What makes a perfect winger? Speed? Crossing ability? Acceleration? Trickery? Stamina? Consistency?
Is it even possible to be a "perfect" winger?
When you think of wingers, there are many names that come to mind. Ryan Giggs, Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, George Best, David Beckham, David Ginola to name a few. Great names and talents but were any of them the "perfect" winger?
What is the role of a winger? They are supposed to provide the ammunition for the striker to score and also they have to be able to score goals themselves. Wingers are also supposed to aid the defence and prevent fullbacks from having too much attacking freedom. Which of the above wingers were able to tick all the above mentioned traits and also fulfil the brief on being a "perfect" winger. Is Ronaldo ever lauded for his defensive work? Was Beckham ever praised for being able to beat players?
Every one of those great players all had major flaws in their game and had to be supplemented by their team in order to reach the dizzying heights that they have achieved.
One of the two main "traits" or "properties" of being the perfect winger is not his speed, talent or skill, is being satisfied with not taking the main spotlight in each and every game. Being the one who provides the assist while the striker is celebrated for scoring. Assists are not recorded on the score board but are still important.
Cristiano Ronaldo did not start off in the limelight. He had to work hard and even when he was in the spotlight, he provides as many assists as he has scored goals. If one was a selfish player, that would not be the case.
And finally another important trait is the ability to gather support from your team mates be it your fullback working extra hard to cover in defence, or the striker creating space in the box or just simply putting the ball in the net after your hard work. For wingers, having the support of your team mates is doubly important than a striker. You need to rely on the defence, midfield and attack.
It's tough being a winger, but when you do become successful, you are rated higher than any goalkeeper, defender, central midfielder or even striker. Just ask Cristiano Ronaldo.
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