Footballers at the highest level should be good enough to use both feet, shouldn’t they?
As a kid, you’re taught to use your weaker foot as much as you can and it’s something many of us fail to master.
But even the best players in the world can’t quite manage it.
In fact, arguably the greatest player in the history of the game, Lionel Messi, isn’t particularly adept at using his right foot.
So, on August 13 - which we all know is International Lefthanders Day - Spanish outlet Marca decided to stage a virtual right-footed vs left-footed XI throughout history.
And we’ve decided to take a look at the match-up and work out who would win. We’re going to assess each position and give a point to who we think is best…
Right foot: Gianluigi Buffon
Left foot: Iker Casillas
Two legendary goalkeepers, there’s no doubt about that. But we’re giving this to Buffon purely on longevity.
Right foot 1-0 Left-foot
Right foot: Cafu
Left foot: Paolo Maldini
Cafu and Maldini were teammates for so long but we think the Italian edges this.
Right foot 1-1 Left-foot
Right foot: Franco Baresi
Left foot: Daniel Passarella
Two of the best centre-backs the world has ever seen but Baresi is more of a legendary name and once came second in the Ballon d’Or (1989).
Right foot 2-1 Left-foot
Right foot: Franz Beckenbauer
Left foot: Roberto Carlos
Obviously very different players and played in different positions but Beckenbauer gets the nod.
Right foot 3-1 Left-foot
Right foot: Mauro Silva
Left foot: Fernando Redondo
Two defensive midfielders but we’re giving this Redondo for his - mainly for THAT skill against Manchester United. Silva’s career peaked at Deportivo.
Right foot 3-2 Left-foot
Right foot: Michel Platini
Left foot: Ferenc Puskas
We don’t care how good Platini was. If you score 622 goals in 629 games, then you’re winning this one. That’s what Puskas did and even got an award named after him.
Right foot 3-3 Left-foot
Right foot: Zinedine Zidane
Left foot: Bobby Charlton
As much as we’d give to be patriotic and give this to Charlton, we have to hand it to Zizou.
Right foot 4-3 Left-foot
Right foot: Pele
Left foot: Rivelino
Two incredible Brazilians but Pele is regarded as one of the greatest players of all time with an apparent 643 goals in 656 matches.
Right foot 5-3 Left-foot
Right foot: Alfredo Di Stefano
Left foot: Diego Maradona
This is getting tough now. Di Stefano is the biggest legend in Real Madrid history but Maradona is Maradona. There’s only one winner.
Right foot 5-4 Left-foot
Right foot: Cristiano Ronaldo
Left foot: Lionel Messi
This shouldn’t upset anyone…
Probably the two greatest players of all time but we’re giving this one to Messi. Which makes the scores level heading into the final player…
Right foot 5-5 Left-foot
Right foot: Johan Cruyff
Left foot: Hugo Sanchez
Mexican Sanchez spent time in Madrid with Atletico and Real, scoring a combined 290 goals. Meanwhile, the late great Cruyff won the Ballon d’Or three times and his career highlights included spells at Ajax - where he scored 190 goals in 240 league games - and Barcelona. He even invented his own skill and, therefore, he’s won it for the right-footers.
Right foot 6-5 Left-foot
Check out the two XIs below:
- Who has the best mins-per-goal ratio in the Champions League?
- Arda Turan makes controversial claim over the GOAT debate
- How many players have been given a perfect 10 by L'Equipe?