Top 5 Right-Backs Reigning the World of Football Today
New variations of the position have already emerged during the current campaign. It is a role that is always changing in the contemporary game, from daring full-backs who stretch the pitch to defenders entrusted with stepping inside into the middle.
As a result, picking the five finest right-backs in the game right now was a challenging process, with each of these five players offering something a bit different.
Here are our current top five right backs in the world.
Newcastle United are on the approach of clinching Champions League football for the first time in two decades, with just one victory needed to guarantee a spot among Europe’s best.
Kieran Trippier has been a standout performer in an outstanding season at St James’ Park, creating the finest football of his career on Tyneside. Trippier was the club’s first signing after the Saudi-backed ownership and has proven to be an excellent addition, developing as a leader of the Magpies’ team under Eddie Howe.
The 32-year-old was maybe underappreciated during his initial tenure in the Premier League, but he has returned from winning La Liga with Atletico Madrid improved and is now one of the division’s most effective defenders.
Newcastle have only conceded 32 goals in 36 league games this season, and Trippier’s forward threat – from both open-play and set-pieces – is a key component of their attacking style. This season, the defender is second in the Premier League in chances created (107) and has produced seven assists. He is the sole defender on the Premier League’s shortlist for Player of the Season.
Barcelona has been crowned La Liga winners for the first time since 2018/19 this season, and their success has been built on a record-breaking defense.
Xavi’s team has only conceded 13 goals in 34 league games and is aiming to break Chelsea’s record (15 – 2004/05) for the fewest goals conceded in a season in one of Europe’s top five leagues.
Jules Kounde has been outstanding as part of Barcelona’s superb backline, despite playing right-back for much of the season. The Frenchman’s natural place is center, but he has adapted admirably to the adjustment, contributing at both ends of the season.
In one-on-one situations, the Frenchman is dominant defensively and exploits his athleticism to win duels, while he is assured in possession and confident when pushing forward into the final third. The 24-year-old had some time to acclimatize to his new position, but he can now provide Barcelona with elite-level performances in either capacity.
Kyle Walker has had one of the most interesting evolutions of any player at the Etihad, rising to every challenge Pep Guardiola’s tactical scheme brings.
Walker arrived six years ago as a bullet-train of a full-back from Tottenham, a defender who charged forward at breakneck speed to join the attack. He’s been adjusted and trained to succeed in a variety of situations since then, impressing when inverting into midfield and as a security precaution to stop central counters on occasion.
Walker’s improved passing range is frequently overlooked in favor of his extraordinary athleticism, with his explosive pace used on recovery and to neutralize the danger of Europe’s greatest wingers.
Walker’s latest fight with Vinicius Junior demonstrated that, even as he approaches 33, he still has plenty left in the tank. His ability to outrun practically any winger in the world makes even the finest attackers question their own game.
Trent Alexander-Arnold was not the first player to make full-back popular, but the Liverpool right-back has contributed to the role’s progression.
The 24-year-old had a terrible start to the season, receiving harsh criticism and raising questions about his defensive skills, but by the end of the season, everyone is talking about Alexander-Arnold for the right reasons.
Jurgen Klopp has changed his role, with Alexander-Arnold starting at right-back but moving to spend long stretches of time in midfield. The outcome has been fantastic.
Alexander-Arnold has led the Premier League in assists (6), through balls (10), touches (750), passes in the opposing half (279), passes in the final third (187) and, probably most importantly, possession won (63).
It’s the kind of impact that no other full-back in the world can match, and it’s contributed to a revival for Liverpool, who have won seven straight games to revive their fragile Champions League ambitions.
Regardless of the scrutiny he has experienced this season, Alexander-Arnold’s upside has always outweighed the disadvantage of defensive errors. Fortunately, Jurgen Klopp has always admired him for what he is: a really brilliant footballer.
When it comes to modern full-back play, Achraf Hakimi has it all. The Moroccan has a long list of career accomplishments despite his young age, including blistering speed, end product, adaptability, and skill.
Hakimi rose through the ranks at Real Madrid, and those at the club’s top will be kicking themselves for allowing the defender to depart. The right-back made his debut for Borussia Dortmund on loan before going on to win league titles with Inter Milan and Paris Saint-Germain.
PSG may have a plethora of superstars in their forward line, but Hakimi is one of the key pieces in the Parisians’ puzzle. His tireless efforts down the right and ability to create chances are crucial components of the club’s attacking strategy.
Last winter, he cemented his global status as an inspirational figure in Morocco’s World Cup campaign. In Qatar, Hakimi shone as the North Africans became the first African side to reach a World Cup semi-final, displaying his entire spectrum of attacking threat.
Hakimi’s muscular running, set-piece threat, and dangerous possession drives make him an ideal wing-back option.