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The position of the best Brazilian left-backs of all time has always played a crucial role in the game, combining solid defense with attacking support. Since the earliest days of the sport in the country, left-backs have been tasked with protecting their wing, intercepting opposition attacks and contributing to the construction of attacking moves.

A remarkable historical event that exemplifies the importance of this position occurred at the 1958 World Cup, when Nilton Santos stood out as one of the tournament’s leading left-backs, helping Brazil win their first world title.

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Since then, the position has been occupied by a series of exceptional players, whose legacy endures to this day. The position of the best Brazilian left-backs of all time evokes not only talent and skill, but also a tradition of excellence that has shaped Brazilian soccer over the decades.

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So let’s find out who the 10 best Brazilian left-backs of all time are, shall we?

The 10 best Brazilian left-backs of all time: complete list

  1. Nilton Santos
  2. Roberto Carlos
  3. Branco
  4. Marinho Chagas
  5. Wladimir
  6. Júnior
  7. Marcelo
  8. Everaldo
  9. Sylvinho
  10. Filipe Luís

The 10 best Brazilian left-backs of all time: find out more about the stars

It’s time to discover the achievements, teams, cities and curiosities of each of the best Brazilian left-backs of all time 😉

  1. Nilton Santos

Titles: World Champion in 1958 and 1962, two-time winner of the South American Championship (now Copa América) in 1949 and 1959.

History: Born in Rio de Janeiro, Nilton Santos began his journey at Botafogo, where he would become a legend. His elegance on the pitch and tactical intelligence made him one of the best left-backs of all time.



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Curiosity: He was a pioneer in the position, revolutionizing the role of the left-back, not only defending but also attacking with mastery, becoming a benchmark for generations to come.

  1. Roberto Carlos

Titles: World Champion in 2002, two-time Confederations Cup winner in 1997 and 2005, three-time UEFA Champions League winner with Real Madrid.

History: Originally from Garça, São Paulo, Roberto Carlos began his footballing journey at União São João, but it was at Palmeiras and later Real Madrid that he achieved stardom.

Curiosity: Famous for his powerful left-footed shot, Roberto Carlos left an indelible mark on the game with his long-range strikes, often unexpected and indefensible.

  1. Branco

Titles: World Champion in 1994, two-time Copa América winner in 1989 and 1997, silver medalist at the 1988 Olympics.

History: Cláudio Ibrahim Vaz Leal, better known as Branco, was born in Rio de Janeiro and began his career at Fluminense, before shining at European clubs such as Porto and Genoa.

Curiosity: In addition to his skills as a left-back, Branco was known for his accurate and powerful free-kicks, contributing important goals throughout his career.

  1. Marinho Chagas

Titles: State champion for Botafogo and Fluminense.

History: Hailing from Natal, Rio Grande do Norte, Marinho Chagas was discovered by Botafogo and soon stood out as one of the best left-backs of his generation.

Curiosity: Famous for his extravagant personality on and off the pitch, Marinho Chagas won the hearts of fans not only for his skills in the game, but also for his unique charisma.

  1. Wladimir

Titles: Brazilian champion 12 times with Corinthians, Paulista champion 9 times.

History: Born in São Paulo, Wladimir spent his entire career at Corinthians, where he became a club legend and one of the greatest left-backs in the history of Brazilian soccer.

Curiosity: Known for his loyalty to Corinthians, Wladimir is the player with the most titles in the club’s history, leaving an unparalleled legacy in the position.

  1. Júnior

Titles: World Champion in 1982 and 1986, Brazilian, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo champion on several occasions.

History: Born in Rio de Janeiro, Júnior started out at Flamengo, where he stood out as one of the best left-backs in the country, winning numerous titles and the admiration of fans all over the world.

Curiosity: In addition to his achievements on the pitch, Júnior is also remembered for his social and political engagement, being an active voice in the fight for the rights of players and the less privileged.

  1. Marcelo

Titles: Four-time UEFA Champions League winner with Real Madrid, World Champion in 2018.

History: Originally from Rio de Janeiro, Marcelo started out at Fluminense before becoming a key player at Real Madrid, where he established himself as one of the best left-backs of his generation.

Curiosity: Known for his technical ability and vision, Marcelo has redefined the role of the modern left-back, combining solid defense with incisive attacks.

  1. Everaldo

Titles: Brazilian and São Paulo champion with Corinthians, Gaucho champion with Internacional.

History: Born in Curitiba, Everaldo began his career at Internacional before shining at clubs like Corinthians and Flamengo, establishing himself as one of the best left-backs of his time.

Curiosity: In addition to his skill on the pitch, Everaldo is also remembered for his versatility, being able to play different tactical roles with equal mastery.

  1. Sylvinho

Titles: Brazilian, São Paulo, Spanish and UEFA Champions League champion.

History: Born in São Paulo, Sylvinho had a successful career both in Brazil and Europe, playing for clubs such as Corinthians, Arsenal and Barcelona.

Curiosity: After ending his career as a player, Sylvinho found success as a coach, passing on the message of his experience on the pitch to the next generations of players.

  1. Filipe Luís

Titles: UEFA Champions League winner, Spanish champion, Copa América winner.

History: Born in Jaraguá do Sul, Santa Catarina, Filipe Luís started out at Figueirense before conquering Europe with his time at Atlético de Madrid and then Chelsea.

Curiosity: In addition to his achievements on the pitch, Filipe Luís is known for his commitment to social causes, using his influence to promote positive change inside and outside soccer.

Now that you’ve seen the best Brazilian left-backs of all time, how about checking out some of their outstanding goals?

The best left-backs of all time: goals that made history

We’ve listed some of the most beautiful, important or unexpected goals scored by the best Brazilian left-backs of all time at the World Cup.

1. Branco

In the 1994 World Cup, Leonardo was sent off for fracturing the face of US player Tab Ramos and his replacement was Branco, who almost didn’t go to the World Cup.

Branco was responsible for scoring the goal that ensured Brazil’s passage to the semi-finals, with this beauty in the video below:

2. Nilton Santos

Nilton Santos was responsible for a landmark goal at the 1958 World Cup in Sweden, a time when full-backs didn’t have as much freedom to advance into the opponent’s half. But Nilton had an intrinsic rebelliousness in him and scored against Austria, leaving Brazil 2-0 up.

3. Roberto Carlos

Thirdly, we have Roberto Carlos’ goal against China in the 2002 World Cup, where Brazil won the match 4-0 with a dominant performance against the opposing team. Roberto was responsible for the first goal of the game, 15 minutes into the first half.

Did you like learning more about the history of the best Brazilian left-backs of all time and their greatest achievements?

These are the legends who have shaped the history of the best Brazilian left-backs of all time, leaving a legacy of excellence and inspiration for future generations. Their dribbling, precise passing and insurmountable defending will forever echo in the hearts of soccer fans around the world.

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