The 25 greatest proper backs in world soccer

The 25 best right backs in world football

Cafu and Dani Alves made right-back play fashionable in back-to-back generations however regardless of one of the best efforts of the samba specialists, Jamie Carragher’s phrases that had been heard around the globe virtually a decade in the past nonetheless largely rang true.

“In case you’re a full again, you’re both a failed winger or a failed centre again,” uttered the now revered Sky Sports activities pundit. “Nobody desires to develop up and be a Gary Neville,” he famously added.

Now, the resilient and hard-working Neville starkly contrasted the majestic brilliance of the aforementioned Brazilian tandem, however Carragher’s premise was undoubtedly honest. The likes of Cafu and Alves distorted the idealist idea of the full-back, nevertheless it hasn’t been till solely not too long ago that their concepts of how the operate ought to be carried out grew to become commonplace.

In 2022, not solely are full backs cool, fashionable, and trendy, however they arrive in all method of iterations. To explain it as a revolution wouldn’t be far-fetched, and this drastic shift in full again play has most strongly been felt down the precise. 

Soccer has by no means earlier than been blessed with such an abundance of distinctive right-back expertise and pinning down the main 25 on the planet was no simple job. Nonetheless, we’ve given it a great go!

Listed below are our high 25 proper backs on the planet.

Galatasaray v Kasimpasa - Pre-Season Friendly

Dubois performs in Turkey / Seskim Picture/MB Media/GettyImages

Leo Dubois’ poor 2021/22 marketing campaign noticed him usurped by a young person as Peter Bosz’s beginning proper again at Lyon and the Frenchman is now plying his commerce within the Turkish top-flight with Galatasaray.

Not too way back, Dubois was regarded by admirers of French soccer as arguably one of the best proper again in Ligue 1 and probably the most full on the planet. 

The Frenchman is minimize from a standard material. He’s basically sound and does the fundamentals properly. 

Matty Cash

Money is an aggressive defender / Ryan Pierse/GettyImages

The primary of a number of Premier League representatives in our rating.

Whereas his method does come throughout as considerably determined and erratic at instances, Matty Money loves defending. The Aston Villa man strikes you because the kind of man who ought to be donning the brightest colored boots whereas taking part in left wing to your Sunday League crew. And sure, he might’ve gone professional if it wasn’t for that knee harm in ’08. 

In actuality, although, Money’s type completely contrasts one in all ego and fake swagger. He’s a gritty defender who usually units the tone for the Villans together with his depth down the precise flank. The Poland worldwide is likely one of the greatest defensive proper backs within the Premier League.

Nahuel Molina

Molina performs for Atletico Madrid / Fran Santiago/GettyImages

Nahuel Molina’s inventory has risen exponentially over the previous 12 months or so.

His 2021/22 marketing campaign with Udinese – which was full of highlight-reel moments – earned the defender a transfer to Atletico Madrid.

His defensive work nonetheless wants some refinement, although there are few higher managers on the planet to work underneath in that regard than Diego Simeone. Molina can also be an enormous attacking menace, a powerful dribbler and has baggage of tempo.

Malo Gusto

Gusto is a younger prospect / Eurasia Sport Photographs/GettyImages

Lyon proper again Malo Gusto is one to regulate, people. He has the potential to emerge as one of many world’s greatest attacking proper backs.

The gangly Gusto boasts a novel bodily profile for a participant of his place. He’s a transformed attacking midfielder who nonetheless wants defensive moulding, however the younger Frenchman’s capacity in possession and willingness to contribute larger up the sector sees him make our rating.

Gusto is tremendous agile and so powerful to cease in full stride. His athleticism is off the charts, whereas his technical capacity and the swagger with which he performs have seen him garner comparisons to Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Cesar Azpilicueta

Azpilicueta is a frontrunner at Chelsea / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

It wasn’t too way back when Chelsea skipper Cesar Azpilicueta was considered the most effective full backs on the planet. The Spaniard has confirmed himself as a wing again and centre again down the years, together with his greatest soccer at Stamford Bridge arguably coming without any consideration centre again in Antonio Conte’s again three.

Thomas Tuchel utilised the reliable Spaniard in a number of roles after he succeeded Frank Lampard as supervisor in January 2021, however Reece James’ brilliance has lowered the necessity for Azpilicueta’s companies. 

Diogo Dalot

Dalot is taking part in some spectacular stuff / Lewis Storey/GettyImages

It is taken some time for Diogo Dalot to rise up and working at Outdated Trafford, however Erik ten Hag’s arrival has fast-tracked his progress throughout the 2022/23 season.

The Portugal worldwide’s attacking skills have turn into extra distinguished, whereas he is no slouch in defence.

Noussair Mazraoui

Mazraoui starred within the Eredivisie earlier than becoming a member of Bayern / Eric Alonso/GettyImages

Noussair Mazraoui considerably struggled to determine himself underneath Erik ten Hag at Ajax following a massively promising 2018/19 marketing campaign. 

2021/22 was Mazraoui’s best season from an attacking perspective as he notched seven Eredivisie aim contributions, and he’s since joined German giants Bayern Munich.

Accidents have blighted Mazraoui’s profession up up to now, however his expertise can’t be disputed. His education at Ajax means he’s as technically astute as they arrive, and the Moroccan is likely one of the few full-backs that may carry out an inverted operate to an elite commonplace. Total, Mazraoui is an extremely sensible footballer who’s all the time conscious of his environment.

French Ligue 1 Uber Eats"Paris Saint-Germain v AS Monaco"

Mukiele is a newcomer at PSG / ANP/GettyImages

The bodily behemoth that’s Nordi Mukiele accomplished a £13m transfer to Paris Saint-Germain in 2022. It’s a cut price worth for a defender who as soon as appeared destined to succeed in stratospheric heights. 

It’s not that Mukiele’s declined as such, however he definitely hasn’t continued to develop as many projected. The Frenchman is a flexible defender who performed his greatest soccer with RB Leipzig whereas Julian Nagelsmann was on the helm. 

The Frenchman is a stout defender who excels within the air and one-vs-one conditions. Impressively, too, Mukiele can contribute in assault and is all the time eager to enter the opposition’s field when mandatory.

Jonathan Clauss

Clauss is a France worldwide / Sylvain Lefevre/GettyImages

A unbelievable 2021/22 season for Lens in Ligue 1 earned Jonathan Clauss his first call-up for France in March 2022. 

Clauss was an output machine without any consideration wing again for Franck Haise as he notched a mighty 16 Ligue 1 aim contributions, together with 11 assists.

The late-blooming Frenchman was pivotal to the way in which a great Lens facet each attacked and defended, and his presence down their proper flank can be sorely missed.

Now at Marseille, Clauss’ rating right here is damage by his omission from France’s 2022 World Cup squad.

Manuel Lazzari

Lazzari is a velocity demon / Marco Canoniero/GettyImages

Good luck stopping Manuel Lazzari in full flight. 

The Lazio winger-turned-defender is one in all Serie A’s quickest gamers and his capacity to burst in behind opposing defences noticed him thrive as Simone Inzaghi’s proper wing again.

The arrival of Maurizio Sarri and his 4-3-3 had many predicting Lazzari would return to his outdated place, however such was his improvement as a defender underneath Inzaghi that he has been used prominently in Sarri’s again 4.

Lazzari is probably not the most efficient of defenders given Lazio’s tendency to dominate possession, however the Italian carries the ball upfield with aplomb and is technically safe sufficient to contribute to the Biancocolesti’s affected person possession play.

Mehmet Zeki Celik

Celik might thrive underneath Jose Mourinho at Roma / Giuseppe Bellini/GettyImages

Celik joined Roma in 2022 with fairly excessive expectations regardless of his modest price.

He was lengthy one in all Ligue 1’s greatest proper backs and he performed an enormous function in Lille’s 2020/21 league title win with stout defensive play and 5 aim contributions going ahead.

James Tavernier

Tavernier is Rangers’ talisman / Christian Kaspar-Bartke/GettyImages

Rangers stalwart James Tavernier has lengthy been the most effective performers in Scotland, if not one of the best. The Englishman’s output from proper again is nothing in need of absurd.

The appropriate again was a protagonist in Rangers’ return to glory in 2021 as he contributed to 21 league targets within the Gers’ first title-winning marketing campaign in a decade.

Whereas many will maintain the standard of opposition in opposition to him, Tavernier proved in Europe that he ought to be considered one of many world’s greatest attacking proper backs.

Kyle Walker-Peters

Walker-Peters performs for Southampton and England / Julian Finney/GettyImages

Many Spurs followers had been content material with permitting Kyle Walker-Peters to depart for Southampton to facilitate the arrival of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg. Only a few projected the slight full again to growth as he has on the south coast. 

Walker-Peters’ rise culminated in his first England call-up and cap in March 2022, however the Three Lions’ stockpiling of elite-level expertise at proper again means the Saints star has little probability of representing his nationwide facet at main tournaments.

Nonetheless, the ex-Spurs full again is likely one of the Premier League’s greatest defensive proper backs. Walker-Peters, who can also be adept at left again, is the epitome of reliability and consistency.

Denzel Dumfries

Dumfries excites crowds at San Siro with Inter / Francesco Scaccianoce/GettyImages

The flying Dutchman was the Netherlands’ standout performer in a disappointing Euro 2020 marketing campaign, and he had the troublesome job of changing Achraf Hakimi at Inter.

Dumfries feasted within the Eredivisie at PSV and he’s since risen to higher prominence following his deserved transfer to Milan. Simone Inzaghi utilised Dumfries as an auxiliary winger.

Whereas he isn’t the cleanest of technicians – each defensively and offensively – Dumfries is a bodily behemoth and unstoppable when on tune. His numbers will proceed to growth underneath Inzaghi. 

Juan Cuadrado

Cuadrado is reliable at Juventus / Gualter Fatia/GettyImages

Juan Cuadrado has been polarising opinion in Turin for the previous half a decade. The Colombian burst onto the calcio scene as an thrilling entertainer at Lecce and Fiorentina earlier than a failed transfer to Chelsea did some harm to his as soon as blossoming repute.

A mortgage to Juventus introduced Cuadrado again to life and he’s since established himself at proper again underneath Massimiliano Allegri.

The veteran is probably not the proper full again however his capacity in one-v-one conditions, athleticism and spectacular versatility have seen him easily take to the place.

Dani Carvajal

Carvajal is a five-time Champions League winner / Harriet Lander/Copa/GettyImages

A stalwart at Actual Madrid for nearly ten years, with 5 Champions League crowns and three Spanish titles, Dani Carvajal will finish his profession as probably the most adorned defenders within the sport’s historical past.

His significance to Los Blancos’ success is up for debate, however there’s a cause why the Spaniard has garnered the belief of each Zinedine Zidane and Carlo Ancelotti in Madrid. 

Accidents have definitely slowed Carvajal down lately, however he stays probably the most dependable and full full backs on the planet.

Danilo Luiz da Silva

Danilo has confirmed himself at Juventus / Emilio Andreoli/GettyImages

Danilo has achieved a stellar job in guaranteeing he’s not considered by way of the prism of Joao Cancelo in Turin. The Brazilian joined Juventus in a component change deal that noticed the maverick Cancelo be a part of Pep Guardiola at Manchester Metropolis. 

The Portuguese worldwide’s rise on the Etihad put Danilo in a troublesome state of affairs on the Allianz Stadium, however the veteran’s significance to an albeit not-so-imperious Bianconeri can’t be overstated. 

The veteran is so dependable and there aren’t any doubts that he’d be held in a better regard if Cancelo had nothing to do together with his Juventus arrival.


Pavard scored an iconic World Cup aim in opposition to Argentina / SAEED KHAN/GettyImages

Benjamin Pavard’s repute sky-rocketed within the wake of France’s 2018 World Cup triumph by which the defender scored one of many match’s most iconic targets.

Pavard’s sidewinder volley within the victory over Argentina exemplified the Frenchman’s stellar method, and he’s since gone on to elevate the Champions League with Bayern Munich. 

The previous Stuttgart man is a large contributor within the build-up and he’s considerably of a ball-progression machine. The Frenchman isn’t probably the most bodily of defenders, however any shortcomings in that regard are mitigated by shrewd positioning and sound fundamentals. 

Giovanni Di Lorenzo

Di Lorenzo is pivotal for Napoli / BSR Company/GettyImages

Giovanni Di Lorenzo must be considered probably the most underrated proper backs on the planet. He been a mainstay within the Napoli crew for over three years and he was named the membership’s captain for the 2022/23 season following Lorenzo Insigne’s departure.

Di Lorenzo is an everyday for Roberto Mancini’s nationwide crew and is definitely the most effective full backs that Serie A has to supply. He’s an aggressive and strong defender whereas he performs a conservative however crucial operate for Luciano Spalletti when Napoli have the ball. 

He can contribute in each section, and he appears to be like to have taken to his new management function in Naples with ease.

Kyle Walker

Walker is a flexible defender / Michael Regan/GettyImages

Mauricio Pochettino performed a pivotal function in facilitating the maturation of Kyle Walker. The England worldwide was as uncooked as they obtained earlier than Poch arrived at White Hart Lane however, due to the stoic Argentine’s steering, Walker has developed into one of many world’s most full proper backs.

You don’t survive in Pep Guardiola’s meticulous system for this lengthy if you happen to’re not any good.

Walker, whose restoration velocity and technical safety stay essential to his success, has performed a key function in Metropolis’s reign of Premier League dominance. The England worldwide is not relied upon within the closing third as a lot as he as soon as was and he’s as a substitute tasked with shunning opposition counter-attacks and guaranteeing Metropolis can set up a numerical superiority in midfield after they have the ball.

He is carried out an extremely troublesome operate to the best stage for a number of years and, when he ultimately hangs up his boots, he’ll be considered one of many most interesting full backs England has ever produced.

Trent Alexander-Arnold

Alexander-Arnold is a superb attacking menace / Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/GettyImages

Brazilians Cafu and Dani Alves made full again play modern, however Trent Alexander-Arnold has completely revolutionised our idea of the modern-day defender.

Any defensive flaws are vastly outweighed by his supreme playmaking capacity. His emergence into Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool facet was one in all a number of elements within the Reds’ meteoric rise underneath their chest-pumping German boss.

Whereas Liverpool have been blessed with heaps of attacking expertise amid their ongoing modern-day golden period, they’re distinctive in that their main artistic sources arrive from full again. Alexander-Arnold possesses the crossing supply of David Beckham and Roberto Carlos’ capacity to strike a soccer with such venom.

He’s registered double-digit help hauls in three Premier League seasons, and he’ll undoubtedly encourage a brand new technology of full backs.

Kieran Trippier

Trippier is bossing issues at Newcastle / George Wooden/GettyImages

From Burnley to Madrid, England worldwide Kieran Tripper has had fairly the profession path.

Trippier is again within the Premier League with the enriched Newcastle United and the complete again performed a key function of their second-half resurgence final season. 

The diminutive proper again is a stellar technician whose capacity from lifeless ball conditions as soon as catapulted a whole nation right into a state of utter jubilation. Gareth Southgate has usually favoured the versatile and dependable Trippier over maybe extra gifted people for the Three Lions.

Achraf Hakimi

Hakimi jets up and down the precise for PSG / High quality Sport Photographs/GettyImages

Achraf Hakimi’s union with Antonio Conte at Inter was nothing in need of a match made in heaven. The Moroccan wing again was the lacking piece to the demanding Italian’s jigsaw because the Nerazzurri claimed the 2020/21 Scudetto with Hakimi starring.

Nonetheless, he was compelled to take his exploits elsewhere as Inter had been compelled right into a mini exodus forward of the 2021/22 marketing campaign. Paris Saint-Germain got here calling and Hakimi returned to taking part in in a again 4.

Hakimi is a ridiculous athlete who boasts monitor velocity, whereas his decision-making with the ultimate move is bettering. His attacking prowess is complemented by a sound defensive repertoire and, together, they forge to create the most effective proper backs on the planet. 

Joao Cancelo

Cancelo is a serious participant in Pep Guardiola’s Man Metropolis facet / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

We’re unsure whether or not a number of the issues Joao Cancelo does with the ball at his toes are completely authorized. The Manchester Metropolis star is an artist; a science-defier.

There’s a rawness to Cancelo’s sport that facilitates unpredictability each time he steps onto the sector. The Portuguese defender is way from one of the best defensive proper again on the planet, however his work in possession is simply obscene.

Following a troublesome debut season on the Etihad, Cancelo rebounded in 12 months two to determine himself as an everyday in Pep Guardiola’s facet. The versatile full again is so essential to what Metropolis obtain with the ball each week, together with his capacity to keep away from stress, work inconceivable angles, and mix round opponents being distinct options of his sport.

Cancelo has taken to Guardiola’s calls for with aplomb and he has turn into probably the most fascinating gamers to look at.

Reece James

James is an entire proper again / Clive Mason/GettyImages

Reece James may not be the revolutionary that’s Alexander-Arnold, neither is he as electrical as Hakimi or possess Cancelo’s freakish technical repertoire, however he’s presently probably the most full proper again within the sport.

Like Trent, James possesses a fierce crossing supply, and his ball-striking is that of a prolific quantity 9. The England worldwide is a strong determine down the precise and he got here into his personal from an attacking perspective as a wing again final season as he registered 14 Premier League aim contributions. 

Total, it’s James’ capacity to defend as stoutly as the perfect on the planet that sees him high our rating. The Chelsea star’s attacking prowess is complemented by his aggression with out the ball, physicality in duels, and sound defensive fundamentals.

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