The role of the winger, or wide midfielder, has changed considerably over the years.

Originally the job was well-defined, and crucial to the team's creativity - stay close to the touchline, dribble past the full-back and float in a cross for the centre-forward (as exemplified by Sir Stanley Matthews).

For a while the winger was a thing of myth, as teams persisted with narrower and narrower formations and insisted on players cutting infield.

Nowadays though, the traditional winger is making something of a return.

With the modern variation of 4-3-3, the winger also has to drop back when needed to help the midfield, and with the 4-2-3-1, wingers are able to stay forward and are often not required to track back.

There are a number of fine left-wingers currently in the game, but who would make a top 10 of all-time left-midfielders? GMS counts down.

10. Frank Ribery

It is possible that when it is all said and done, Ribery will rank higher on this list.

The most important player of current Bayern and France squads, he terrorises the opposition with his pace, dribbling ability and smartness in his game.

His creativity led Bayern Munich to lift the 2013 Champion's League trophy.

9. Ryan Giggs

The now 39-year-old Welsh midfielder is a Manchester United legend, having made more than 940 appearances for the Red Devils.

During his prime, Giggs was one of the most complete wingers in the world, running past defenders with his great technique and speed before providing a perfect cross for his team's striker.

8. Dejan Savicevic

What a great dribbler Savicevic was.

His work-rate was not the highest, but nobody can deny that his excessive talent made him into a true superstar.

A key member of the Red Star Belgrade side that lifted the 1991 European Cup - and the AC Milan team  that  won the Champions League of 1994 in a dominating 4-0 final against Barcelona.

7. Robert Pires

One of the most underrated players of all-time. 

With an impeccable technique, the Frenchman could both place a pinpoint pass and score some truly amazing goals.

He had a very important role at the great Arsenal sides of the early and mid 2000s, fitting perfectly with the flow of the Gunners' excellent playing style.

6. Roberto Rivelino

Rivelino is known for two things. His thick moustache and his thunderous long range set-pieces.

One of the members of the World Cup winning 1970 Brazilian side, he is credited with scoring the fastest goal in football history when he supposedly scored a goal direct from the kick-off after noticing the opposition goalkeeper on his knees finishing off pre-match prayers.

5. Francisco Gento

Gento is mostly remembered for his incredible speed (he was able to run 100 meters in 11 seconds flat while having a ball at his feet), for his skills with the ball and his scoring prowess from the midfield position.

He holds the unmatched record of winning 6 European Cups - all of them with Real Madrid.

4. Pavel Nedved

A football player who gave everything on the pitch, Pavel Nedved was widely known for his energy on the field, his refined shooting and his marvellous finishing ability.

He is mostly remembered for his great time at Juventus and Lazio. It was the Bianchoneri though, that were led by him in the Champions League final of 2003. 

The "Furia Ceca" (Czech Fury) won the Ballon d'Or at the end of the same year.

3. Ronaldinho

It's both a shame and miracle that Ronaldinho was at his best for only three seasons.

The Brazilian with the immense talent, was named the FIFA World Player of the Year for two consecutive seasons (2004, 2005). 

He led Barcelona to the 2006 Champions League title - and one can say that he brought new fans to the sport, with his creativity on the pitch and his big, infectious smile.

2. Cristiano Ronaldo

Ronaldo is one of the best all round players ever.

A top goalscorer, a great dribbler and a deadly set-piece taker.

He has incredible positioning and leadership skills - and is seen by many as the most athletic footballer of all time.

He is the complete player that you could wish to have on your team.

Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 222 goals in 215 appearances for Real Madrid. That record is absolutely terrifying - and he doesn't seem wanting to stop until he breaks another dozen records.

1. Johan Cruyff

Johan Cruyff is the most important Dutch player of all-time and one of the greatest footballers to ever play the beautiful game.

His name is synonymous with the playing style of total football that Ajax brought in the early '70s.

Cruyff was a playmaker, ammunitions provider and marksman rolled into one.

He was known for his technique, acceleration and his unmatched vision. 

He was the key and star player in the Ajax side which won three consecutive European Cups from 1971 to 1973.

Honourable Mentions : Sir Tom Finney, Oleg Blokhin, Mario Zagallo, Zoltan Czibor, Luis Enrique

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Topics:
Football
Ronaldo
Robert Pires
Franck Ribery
Cristiano Ronaldo
Ryan Giggs
Robert Pires