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I always saw Maldini as a much better Centre Back, position that he actually peaked in his career, than a wing back.
Maldini as a player peaked in the early-mid-90's. The fact that he would become one of the best CB's when he was in his mid-30's is just a bonus.
 

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The greatest left backs of the modern era I have seen

Paolo Maldini (AC Milan, Italy)
Roberto Carlos (Real Madrid, Brazil)
Javier Zanetti (Inter Milan, Argentina)
Bixente Lizarazu (Bayern Munich, France)
Denis Irwin (Manchester United, Republic of Ireland)
Ashley Cole (Chelsea, England)
Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich, Germany)
Gianluca Zambrotta (Juventus, Italy)
 

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I'd argue Zambrotta in his prime has a good case to be on the list too.
 

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The greatest left backs i have seen were:

Roberto Carlos
Maldini
Branco
Leonardo
Junior 82
Junior Palmeiras- Parma
Serginho
Felipe
Brehme
Gordillo (if you consider him a left back)
Ashely Cole
Sorin
 

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Clearly Roberto Carlos
 

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in my opinion,

defensive quality, r.carlos < p.maldini

attacking quality, r.carlos > p.maldini

but for left back, defensive aspect is more important than the attacking aspect

therefore, p.maldini > r.carlos
 

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The prime of Ashley Cole was awesome (2004-2005)... his defensive skills were almost impassable.

Well... Maldini is much better than R. Carlos.
 

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in my opinion,

defensive quality, r.carlos < p.maldini

attacking quality, r.carlos > p.maldini

but for left back, defensive aspect is more important than the attacking aspect

therefore, p.maldini > r.carlos
I agree, and Maldini was great also as central defender.
 

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Maldini for me.. RC wasn't very far away, his game was more eye pleasing, and both were effective for their systems, but Maldini nicks it for me.. He was in an era when Italy dished out Classy defenders and still he was the best of the lot and had more World Class Seasons than RC.
 

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Who do you think changed his position more over the years, who was the best in his prime and who will be more remembered in 50 years from now. For Club and Country.

Two truly great ones

Now dont reply the usual crap anwers like RC was better going forward and Maldini was a better defender.
maldini can be argued to be the best ever in his position. a backplayer

roberto carlos type of position he ain't and can't be argued as the best ever.
upcoming wingbacks many where better them roberto carlos (example fachetti, nilton santos, carlos alberto, etc etc)
 

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MALDINI was not a defensive full-back that's a bunch of rubbish!
San Paolo was the complete package!

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3-5-2 or or 5-3-2 he was responsible for providing width down his flank!
 

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As a left back:
In attack: R Carlos 8.5 > Maldini 8.0
In defense: Maldini 9 > R.Carlos 8.25
Versatility: Maldini 8.5 > R.Carlos 8.0 (Maldini was also a great CB, while Carlos could play well as winger)
Leadership: Maldini 8 > R.Carlos 7

So overall Maldini > R Carlos

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Maldini was widely regarded as "best LB " in history ... (with N. Santos as his close rival)

However, it was so funny and ironically,
1- many did not realize that Maldini spent more time as center back then left back.
2- NOT many did know/watch Nilton Santos ... but his name of a few clips on you tube!

I can agree that Maldini was among the very very TOP DF all time but in LB position, he was no way as good as Nilton Santos
 

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As a left back:
In attack: R Carlos 8.5 > Maldini 8.0
In defense: Maldini 9 > R.Carlos 8.25
Versatility: Maldini 8.5 > R.Carlos 8.0 (Maldini was also a great CB, while Carlos could play well as winger)
Leadership: Maldini 8 > R.Carlos 7

So overall Maldini > R Carlos

===================================

Maldini was widely regarded as "best LB " in history ... (with N. Santos as his close rival)

However, it was so funny and ironically,
1- many did not realize that Maldini spent more time as center back then left back.
2- NOT many did know/watch Nilton Santos ... but his name of a few clips on you tube!

I can agree that Maldini was among the very very TOP DF all time but in LB position, he was no way as good as Nilton Santos
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:proud: what a stud! R. Carlos who?
 

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:proud: what a stud! R. Carlos who?
Yes N Santos was a much more complete player (not just DF or FB) then R. Carlos

Yet, Garrincha made 2 nutmegs thru N Santos in their first trial at Botafogo :grin2:

immdiately, Niton convinced the team to sign Garrincha and then asked Brazil to select him for WC58
 

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For Maldini, Thuram, Nesta Canavaro Ayala ...: most difficult opponent to play against was il fenomeno Ronaldo

For Baresi, Maldini: Most difficult opponent to play against was Maradona

For Boby Moore, Burgnich, Perreira , Parkling ... most difficult player against was Pele
 
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