49. Filipe Luís
When you think of the greatest left-backs in the modern game, you think of Marcelo, David Alaba, and Alex Sandro to name a few. However, to those who keep a keen eye on Atlético Madrid and LaLiga, Filipe Luís is definitely up there and is one of the world’s best at that position. In fact, I’d say he’s the best left-back in LaLiga and arguably the world. Obviously, stats don’t tell all, but his numbers are quite impressive in both basic and advanced metrics.
The Brazilian enjoyed a solid campaign and was undoubtedly Atleti’s most consistent player during the 16/17 season along with goalkeeper Jan Oblak. Atletico themselves started the season inconsistently and finished the season strong despite finishing third in LaLiga and making a run to the semi-finals in the UEFA Champions League. Trophy-less season, yes, but Luis, who has spent six seasons with Los Rojiblancos, showed fans why he is still one of their most important players.
This past January in a Primera Division fixture against Athletic Club de Bilbao, Filipe Luís showed us why he is an excellent two-way fullback and an all-around threat in many in-game actions.
Under Atletico manager Diego Simeone, Luís is key to Atleti’s attack, especially in buildup and offensive overload phases. To those who don’t know, Atleti often build up and overload the opposition’s flank with the left side of their formation.
Atleti often like to base their offense on transitional plays like winning the ball in wide or central areas in their mid or low-block, and springing forward direct, central or down the left counters with Luís’ help. He is essential to his side’s overall play in almost every situation.
The Brazilian is a no brainier for this list. He is a top five left-back in world football and is arguably the best at his position.
Although Luís struggled at Chelsea for one season, he has bounced back and will still offer quality football for a couple of more seasons as he is 31 years of age. Regardless, Atleti’s star left-back is one of the greatest of his generation.
By: Carlo Valladares/@C_V_News