Immortal Lefties

LOS ANGELES — It is said that less than 12 percent of the world’s population has a defined laterality to the left, that is, they are left-handed. In soccer, the field has two bands and in the “sinister” they have lined up some of the greatest geniuses of this sport.

Actually, a complete player handles both legs but being left-handed is a gift that distinguishes a good player.

Today August 13, World Left-handed Day, we remember the greatest, already retired and the current best.

It will be difficult to remember a more educated, exquisite and prodigious left leg than that of the so-called ‘Pelusa’.

Since that October 20, 1976, when he made his debut throwing a pipe at Juan Domingo Cabrera, the kid who would turn 16 10 days later delighted the world with the limb that made it think that it was not a balloon that dominated, but a balloon or that simply the laws of physics were altered at the pace of genius.

The same to drive, to kick a free kick or to make a hat or throw an unlikely pass, the left-footed ’10’ chiselled moments that are already in low relief in the history of football.

For some the greatest, for all, surely a unique left-handed, the best until perhaps another left-handed Argentine named Messi says otherwise.

The Hungarian little gun terrified all the goalkeepers in Europe in the 50s and 60s with his tremendous punch. Robust guy, in these times he would even be labeled fat, he had talent in every ounce of his body.

Those stones made of leather called balls from 60 years ago were projectiles when thrown by Puskas.

He played for Hungary and Spain and arrived at Di Estéfano’s Real Madrid to show the Saeta Rubia on the left also basting golden filigree.


The most feared weapon in world soccer today is that educated and calibrated left leg, which once it approaches the area is capable, from any possible angle, of taking a touch that inevitably, at grass level, will kiss the post and end up in the net. .

Messi is the efficiency of the touch at its best, he makes an art of what is simple. He almost doesn’t look for the fork, always hitting the ball just right, but that doesn’t detract from his aesthetics.

We still have many feats that can be accomplished with that Leo leg and he deserves to be the only active lefty on this list.

‘The left-handed man with a thousand profiles’ was the nickname of this English gentleman who survived the Manchester United tragedy to forge one of the most successful clubs in the world.

His long-distance shot and chess player’s parsimony that he exchanged for his own elusiveness, his rivals said, of a fish in midfield were the signature of his left leg, a true watchmaker’s tool for the great Bobby, leader of the Busby Babys.

Over time, he developed his right leg with which he managed to score goals as good as those he achieved with his left foot.


Riva, the most elusive mustache in history. A monster that stopped without further ado to wait for the marker that he wanted to humiliate to arrive, and indeed, after an elastic it left him standing almost without speed.

This dribble, invented by Rivelino, and nowadays very popularized by Ronaldinho or by Zidane, consists of showing the ball to the opponent, opening it to the outside with a little touch and when it seems that he will kick off from there, he crosses it in front of the player. embarrassed defender.

Obviously, the champion with Brazil in 1970 did it with his left foot, ‘remo’ with which he took out tremendous cannon shots as well as requiring assists for characters like Jairzinho, Tostao or a certain Pelé.

Anyone who likes football will remember the impossible parable described by the ball that was embedded in Barthez’s cabin at the Stade Gerland in Lyon in the friendly Tournoi 1997.

Roberto Carlos managed that day to match the feats of a right-hander, Nelinho who put a chanfle or sheet that falls before the Real Madrid winger did, but the player with the name of a singer has been more famous due to the influence of the media.

Either way, this shorty’s worm screws put him, without a doubt, among the greatest lefties in history.

As in all soccer history, left-handed Brazilians abound, but not like the extremely left-handed Eder.

This lanky and shaggy player from the 70’s and 80’s only used his right leg to keep from falling, because in reality he did everything with his left foot.

The rope that he drew with the ax blows from the outside was a nightmare for Rinat Dassaev in the 1982 World Cup.

If you’re not old enough to remember the backward pass from Paulo Isidoro that Socrates lets pass on a screen between his legs, so that Eder then slightly lifts the ball with his left foot on the run and then slices it up and turns it into a harpoon that ended up in the goal of the USSR, do not worry there is YouTube and there you can see something unheard of.

The history of the top scorer in the 1978 World Cup was written with his left foot, the leg with which he carried the ball between opponents who lost it between his long legs and his drooping socks.

El Matador was a threat in the area, but also, usually with low left-footed shots, he prayed the enemy nets, mainly in his golden era with Valencia.


Another Brazilian, another from the 70s, but another must-have on the list. Gerson handled the left like a billiard player. Ranversés and scrapes with the opposite effect were his repertoire both for the minuscule lateral passes that dizzy the rivals of the best team that has ever presented itself to a World Cup, as well as for the filtered passes or the mid-distance shots of which Peruvians can prove right, Uruguayans and Italians.

The 1994 Ballon d’Or and Booty d’Or winner, as well as the greatest Bulgarian in history, was a rabid left-footer.

His shots threatened to tear off the heads of the archers, and although it was not more frequent, he also took out the velvet to caress the ball and place it in the corners.

I know Il Capitano was right-footed, but the best left-back in the world deserves a separate mention.

His excellent handling of the left-handed profile made him an artist, but his danger increased when he turned to the center of the field and touched his natural leg with his right.

No one would have suspected that Maldini was not left-handed, because he was neat and refined in the starts, so more than an ambidextrous he should be called a self-made left-hander.

The world count of left-handers cannot be complete without the Golden Boy, the best Mexican player of all time.

Sánchez could score goals with his head or right, but his left foot was magical. A kind of wand that turned balls into victories, scoring titles and trophies for his teams.

It was not only the quantity but the quality of his left-footed goals that put him among the immortals.



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