Messi, Ronaldo and Cruyff: Who is the best left winger, right winger and striker of all time?

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In the absence of the Ballon d’Or this year, France Football have decided to create a Ballon d’Or Dream Team, which will be announced in December.

For the past few Mondays, the French publication has been naming the greatest 10 players in each position. A vote will then take place to create an ultimate XI of the best players to have ever played the game.

We’ve already seen them rank the 10 best goalkeepers, right-backs, centre-backs, left-backs, defensive midfielders and attacking midfielders in football history.

This week, it’s the turn of the right-wingers, left-wingers and centre forwards.

Before we get onto the final 30 players to be nominated, we’ll let France Football explain how the process works.

“These eleven lists were established by the editorial staff of France Football who have traveled through time - since the mid-1950s - and gauged the different generations to each time appoint ten specialists (not necessarily Ballons d'Or), without letting themselves be impress by the prize list but rather by gauging these contenders in the light of their talent, their imprint and their class,” they write.

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So, let’s take a look at the top 10 left-wingers of all time.

Left Wingers

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Cristiano Ronaldo, obviously, stands out with many football fans suggesting the Portuguese is the greatest player of all time. He’s joined by Brazilian legends Rivaldo, Roberto Rivelino and Ronaldinho. Elsewhere, Premier League legends Thierry Henry and Ryan Giggs feature.

If we had to pick one, it would surely be Ronaldo.

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Right Wingers

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Can we be honest? We’re surprised to see David Beckham’s name here. Yes, he was a great player but can he really be compared to the likes of George Best, Garrincha, Jairzinho and Stanley Matthews. Of course, Lionel Messi is the greatest player of all time and gets our vote.

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Centre Fowards

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These guys know where the back of the net is, that’s for sure. Romario, Ronaldo, Marco van Basten, Gerd Muller and Johan Cruyff. This is an incredibly difficult one but we’re giving this one to Cruyff, who won the Ballon d'Or three times during his incredible career.

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Having picked a player from each position, our Ballon d’Or XI looks like this:

GK: Lev Yachine
RB: Carlos Alberto
CB: Franco Baresi
LB: Paul Breitner
DM: Lothar Matthaus
DM: Xavi
CAM: Pele
CAM: Maradona
LW: Cristiano Ronaldo
RW: Lionel Messi
ST: Johan Cruyff

We’ll have to wait until December to discover who actually makes the XI.

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