RANKED! - Top 10 Left-Backs In Women’s Football

RANKED! – Top 10 left-backs in women’s football right now

December 25, 2022

The role of a left-back in women’s football has become increasingly versatile, with many players in this list equally adept at terrorising the opposition defence from both left-back and left-winger roles. However, this list doesn’t comprise only the flashy and attacking players, but also gives equal importance to one’s defensive abilities as well.
So, without further ado, I present to you my top 10 left-backs in women’s football right now.

The top ten

#10 Leila Ouahabi

29 Years • Manchester City Women • Spain

RANKED! - Top 10 Left-Backs In Women’s Football : #10 Leila Ouahabi

Leila Ouahabi joined Man City on a two-year deal before the start of the 2022/23 season after ending her second spell with Barcelona with three First Division Femení titles, five Copas de la Reina, two Supercups and the 2020/21 UEFA Women’s Champions League (UWCL) trophy, which was also part of the famous continental treble. Ouahabi made 25 appearances for Barcelona last season, but with Fridolina Rolfö moonlighting in that left-back role, it was time for her to look elsewhere.

However, Ouahabi has done rather well to oust the long-standing left-back for Man City, Demi Stokes, as a starter in that role, who herself has been one of the best left-backs in the league since joining the Cityzens in 2015.

#9 Meghan Klingenberg

34 years old • Portland Thorns • USA

#9 Meghan Klingenberg

A veteran of the game, Meghan Klingenberg is still competing at the top level despite soon turning 35. After a brilliant 2021 season, where they finished first in the NWSL league standings but missed out on the Playoffs, the Portland Thorns did one better this season by winning the Playoffs, albeit finishing second in the league, with the 34-year-old Klingenberg playing an important role in both the seasons for them.

A positionally sound and defensively aware left-back, Klingenberg has also contributed offensively with five assists against her name across the two seasons. Thus, despite losing pace, and age catching up, Klingenberg remains one of the best left-backs in the world for me.

#8 Lisa Boattin

25 years old • Juventus Femminile • Italy

#8 Lisa Boattin

Juventus’ Lisa Boattin is growing from strength to strength every season. The 25-year-old Italy international has been a creative outlet for her side from that left-back position, with the 2021/22 season proving to be her most successful one so far in terms of output, with six goals and three assists in the Serie A Femminile as well as contributing continentally.

A player with technical ability, a wide passing range, and the ability to progress play at all times, Boattin has carried on her impressive form from the 2021/22 season and already has four goal contributions from 16 games across all competitions this season.

#7 Olga Carmona

22 years old • Real Madrid Femení • Spain

#7 Olga Carmona

Olga Carmona is one of those players who excels both as a fullback and a winger. However, she didn’t play as a fullback in her youth years, hence there was apprehension whether she’d be able to restrict some of the best forwards with her back towards her own goal. But all that was answered emphatically in the Women’s Euro’s Championship earlier this year, where although Spain lost to England in extra time, Carmona looked unfazed and defensively solid throughout the game, keeping someone like Beth Mead quiet for the entirety of the game.

It all goes to show how Carmona has honed her all-round game to be useful on both ends of the pitch. Besides, she still has bags of potential. Still 22, she can go on to become one very best in her position by the time she reaches her peak.

#6 Steph Catley

28 years old • Arsenal Women • Australia

#6 Steph Catley

After plying her trade in the NWSL in the US and the W-League in her own country, Steph Catley came to Arsenal as one of the most highly-sought-after left-backs at the time. However, frequent injuries meant her first season at Arsenal mostly went by making frequent visits to the physio table. Last season, she returned to her usual self, making solid defensive contributions and affecting games with her attacking output.

Including this season, Catley already has 11 G/A against her name with more than a good half of the season remaining. Recently, she was deputising as a left-sided centre-back in the absence of Rafaelle Souza, which only goes on to demonstrate her flexibility and versatility as a player.

#5 Carson Pickett

29 years old • North Carolina Courage • USA

#5 Carson Pickett

Having previously played for OL Reign and the Orlando Pride, 29-year-old Carson Pickett joined the North Carolina Courage at the start of the 2021 NWSL season. Despite the Courage not having a good campaign in either of her two seasons, finishing sixth and seventh in the league respectively, Pickett was a class above as she recorded the most assists for a defender last season (five), while this season she went one better as she topped the overall assists chart with six assists as well as scoring a goal.

The marauding fullback tops almost every offensive metric, while her defensive game has been more than commendable. Besides, her excellent reading of the game also allows her to stop opposition counters as well as start attacks of her own.

#4 Fridolina Rolfö

29 years old • Barcelona Femení • Sweden

#4 Fridolina Rolfö

Similar to Olga Carmona, Fridolina Rolfö is another winger who turned fullback and has gone on to prove herself to be one of the best in her position.

When former Barcelona Femení manager Jonathan Giráldez moved the Sweden international to a more defensive position, it felt nothing different from a stopgap solution at the time. However, the 29-year-old has since gone on to establish herself as the starting left-back for Barcelona. She has contributed to their relentless attack as well as shown immense defensive solidity.

Moreover, despite the arrival of the highly-rated Nuria Rábano in the summer, Rolfö has kept her place in the starting line-up and has contributed with three goals and five assists from 15 games across all competitions this season.

#3 Felicitas Rauch

26 years old • VfL Wolfsburg • Germany

#3 Felicitas Rauch

Felicitas Rauch has developed at a staggering pace over the last couple of seasons. Known for her attacking game but poor defensive and positional awareness during the initial days of her career, the 26-year-old has developed those two facets of her game by leaps and bounds to emerge today as one of the most complete left-backs in the women’s game.

Rauch scored three goals and provided seven assists last season in the Frauen-Bundesliga – the most by any defender – while the Germany international carried that form in the Euros as Germany reached another European final. Furthermore, having played just nine games so far in the Frauen-Bundesliga, Rauch has already produced one goal and four assists.

#2 Sakina Karchaoui

26 years old • Paris Saint-Germain Féminine • France

RANKED! - Top 10 Left-Backs In Women’s Football

After showcasing her promising talent with Montpellier for three seasons, producing excellent all-round performances, Sakina Karchaoui made the move to Lyon at the age of 24 in what many would consider a dream move. However, one year later, Karchaoui was shown the exit door as Lyon failed to retain the Division 1 title as well as missing out on the UWCL.

But one’s loss became another’s gain. PSG roped in the promising fullback, and the 26-year-old has since gone on to develop her game to the level of even being considered the best in her position. A technically gifted player, Karchaoui contributes to the PSG build-up play while being an able defensive proponent for her manager. Besides, her exploits at club level have resulted in her becoming the first-choice left-back in Corinne Diarce’s France side.

#1 Selma Bacha

22 years old • Olympique Lyonnais Féminin • France

RANKED! - Top 10 Left-Backs In Women’s Football - #1 Selma Bacha

Selma Bacha made her professional debut at the age of 17 for Lyon and since then has gone on to lift four Division 1 Féminine titles and four UWCL titles, with the recent one being her most impressive one. The 22-year-old was a lethal weapon for Lyon down that left flank as she ended the campaign with seven assists – the most by any player. Her league performances were even better, as she ended the 2021/22 season with three goals and nine assists from 19 appearances.

This season, too, the France international has maintained her good form, contributing with five G/A from just seven league games. Bacha has also been one of Lyon’s most consistent performers in the UWCL in what has been a topsy-turvy group stage for the defending champions. Thus, it is frightening to think that Bacha is already one of the most accomplished left-backs in the world, and she’s only 22.

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Rahul Saha

An engineer taking the road less taken. I love writing, live and breathe football, and am always up for a tactical conversation.


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