishing skills.

5. George Best

George Best is a Manchester United legend who led the club reach its golden age. Along with Bobby Charlton and Dennis Law, Best was the backbone of the Red Devils' offense. Although he had short stature, Best was very quick and agile, which makes him could easily pass the opponent's defenders. His great skills as a football player made him was awarded with Ballon d'Or in 1968.

4. David Beckham

In terms of crossing accuracy, perhaps until now no one can beat David Beckham. There have been many world-class striker who played alongside Beckham and praised his great cross passing. This player used to send accurate crossing that was very easy to convert into goals. In addition, his set-piece execution was also very deadly. Beckham is famous as a very reliable free-kick and corner kick taker. He often helped the team to score a goal during the set-piece condition.

3. Johan Cruyff

Cruyff is the playmaker of the scheme called "total football" tactic, a strategy where all players are required to move from one position to another position actively. As a commander of the team, Cruyff had a very big responsibility in organizing the offense and defense. Although he is not a pure winger, he often carried out attacks from the side-lines. Normally, he would dribble into the penalty box from the sidelines and tried to score goals. Sometimes, Cruyff also sent accurate crosses to the striker.

2. Garrincha

Garrincha who possessed short stature and bowlegged was the backbone of the Brazillian team when they won the World Cup twice in 1958 and 1962. Operating in the right side of the field, Garrincha could suddenly accelerate his speed, made the defenders completely surprised. His off-the-ball movement helped the other players to get more spaces and opportunities to score goals. Not only that, Garrincha's left and right feet are both dangerous threats for the opponent's goalkeeper.

1. Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the biggest phenomena of world football in the 21st century. This Portuguese player has complete skills as a footballer. His power, dribbling, speed, and technique are extraordinary. He also has very good scoring instincts. Although he was positioned on the side of the pitch, Ronaldo always becomes the main goal-scorer for two great teams, Manchester United and Real Madrid. If only in the future he could win an international title with the Portugal national team, Ronaldo would achieve Pele's and Maradona's current position as legends in the world of football.

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