How To Play Left-Back In Soccer: Complete Guide

Although the position of the left-back was not considered important in the past, now, it has become one that contributes to the outcome of a whole soccer game. Namely, the left-back has significant responsibilities in today’s soccer teams, requiring serious practice and skills. So, what does it take to play left-back in soccer? 

The primary role of the left-back in soccer is to occupy the whole left area of the defensive line. The player in this position provides a blend of defense and movement of the ball on the field. Left backs are required to show exquisite physical preparedness, strength, and skills of the non-dominant foot, as well as assistance in attacks.

Every left-back needs fundamental soccer skills to perfect, and this is your chance to learn more about them. Below, you will learn about left-back soccer players’ techniques and exercises that help them improve. Also, you will inquire about the abilities left-backs are expected to possess, so if you plan to play this position, you will definitely be prepared.

What Does It Take To Play Left Back In Soccer? 

Left Back In Soccer
Left Back In Soccer

The left-back is a major position in soccer, and it greatly impacts the outcomes of soccer matches. The left-back is required to provide solid defense on the field, but they are also expected to assist in attacks and move the ball around the field. To understand this position better, it is necessary to have an insight into several notions: 

  • The role of the left-back. 
  • The techniques of the left-back. 
  • The attributes of the left-back. 

The Role Of The Left Back 

The central role of the left-back in soccer is to occupy the left area of the defensive line. This means that this player is required to cover the left zone of the field, including the opponent’s flank. However, providing solid defense is not the only responsibility that is expected from the soccer player in this position. 

Namely, the left-back is expected to actively participate in the whole game and provide support to the attacking players. This means that the left-back needs to be prepared to play aggressively and take part in attacks. This is because players in the left-back position are characterized by robust pace, frightening physical preparedness, and astonishing dribbling skills. 

In other words, left-back soccer players are ready to run across the field for 90 minutes while moving and protecting the ball. That is why they can easily establish a strong defense, but at the same time be part of the attacks as well. These players may not be the ones who score the points in matches, but they definitely create scoring opportunities for other teammates. 

The Techniques Of The Left Back

Left Back Techniques
Left Back Techniques

The left-back is characterized by several techniques, and every soccer player in this position should work on them regularly to improve. These techniques are the factors that make the player suitable for the left-back position. Therefore, they are crucial.

Techniques of The Left BackPurpose 
CrossesMoving the ball and keeping it in the possession of their own team 
Distribution of the ballReceiving the ball without losing possession
Surprise shotChance to score 
Opening up Carrying the ball down the line in the right direction
Left Back techniques in Soccer


Being skillful in crosses is one of the essential techniques for a left-back. A soccer player in this position needs to work on crosses with their left foot and to be able to move the ball across the field. These crosses can help the left-back maintain the ball in possession of their own team and provide them a chance to attack.

Distribution Of The Ball  

The left-back needs to be prepared to distribute the ball skilfully and successfully. Successful distribution of the ball can only be achieved through regular practice. This means that the player needs to focus on driving the ball across the field, hitting a moving ball, and receiving the ball from another player. 

Practicing these exercises will help the left-backs easily improve their technique and play on the field. 

Working On A Surprise Shot 

Surprise Shot In Soccer
Surprise Shot In Soccer

The left-back player can always make an opportunity for a surprise shot. Since this player is positioned on the left side of the field, their dominant foot is the left one. However, they can always surprise the opponent by making crosses with the right foot and ensuring a chance to score. 

This is a popular technique in soccer that allows the defenders to have a chance at scoring goals. Therefore, a left-back needs to possess this technique. 

Opening Up 

Every left-back has to learn how to receive the ball and open it up to carry it down the line. This means that the left-back needs to have a well-developed strategy and to know where to lead the ball once they receive it. The ball needs to keep moving to stay in possession of the left-back so they can pass it successfully to another player. 

The Attributes Of The Left Back 

Attributes Of The Left Back
Attributes Of The Left Back

Despite the well-developed techniques, every left-back is required to show particular attributes suitable for this position. The qualities that a left-back possesses are the factors that determine the performance of the player. Therefore, every left-back is required to develop the following attributes: 

  • Endless preparedness and energy: Left backs are required to possess frightening energy to be able to withstand the whole 90 minutes of running across the soccer field. 
  • Powerful pace: The speed of the left-back is of crucial importance considering that they are expected to act as secondary wingers, and to keep up with the fast wingers of the opposition. 
  • Creativity: The left-back should be able to create scoring opportunities because their role does not only revolve around providing defense for their team. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

What Kind Of Training Do Left Backs Need In Order To Improve? 

Left backs are required to show excellent physical preparedness, meaning they need more conditioning training. To achieve physical preparedness and improve conditioning, these players must include interval and agility training sessions in their routines. 

Who Is Considered The Best Left Back In The World Soccer? 

Currently, Andrew Robertson is regarded as the best left-back in the world of soccer. He plays for Liverpool, and is known for his tackling, crossing, stamina, and speed. 

What Are Some Of The Most Prominent Left Backs? 

Some of the most prominent left-backs that have shown amazing skills in the world of soccer are Marcelo, Trent Alexander-Arnold, and Daniel Alves. They are known for their dribbling talents and their contributions to the position of the left-back. 

Soccer Position Guides

Soccer Position Guides
PositionLink to Guide
False 9link
Defensive Midfielderlink
Left backlink
Right backlink
Center Backlink

Final Thoughts 

As you can see, left-backs have way more responsibilities on the field than just providing defense for their team. They have to be prepared for attacking situations as well, so they have to possess great attributes. Hopefully, you have found this article useful, so you can begin your practice immediately.    

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