World Football: The Current Best 11 Wingers in the World
The past two recipients of the FIFA Player of the Year Award, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, are both wingers, which shows just how skillful today's wingers are.
It's quite difficult to pick the best 11, but that's what I tried to do here, and I hope you enjoy my list.
P.S. The players are not ranked, just listed.
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The Portuguese player is undoubtedly one of the best wingers (and one of the best players) in the world.
In the past three seasons, he averaged an impressive 32 goals per season, which is especially noteworthy considering that he plays mostly as a winger.
This season he hasn't exactly had a great start, but he'll certainly keep showing why he is one of the best on the planet.
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Despite his off-pitch antics, the 27-year-old Frenchman is definitely a top winger. With Ribéry on one wing and Robben on the other, Bayern are one of the most-feared teams in Europe.
Ribéry's assist stats are absolutely impressive. His speed and vision make him one of the most dangerous wingers around.
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Silva is a very complete player—he can play as a midfielder, as a winger and as a supporting striker. However, it can be argued that he plays his best when used on the wings.
His speed, technique and great crossing skills made him a fundamental player in Valencia and an important player in Spain's recent international success. Now in Manchester City, it is expected that Silva can keep developing and showing the world all his potential.
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The Portuguese winger ended last season in superb form and has started the new season in the same way. He has been so impressive that Ryan Giggs has labeled him as Cristiano Ronaldo's heir at Manchester United.
Whether or not he can match his countryman's achievements remains to be seen. But there's no doubt that, at 23, Nani is already one of the best wingers on the planet.
He has recently scored two great goals for the Portuguese national team against Denmark and assisted Cristiano Ronaldo for the third Portuguese goal. A true world-class performance.
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The inclusion of the 25-year-old might seem like a surprise but only to those who haven't been paying attention.
Last season, he and Keizuke Honda led CSKA Moscow to the quarter-finals of the Champions, and this season he has been fantastic for Juventus, with crucial goals and assists.
His dribbling technique and speed are quite amazing and make him worthy of a spot in this list.
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About a year-and-a-half ago, Pedro was an unknown to most football fans, but he is now one of the best wingers in the world.
2009-2010 was truly a breakout season for Pedro—from being an unknown, he benched Thierry Henry in Barcelona, he became the first player ever to score in six different competitions in the same season, he was called to the World Cup and he benched Torres, having become an important part of Spain's success.
Also, in his first season as a first-team player he managed to outscore Zlatan Ibrahimovic (which is even more impressive if we consider that the Swede is a striker and Pedro a winger), with 23 goals, some of them absolutely decisive.
This season, he hasn't hit top form yet, but it's certainly only a matter of time.
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The 24-year-old footballer used to have a lot of trouble showing his quality due to his anxiety issues (chronic homesickness). More recently, he decided to face his problem and try to get rid of his condition. He started taking part in Sevilla's preseason trips and made himself available for the Spanish national team.
Del Bosque selected him and he surely doesn't regret it, as the Spaniard showed all his amazing talent.
Navas is an extraordinary case of courage and preserverance, and now that he seems to have overcome his chronical problems he can finally start showing all his talent and become a world-class player.
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The 22-year-old Valencia player is definitely the future of Spanish football. He has tremendous pace, intelligence and goalscoring abilities.
He has already shown tremendous quality over the past few seasons, and Barcelona were reportedly interested during the summer.
This season, he and Ever Banega have led Valencia to the first place in La Liga and, if he keeps like that, a big money move next summer is more than likely.
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Malouda was one of the main players in Lyon's domination of French football, and he was signed by Chelsea in 2007.
In Chelsea, he was unable to show his Lyon form. Until 2009, that is. Carlo Ancelotti managed to revitalize the French winger, and he's now better than ever and irreplacable in Chelsea's lineup. So far, he has scored six goals in six league matches this season.
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Injuries have tormented Robben during all his career, but he's undoubtedly a world-class player—one of the best in the world.
Last season, he managed to stay injury-free in Bayern and led the club to the domestic double and to the final of the Champions, with superb performances and decisive goals.
He proved that it wasn't Real Madrid who could do better than Robben: It was Robben who could to better than Real Madrid.
He played the final of the Champions League in the Bernabeu of all places, where Perez had a privileged seat to witness just how big a mistake he had made.
Why spend $94 million on Cristiano Ronaldo when he already had Arjen Robben? It's baffling, to say the least.
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This is a no-brainer
Lionel Messi is the best player of this generation by a very large distance, and he's obviously the best winger (as well as the best striker).
Last season, Messi scored an impressive 47 goals, and this season he has already scored eight in eight matches and he hasn't even hit top form yet. The Argentinian genius is almost unstoppable, and his otherwordly performances have earned unprecedented plaudits for a 23-year-old, as few doubt that he has everything to become the best football player ever (or at least in the same league as Pelé and Maradona) once he retires.
There's currently no rival to Messi, who is truly a once-in-a-generation player and one of the most complete players ever (goal-scoring skills, play-making skills, on-pitch intelligence...). No player combines pace, skill and strength like Messi does. A strong header of the ball and an excellent reader of the game, he is hands- down the most complete player in world football.
Football fans will keep on enjoying Lionel Messi's football on his seemingly unstoppable path to greatness.