Friday, April 9, 2021

Top 10 Real Madrid Greatest leftbacks

This blogger Artur Yanturin of Russia copied many of my blog teams.  This blog was one of them.  It was my Russia All-Time Team here.  His team was written in 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2014.   His Spartak Moscow All-Time team entry of was published in October 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2017.  His entry of the Dutch-German rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona was written in 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2014.  He also copied many many of my blog entries.

His Facebook and Instagram

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index

Real Madrid is the most successful club in soccer's history.  They have won more titles in Europe than any other clubs. Of course, their players were among the greatest of all-time.  This post is about my Top 10 ranking of greatest leftbacks in Real Madrid's history.  But every fan has their favourites and opinions.  The ranking is extremely subjective.  Some player played in multi-positions.  Sometimes, people would even argue about the position of each player considered.  For this goalkeeper blog, I do not have this issue.

1st: Roberto Carlos (Brazil)
Roberto Carlos was regarded one of the best leftbacks in history.  He had 125 caps for Brazil playing in three World Cup Finals. He won 3 Champions League titles with Real Madrid and one World Cup title with Brazil in 2002.  In 1997, he was runner-up in the World Player of the Year.  He is especially famous for a free kick from 35m out against France in the  Tournoi de France 1997. The goal is considered one of the greatest goals ever scored.
Roberto Carlos
2nd:  Jose Antonio Camacho (Spain)
Jose Camacho is widely considered to be Spain's greatest leftback.  He earned 81 caps for Spain.  He played at the 1982 and 1986 FIFA World Cups, as well as the Euro 1984 and 1988. Spain reached the Euro Final in 1984.  He spent 15 seasons with Real Madrid. He played with the great Real Madrid side of the 1980's.  He won 19 titles with Real Madrid, including two back-to-back UEFA Cups: 1984–85, 1985–86.
3rd: Marcelo (Brazil)
Marcelo started his career with Fluminense before making a dream move to Real Madrid in 2007.  He spent several years in and out of the lineup before establishing himself as one of the stars of the team.  With them, he won four Champions' League titles from 2014 to 2018.  He was known for his partnership with Cristano Ronaldo. At the time of writing, he has over 58 caps for Brazil and played at the 2014 and 2018 World Cup in Brazil.
4th: Rafael Gordillo (Spain)
Rafael Gordillo was known as the greatest left wingback in Spanish history.  He played at the same time as Camacho for both club and country.  Both players started on the left side.  Camacho supported him defensively.  He was a legend at both Real Betis and Real Madrid. He was voted the Best Player in Spain for 1979-1980 season.  He played with the great Real Madrid side of the 1980's, winning an UEFA Cup.
Rafael Gordillo 
5th: Manuel Sanchís Martínez (Spain)
Like his son Manuel, Sanchis Senior represented Real Madrid and Spain. They were one of only three father/son pairs to have won the European Cup/Champions League.  He played in 213 La Liga games over the course of ten seasons for Real Madrid.  He also represented for CD Condal, Real Valladolid and Córdoba CF.  An international during nearly two years, Sanchís appeared with the national team at the 1966 World Cup.  He had 11 caps between 1965 and 1967.
Manuel Sanchís Martínez 
6th: Rafael Lesmes (Spain)
Over 12 La Liga seasons Rafael Lesmes played for Real Valladolid (two spells) and Real Madrid, appearing in 263 games in the competition. He began his career with local Atlético Tetuán, and retired in 1962 at the age of 35.  With Real Madrid, Lesmes was part of the team that won five consecutive European Cups. Lesmes was an unsused player at the 1950 World Cup.  In total, he played twice for Spain in 1955 and 1958 respectively.
Rafael Lesmes
7th: Pachín (Spain)
Pachín signed for Real Madrid in 1959 from Segunda División club CA Osasuna. Pachín left the Merengues in May 1968, having appeared in 218 competitive games and scored two goals. He won 11 major titles during his spell, including seven national championships and the 1960 and 1966 editions of the European Cup.  He earned 8 caps and played in the World Cup Finals in 1962.
8th Mikel Lasa (Spain)
Mikel Lasa made his debut at the age 17 with Real Sociedad.  From 1991 to 1997, he played for Real Madrid.  Then, he played for , Athletic Bilbao, in 1997–98, between 1997 and 2001.  Then, he ended his career with Murcia and Ciudad de Murcia.  For international football, he played 3 times for Spain 1993.  In addition, he was also a member of the side that won the gold medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics, in Barcelona.
Mikel Lasa 
9th Juan Carlos Touriño (Spain)
Born in Argentina, Touriño made his debut aged 22 in 1966 for Quilmes. Then, Touriño played over 100 league games for Real Madrid between 1970 and 1976, during which time he was part of three La Liga championship and two Spanish cup winning squads. He also played for Independiente Medellín of Colombia and Gimnasia y Esgrima de La Plata.  Touriño made his only international appearance on 12 January 1972 in Spain's 1–0 victory over Hungary.
Juan Carlos Touriño
10th: Jesús Ángel Solana (Spain)
"Chucho" Jesús Ángel Solana was a product of Real Madrid's youth ranks. He was used regularly in five of his six seasons with the capital club's first team, as it won five La Liga titles in a row in the 1980's.  However, Solana would be most known for his spell at Real Zaragoza, where he won a Copa del Rey as well as the memorable 1994–95 edition of the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup against Arsenal.  He was capped once in 1988.
"Chucho"  Solana 

Honorable Mention
Fábio Coentrão, Robert Jarni, Gabriel Heinze, Rafael  García Cortés, Raul Bravo.

Ranking Explanation
-- Roberto Carlos was probably one of the greatest leftbacks in football's history.  His half-volley goal against Tenerife in 1998 is undoubtedly one of Real Madrid's most defining goals of all time.  I personally thought that it was much more impossible than the freekick he scored for Brazil against France in 1997.

-- Roberto Carlos took Marcelo under the wing when Marcelo arrived in 2007.   He personally mentored the young Brazilian who considered Roberto Carlos as his idol when he grew up in Brazil.  He even invited him to his home for Christmas dinner shortly after arriving.
-- Marcelo's grandfather Pedro was the most important person in his life. He died just two days before the semifinal against Germany in the 2014 World Cup.  Marcelo was devastated and his performance was by huis death.
-- Rafael Gordillo was a natural wingback, but used mainly as a left winger in Madrid.  At Madrid, Rafael Gordillo often played as a winger in front of Camacho.  I was debating whether I should put him on the left wing section.
-- Rafael Gordillo was one of the greatest footballers from Andalusia.  He was born in Extremadura, but he is an Andalusian. 
--  When Red Star Belgrade played against Real Madrid in the 1974-1975 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup quaterfinal, the game was billed as the "Dragan Džajić vs Camacho" show.  Džajić was the best left winger in the world at that time and Camacho was one of the best defenders.  Real Madrid was coached by Miljan Miljanić who was the long time coach of Red Star. In Madrid, he promoted Camacho to the first team.  
-- Rafael Lesmes played as a left-sided centerback on  a 3 men defence.  He was also one of the pioneers attacking defender.
-- While playing for Osasuna against Real Madrid, Pachín was assigned to mark Ferenc Puskas, in which Puskas completely destroyed him.  In the second half, however, he was switched to guard Alfredo Di Stefano.  Di Stefano was so impressed with his performance that he recommended Real Madrid to sign him.
-- Pachín was considered one of the first all purpose defender because he could play across the backline.  
-- Pachín played between 1959 and 1968 in which he won two European Cups and seven Leagues.  He won a title every single season in Madrid.  He was very decorated. 
-- At one point, Fábio Coentrão was a challenge to Marcelo's starting position.  He even started at the 2014 Champions' League Final ahead of Marcelo.  Marcelo suffered an injury on the previous round.  Later, Coentrão's career was affected by injuries and other issues.  
-- Gabriel Heinze played both as a leftback and centerback.  He was a transitional player between Roberto Carlos and Marcelo.  Real Madrid also bought Royston Drenthe soon after Marcelo joined the club.
-- Gabriel Heinze and Royston Drenthe would take care of left-back duties for new coach Bernd Schuster during the 2007/08 season,  Heinze was steady while Drenthe was a bust.
-- Mikel Lasa played in the years between Camacho and Roberto Carlos.  In the beginning of his career, he was battling for a position with Francisco Villarroya whom I considered to be a winger.
-- Juan Carlos Tourino was born in Buenos Aires to Spanish parents, but he represented Spain for football.  In Argentina, he was also known as to get Argentine footballers unionized.
-- Jesús Ángel Solana (Spain) is also on my Real Zaragoza All-Time team.
-- Robert Jarnis career here did not stand out. 
-- Raul Bravo did not play much as a leftback because of Roberto Carlos.