The Ten Best – Part 4 – The Ten Best Full Backs/Wing Backs In The World

By Ian John
February 11, 2022

We are going to continue with our soccer or football theme this week. After picking our ten best goalkeepers in the world at present, we have moved on to the next position in the team and that is full backs.

This is a position that has changed a great deal over the years. Initially, full backs were defenders that were targeted primarily with stopping attacks down the flanks and covering the far post from players coming in from wider areas.

However, nowadays the modern full back not only has these defensive responsibilities, but the best are also tasked with helping their team out in attacking positions too. Not only that, the top full backs can also be productive in terms of creating chances for teammates and even scoring goals on occasion too.

This change in emphasis means that the modern full back needs to have a large number of attacking skills in their repertoire too. They also need to have good pace and outstanding physical fitness as they need to be able to get forward and back down the wide areas throughout the game.

There are a number of top-class full backs and wing backs that play the game today from across many countries, but there are a good number centred in England and it will not surprise you to know that there are a number of players from the Premier League that will feature in this list.

You can bet on them too, with bet365 Sport offering a wide selection of bets on games across Europe and the world every week of the football season.

So, taking into consideration defensive and attacking skills, creativity, chances created, goals scored and the relative success of their team allied to their own abilities, who are the players that make our top ten fullbacks list in the world today?

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The Top Ten Full Backs In World Football Right Now

  1. Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool) RB

Gareth Southgate may be wondering how to get him into the England team, but don’t let that fool you. For his club team, Trent Alexander-Arnold has already proved himself the best full back in world football today. In terms of creativity, only Kevin de Bruyne has created more chances and goals for his team than the Liverpool man. Deadly at set pieces and a superb crosser of the ball, he is vital for how the Reds play. He may need to improve defensively, but he has plenty of time to do that.

  1. Andy Robertson (Liverpool) LB

The Scottish captain plays on the other wing for Liverpool and the balance that he provides to Alexander Arnold on the right cannot be overstated. His energy and vigor combined with a combative edge and arguably better defensive skills than Alexander Arnold, make him a massive threat at left back for club and country. At his flying best, there is no better left back in world football and he is a huge part of Liverpool’s most recent successes.

  1. Joao Cancelo (Manchester City) RB

Having played for Benfica, Valencia, Inter Milan, Juventus and now Manchester City, Cancelo may well have found a permanent home with Pep Guardiola’s team. At the club he has emerged from a talented right back into one of the world’s best and his creativity has been a key component of Manchester City’s best play over the last two years. He is now one of the first names on City’s teamsheet in defence, allowing Kyle Walker to play a more central role if required.

  1. Achraf Hakimi (Paris St Germain) RB

Hakimi has been at a number of top clubs and has found a home in Paris where his skills at full back have already proved vital to the French team in some vital games. Pacy, powerful and tall, he is able to get up and down the wing quickly, he is a danger at set pieces and is a strong defender. He is also a very important goalscorer notching some key goals for his team. He has 3 goals in 12 league games for PSG already and at 23, is only set to get better.

  1. Jordi Alba (Barcelona) LB

At his best, Alba was one of the best left backs in world football and certainly one of the best full backs. He is still an outstanding player and a key member of the Barcelona defence where his pace and energy can cause teams plenty of problems, however, there are signs that he is starting to slow down a little now and I think in future years, he may slowly drop down this list. He has been a phenomenal part of Barcelona’s most recent successes though.

  1. Reece James (Chelsea) RB

The biggest riser up this list this season, Rhys James has become a genuine challenger for the England right back spot after a sensational season for Chelsea which has seen him not only improve defensively, but also get amongst the goals a lot more often. He has become a key component in the Chelsea team, ousting club captain Cesar Azpilicueta from the right back spot and at this rate, he is only going to continue rising up this table in the months and years to come.

  1. Kyle Walker (Manchester City) RB

Walker has started to play a more central role for club and country in some games, but his natural positon is a full back where his pace and defensive skills are excellent. Few players in world football can beat Walker in a race and it is that, combined with his pace, power and positional play which has made him one of the best full backs in the world, although I feel in the next few years, he may well transition into a more permanent central defensive role.

  1. Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid) RB

But for injuries throughout his career, I think Dani Carvajal would have had the potential to be in the top five of this list. At his best, the Real Madrid right back is a strong, powerful and combative force down the right. One of the best natural defenders in this list, he is also a very tenacious player. He has just 26 caps for Spain despite making over 200 appearances for Real Madrid and injuries have certainly robbed him of considerably more.

  1. Ben Chilwell (Chelsea) LB

He may be out with a nasty injury at the present moment, but Ben Chilwell is one of a clutch of hugely talented England full backs. After coming through the ranks at Leicester, he made 99 league appearances for the Foxes before making a move to Chelsea in 2020. Since then, he has been a regular for the Londoners at left back and has become a regular in the England set up, recently adding more goals to his game too.

  1. Theo Hernandez (Milan) LB

He may have had off-the-field issues this season, but on the field Hernandez has continued his emergence as one of the best full backs in Europe. He is a growing influence on this Milan team from full back and is now also starting to showcase his talents more regularly on the international stage with France. After not making the grade at Real Madrid, the move to Milan in 2019 has reinvigorated his career.

Others that were close to being included on this list included Alfonso Davies (Bayern Munich), Kieran Trippier (Atletico Madrid), Raphael Guerriero (Borussia Dortmund), Marcos Acuna (Sevilla), Kieran Tierney (Arsenal), Lucas Digne (Everton), Alex Sandro (Juventus), Ricardo Perreira (Leicester City), Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Manchester United), Luke Shaw (Manchester United).

More Top 10 Lists

Check out our other Top 10 Lists from Ian John:

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