Lionel Messi vs Diego Maradona: The 10 greatest left-footed players of all time ranked


Lionel Messi and Diego Maradona are two of the greatest sportspeople of all time.

The fact that the two Argentine legends are so often compared to one other is not only evidence of their similar playing styles, but also proof of their indelible impact on the beautiful game.

You only have to look at the unbridled show of love and support that pervaded Argentina and the world when Maradona sadly passed away last year to see the impact he left on the sport.

Messi and Maradona’s greatness

And the late great can rest assured knowing that his legacy is safe in the hands of another diminutive Argentine who has achieved records and feats at Barcelona that might never be topped.

However, today we’re going to hone in on one particular trait that Maradona and Messi have in common and that’s their most potent weapon of all: the left foot.

It’s pretty astonishing to note how many of the world’s best players achieved their greatness with the primary use of their left foot considering how comparatively rare it really is.


Left-footed geniuses

According to Psychology Today, less than 10% of people are left-footed with players like Pele, Cristiano Ronaldo, Alfredo Di Stéfano and Ronaldo Nazario all occupying the other 90%.

Nevertheless, Messi and Maradona’s minority status in favouring their left foot was reflected in just how extraordinary their talent was, but they’re by no means the only legendary left-footers.

In fact, Goal have decided to tip their hat to players like Maradona and Messi who use their left foot the most by naming and ranking the ten greatest footballers in history with that trait.


Greatest left-footed players

Now, I’m sure you can probably predict the top two ahead of time, though perhaps not the exact order, but there are plenty of interesting and exciting athletes who occupy the lower rungs.

From serial European Cup winners with Real Madrid to modern Premier League legends, you can check out who shares the stage with Maradona and Messi by checking out the top ten below:

Messi > Maradona

It’s official: Messi is the greatest left-footed player in history.

Ronaldo fans will be quick to point out that their man is more ambidextrous than his rival but hey, at least in this particular list that doesn’t factor into things because Messi’s strong foot is simply magic.

According to, the self-proclaimed largest study of Ronaldo vs Messi on the internet, the Barcelona superstar has notched no less than 609 goals with his left foot. 


However, aside from the legendary duo claiming the gold and silver medals, it’s great to see players like Ferenc Puskas and David Silva, as well as a defender in Roberto Carlo, getting their due praise.

Besides, football and its geniuses are so often about the mavericks and outsiders, so it only makes sense that so many of the greatest get it right by going left.

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