How do we decide who is the best at any one position?
First of all, labeling someone the best is not conclusive or permanent. A ranking of players by position will change every season—multiple times throughout—as injuries, form, team chemistry and various other factors influence such a list. It is really impossible to have a unanimous view on such a ranking. Everyone has their own opinions about what the most important strengths and weaknesses are by position.
More importantly, those strengths are measured not according to a universal standard, but by the level of success achieved in a given team or system. One player's best attributes may be utilized perfectly at one team, but make them far less valuable at another.
So in a sense, any ranking that declares one player as the best at their position is not only inherently flawed, but fickle.
With that pretense set, I am here to provide a list of the top 15 left backs in Europe.
While the players are ranked in order from 15 to 1, the order is certainly up for debate. In fact, discussion and disagreement is encouraged.
Please note that while players are ranked, the gap between positions is not that great. The consistent and current ability shown by someone in the top 3 is not tremendously better than a player just outside of that level.
Without any further ado, here are the top 15 left-backs in football.