Best Wingers: Here Are The Top 10 Best Wingers In History.
Speed, agility, sense of dribbling, quality of passing, the assets sought in a winger are numerous. In addition to knowing how to center and make precise passes, the modern winger must also know how to score or come down to defend. Few players, however, have mastered these characteristics perfectly.
The players in this Top 10 are those who have revolutionized this winger position. They are all exceptional players, who have won the biggest competitions. They are legends within their respective clubs or countries and have gone down in football history.
Top 10 Best Wingers in History:
Without further ado, check out the Top 10 Best Wingers of All Time.
10. Luis Figo:
- Country: Portugal
Luis Figo is one of the best players of his generation. Passed by several big European clubs, he is a physical player and at ease technically. Very good in one against one, he is able to dribble but also to deliver sumptuous passes. Figo is also a legend in his country, he is also part of our Top 10 of the best Portuguese players in history.
Figo made his professional debut with Sporting CP, where he was already making a name for himself. He joined Barcelona in 1995 and notably won La Liga twice with the Catalans. While he is the star of Barca, he signs to everyone’s surprise at Real Madrid in 2000. With the Galacticos, he will once again be Spanish champion twice, but above all he won a Champions League in 2002 alongside by Zidane. Figo ended his career at Inter Milan, where he won the championship 4 seasons in a row.
Despite an international career marked by disappointments, Figo has made Portuguese football grow. Semi-finalist at Euro 2000, semi-finalist at the 2002 World Cup and finalist at Euro 2004, he will not succeed in winning an international trophy. However, he remains a legend in Portugal, as at Real or Inter. Ballon d’Or in 2000, we can say that Figo is one of the best wingers in history. It is also found in our ranking of the best passers in history.
9. Robert Pires:
- Country: France
Legend at Arsenal as in the French team, Robert Pirès is an extraordinary player. Very versatile, he can evolve in both attacking and defensive midfield, but his favorite position remains the left wing. In addition to his speed, Pirès is a very good dribbler, which allows him to easily outrun any defender. He’s also very adept in front of goal, which makes him one of the best wingers of all time.
His career began at FC Metz, where he quickly made a place for himself. After a very good season in 1998, he finished vice-champion of France with the Messins. Pirès then joined Marseille and finished once again runner-up, in addition to being an unfortunate UEFA Cup finalist in 99. It was at Arsenal that he reached his highest level. With the Gunners, he was crowned champion of England twice, including the famous invincible season in 2004. For his last season in England, he even reached the final of the Champions League, but lost in the final.
In the France team, Pirès has even more success. World Champion in 1998 and Euro winner in 2000, he won the biggest international trophies. Despite little playing time, he is decisive and shines when he enters the field. As for example in the final of Euro 2000, where he delivers a decisive pass for Trezeguet who gives the victory to the blues.
8. Stanley Matthews:
- Country: Spain
Sir Stanley Matthews is a Football legend. Nicknamed “the wizard of dribbling”, he impresses with his high technical quality and his skill of play. Thanks to an irreproachable hygiene of life, Matthews plays at the highest level until the age of 50, a record in England. His vision of the game, his dribbling and his longevity make him one of the best wingers of all time.
Matthews has spent his entire 30-year career at two clubs, Stoke City and Blackpool FC. From his beginnings, he allowed Stoke City to win the championship of the English second division, and reach the elite. After a few seasons at Stoke, he joined Blackpool in 1947 after the war. Matthews won his only club title there, the FA Cup in 1953. At the end of his career, he returned to Stoke City, and won the title of player of the year in England at the age of 48.
England international Stanley Matthews has 52 caps for 11 goals. Despite several British Home Championship won between 1934 and 1955, he did not win any major international trophy. First Ballon d’Or in history in 1956, Matthews is one of the best English players in history.
7. Paco Gento:
- Country: Spain
Paco Gento is an extremely talented winger and a Real Madrid legend. He is considered by many to be one of the best wingers in history. Very fast, he had a very good vision of the game, which allowed him to make many assists from his left wing. Gento also had a good ball strike which made him even more unpredictable.
Trained at Racing Santander, Paco Gento made his debut with the club in La Liga in 1952. After only one season, he already joined Real Madrid, where he remained until the end of his career. Gento won the Spanish championship 12 times, which is still a record today. But he also holds the record in the Champions League, with 6 victories, including 5 in a row between 1956 and 1960.
In the national team, Gento will play 43 games and score 5 goals during his career. He participated in two World Cups in 1952 and 1956, but he missed the 1954 European Cup, which was won by Spain. For his incredible career with the Madrid club, Gento is also one of the best players in the history of Real Madrid.
6. Ryan Giggs:
- Country: Cardiff, Wales
Ryan Giggs is a Welsh international and an iconic Manchester United player. Positioned on the left wing, he was able to pass any defender thanks to his speed and ability to dribble. In addition, the precision of his strikes and passes make Giggs an extremely dangerous offensive player. The Welshman is also known for his fair play, having received no red cards in 24 seasons with Manchester United.
Faithful to his club, Ryan Giggs has spent his entire career at Manchester United. He won an impressive number of titles there. Giggs won the Premier League 13 times between 1993 and 2013 with the Red Devils. But he also won among others 4 English Cups and especially 2 times the Champions League. In 1,027 games, he has scored 221 goals and delivered over 180 assists for Manchester.
Selected at the age of 17 for the national team, Giggs quickly became the centerpiece of the team. Unfortunately, he will fail to qualify his country for the finals of a major competition. In total, he will play 64 games for the national team and score 12 goals. However, he remains considered one of the best wingers in football history.
5. Roberto Rivelino:
- Country: Brazil
Little known in Europe, but very famous in Brazil, Rivelino is one of the best wingers of all time. Excellent on the left side, he also shines as a playmaker within La Seleçao. Fast, very good dribbler and with a good vision of the game, Rivelino has all the assets necessary for his position.
Roberto Rivelino spends the vast majority of his career in Brazil. He will first spend 10 seasons at SC Corinthians, where he will perform well and be highly regarded by fans for his loyalty. But he will not succeed in winning the title for his team, which will remain his greatest regret. It was when he joined Fluminense that he won his first club titles, 2 championships in Rio de Janeiro. He will end his career at Al-Hilal in Saudi Arabia.
It is with the Seleçao that Rivelino will experience his greatest success. In 1970, he was part of one of the greatest football teams in history, notably with Pelé and Jairzinho. At the World Cup this year, Rivelino will shine and allow his team to win the competition. Following Pelé’s retirement, he will be the new leader of the Seleçao, and will participate in 2 other World Cups.
4. George Best:
- Country: England
George Best lives up to his name, he is quite simply one of the best British players in history. He is extremely quick and agile on the ball, with an exceptional sense of dribbling. Best is also part of our ranking of the best dribblers of all time. A genius in football, he had his best years with Manchester United. Best became a true rock star, even inheriting the nickname “Fifth Beatles” in England.
Best spent the first part of his career at Manchester United. Trained at the club, he made his debut at 17 and directly impresses. He won the championship and the Champions League twice with the Red Devils in 1968. After his brilliant stint in Manchester, George Best joined a dozen different clubs, in countries such as the United States and Australia.
Hailing from Northern Ireland, Best is obviously his team’s main player. In total, he participates in 37 matches and scores 9 goals for his country. Best will even call for the creation of a unified Ireland squad, but to no avail. With a Ballon d’Or obtained in 1968, George Best is one of the best wingers of all time.
- Country: Brazil
Garrincha is another of those Brazilians that Europe knows very little about. Yet he is one of the best Brazilian players of all time. Elusive on the field, Garrincha easily passes the defenders on his right wing thanks to his acceleration and dribbling. But the Brazilian is also an excellent passer, especially with his crosses, and a very good finisher.
Passed by several clubs, of which especially Botafogo, Garrincha remained all his career in his native country. He won the Rio championship with his team 3 times, as well as 2 Rio-São Paulo tournaments. After 581 games and 232 goals, he has become a true legend for all Botafogo supporters.
His exploits are even better known on the international scene. He participated with Pelé in two World Cup victories in 1958 and 1962. It was especially in 1962, when Pelé was injured in a group match, that Brazil relied on Garrincha. He will not disappoint and will even finish top scorer in the competition. Mané Garrincha is still considered one of the best wingers in football history today.
- Country: Argentina
The only player to have won the Ballon d’Or 6 times, Messi is considered one of the best footballers of all time. He is able to roam the field and dribble all the opposing defense before scoring. With almost 700 goals, he is one of the top scorers in history. Lively, fast, passer as finisher, he is a player who can change the course of a match on his own.
Lionel Messi has spent his entire career at FC Barcelona, a club with which he has won everything. In the space of 16 seasons, he won La Liga 10 times, as well as 4 Spanish Cups. But also and above all 4 times the Champions League. Messi has scored 683 goals in 810 games played for the Catalans. He is the top scorer in the history of La Liga, and the top scorer in the history of FC Barcelona.
In selection the results are more mixed, but he is still one of the best Argentinian players in history. Gold medalist at the 2008 Olympic Games, this is Leo Messi’s first and only title with Argentina. Finalist of the Copa America in 2007, 2015 and 2016, but especially of the World Cup in 2014, he has not yet won a major international trophy. However, Messi remains one of the best wingers of all time.
1. Cristiano Ronaldo:
- Country: Portugal
A tireless worker and an extraordinary footballer, Cristiano Ronaldo is certainly the best winger of all time. He is a complete player, physically strong, fast, and a very good finisher. Excellent on set pieces, he is also one of the best free kickers in history. Passed by several big European clubs, he managed to impose himself everywhere thanks to his talent and his consistency.
Trained at Sporting Portugal, Ronaldo moved to Manchester United after just one season. With the Red Devils, he won the Premier League 3 times and his first Champions League. CR7 then joined Real Madrid for 9 seasons. He will win the Liga twice there, but above all four times the Champions League, including three in a row. Since 2018, he has played for Juventus in Turin and already has a Serie A to his list. In total, Ronaldo has scored 674 goals in 896 club games, incredible statistics.
Cristiano Ronaldo is also performing very well with his national team. In 208 games he has scored 121 goals for Portugal. Unhappy finalist of Euro 2004, he managed to finally win his first international title at Euro 2016. He is, during each competition, an essential part of his team. All these successes have made Ronaldo one of the 10 richest sportsmen in the world.