11 of the greatest wingers of all time
- Although the modern day formation doesn't require the use of a winger, the position has given birth to some of the world's best players.
The true purpose of any winger in a football is to beat defenders at will and get to the goal line and whip in a beautiful curling cross into the penalty area. When it looks like the single man up front would require support in the box from midfield when it came to scoring goals, the wingers cut inside to assist the centre forwards.
But, essentially, their true goal is to play beautiful football by hugging the touchline, something that is lost in most modern day wingers. Although modern day formations don't require the use of wingers, the position has given birth to some of the world's greatest players such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Eden Hazard and much more.
However, this list focuses on players who defined the position with their incredible pace, great dribbling skills, superb crossing abilities and chipping in with important goals in a match.
#11 Franck Ribery
Purely in terms of talent, Franck Ribery is one of the greatest wingers that France has ever produced. The Frenchman has had many critics who call him overrated, but at club level, the 33-year-old has won everything that he could have won. After spells in France with over 5 clubs and a brief spell with Galatasaray in Turkey, he became a key figure in the Bayern Munich side winning six Bundesliga titles, five DFB Pokals, and one Champions League trophy.
However, his best performance was during the 2012/2013 season, helping Bayern Munich to go on to win an unprecedented five trophies, which included the Champions League trophy and the Bundesliga. Ribery registered an incredible 17 goals and 25 assists for Bayern Munich during the season, winning Bundesliga Player of the year and finishing behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Leo Messi in the Ballon d’Or.
In his prime, the Frenchman had the ability to be a menace throughout the game with his pace and excellent dribbling skills, and great control with the ball at his feet.
However, Ribery wasn’t just known for his attacking abilities but was also very well know for tracking back and putting in a defensive shift whenever his team required it, something he still does.