Top 10 Best Right-Backs In The World (2023)

Reece James best right-backs in the world LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 13: Reece James of Chelsea runs with the ball during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Stamford Bridge on August 13, 2023 in London, England.
(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

The right-back position is one of the most important positions in football.

In modern football, many right-backs often play very active roles in the attack, driving the ball forward and making crosses for attackers.

Right-backs are not just defenders anymore but can also be Jack of all trades, including attackers, creators, scorers, and set-piece takers.

The right-back role has witnessed quite a few notable performances this year. An elite group of players have shined in this full-back position over the past year, with breathtaking displays in League and Cup competitions.

Here are the top ten right-backs in football in 2023.

1. Achraf Hakimi

Achraf Hakimi best defenders in the world PARIS, FRANCE - AUGUST 12: Achraf Hakimi of Paris Saint Germain in action during the Ligue 1 Uber Eats match between Paris Saint-Germain and FC Lorient at Parc des Princes on August 12, 2023 in Paris, France.
(Photo by Antonio Borga/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)

What Moroccan defender Achraf Hakimi has achieved despite not being up to 24 years old makes it scary what he would do when he hits his peak years.

Hakimi has played at Real Madrid, won trophies at Santiago Bernabeu, and played and won the Serie A with Inter Milan. Borussia Dortmund is in the Bundesliga and is currently dominating the French Ligue 1 with PSG.

Furthermore, he became a member of the first-ever African team to make the semi-final of the FIFA World Cup with Morocco last year.

He was highly instrumental as the first-choice right-back and sometimes not even in that position but in more advanced positions like the midfield and the wing.

He is one of the best wing-backs in the world and also possesses incredible pace.

Hakimi is also recognized for his excellent crossing ability and his tendency to create scoring opportunities for his teammates.

His playing profile is that of an attacking full-back who likes to push forward and contribute to his team’s offense while still maintaining his defensive responsibilities

2. Trent Alexander-Arnold

Trent Alexander-Arnold best full-backs in the world LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - AUGUST 19: Trent Alexander-Arnold of Liverpool looks on during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and AFC Bournemouth at Anfield on August 19, 2023 in Liverpool, England.
(Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

If this list is compiled in the next couple of years, Trent Alexander-Arnold may not be recognized as a right-back anymore.

Still, at the moment, he remains one of the very best, even though many have criticized his defensive qualities.

Trent Alexander-Arnold is an addition to the team and automatically makes the front line more fluid.

Recently, he has been deployed in the midfield position by Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and Gareth Southgate at the national team level.

He may not have the silverware success of Hakimi, but he has also won everything available in club football at Liverpool.

His exceptional crossing ability, passing range, delivery, set-piece skills, playmaking, and his ability to score goals with his right foot make him one of the best attack-minded full-backs in the world.

3. Kieran Trippier

Kieran Trippier NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: NU02of Newcastle United during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Aston Villa at St. James Park on August 12, 2023 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.
(Photo by James Gill – Danehouse/Getty Images)

It took a while, but Kieran Trippier’s rise to become one of the best, if not the best, right back in the Premier League has manifested.

A couple of seasons ago, before his move to Atletico Madrid, he was just another average player.

One could argue that he is at his peak, and that’s why he has been putting up the numbers, but definitely, since his return to Newcastle United, he has earned the respect of fans and neutrals alike.

His playing style is a big advantage to Newcastle United, and it’s an obvious fact that he is a source of goal from set-pieces.

4. Kyle Walker

Kyle Walker best full-backs in football LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 06: Kyle Walker of Manchester City in possession during The FA Community Shield match between Manchester City against Arsenal at Wembley Stadium on August 06, 2023 in London, England
(Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Despite being 33, Pep Guardiola and Manchester City still offered Kyle Walker a three-year contract extension at the club in recognition of his contribution to the team.

Kyle Walker possesses one of the fastest speeds in football, and unlike many others on this list, he is not one of those who enjoy attacking as a full-back.

Aging like a fine wine, he has chosen to focus more on his defensive duties.

His pace is one of his biggest attributes, and although he doesn’t score a lot of goals, his trophy cabinet suggests he’s a championship-winning defender, making up defensively for his attacking deficiency.

His playing style is characterized by his athleticism, strength, and quickness, which make him a formidable defender and a threat in attacking transitions.

Walker’s ability to adapt and play in different positions, including center-back and right-wing-back, has also contributed to his success as a player

5. Giovanni Di Lorenzo

Giovanni Di Lorenzo best full-backs in the world NAPLES, ITALY - AUGUST 27: Giovanni Di Lorenzo of SSC Napoli celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 2-0 during the Serie A TIM match between SSC Napoli and US Sassuolo at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona on August 27, 2023 in Naples, Italy.
(Photo by Ivan Romano/Getty Images)

Inheriting the captaincy in the summer, Giovanni Di Lorenzo has been a rock in the Partenopei’s backline.

He is an intelligent reader of the game who equally relishes attacking and defensive situations.

He was one of the most quietly consistent defenders in Serie A last season and one of Napoli’s more underrated players as they won the scudetto.

Apart from being a genuine attacking threat as a right-back, Di Lorenzo is also solid when it comes to defending and closing down, making him one of the best defenders in the world.

6. João Cancelo

João Cancelo best full-backs in the world PAMPLONA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 03: Joao Cancelo of FC Barcelona looks on during the LaLiga EA Sports match between CA Osasuna and FC Barcelona at Estadio El Sadar on September 03, 2023 in Pamplona, Spain.
(Photo by Ion Alcoba/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

Joao Cancelo remains world-class in both positions as a left-back or right-back.

You might want to argue that he has faced troubled times at Manchester City in recent months from last season.

However, the fact remains that he has been able to pull two different loan moves to two of the biggest clubs in Europe, namely Bayern Munich last season and Barcelona this season tells the kind of quality he commands.

Cancelo isn’t content with defending as a full-back, and he is often seen adding more bodies to his team’s attack. Most of the time, he knows how to cross the ball and can go for a goal himself.

He has already scored a goal for Barcelona in just his second appearance for the club and looks like the perfect stylistic fit for the Catalans.

7. Reece James

Reece James best right-backs in the world LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 13: Reece James of Chelsea runs with the ball during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Stamford Bridge on August 13, 2023 in London, England.
(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Twenty-three-year-old Reece James was able to keep a £60 million signing, Marc Cucurella from Brighton, on the bench at Chelsea.

Last season, the England wingback earned the trust of the then manager, Thomas Tuchel, who adopted him as a wingback, a position where he did not disappoint.

Unfortunately, Reece James, despite his consistency in personal development and in terms of all-round play, has been frequently on the doctor’s table too.

Reece James is incredibly athletic and possesses excellent crossing ability, which have helped him excel at full-back and wing-back.

8. Denzel Dumfries

Denzel Dumfries best right backs in the world MILAN, ITALY - AUGUST 19: Denzel Dumfries of FC Internazionale looks on during the Serie A TIM match between FC Internazionale and AC Monza at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on August 19, 2023 in Milan, Italy.
(Photo by sportinfoto/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

Denzel Dumfries’ statistics as a full-back will depict what many managers have as a problem with him: his tendency to prefer sitting back and helping the defense rather than attacking.

He shone brightly in the 2022 FIFA World Cup for the Netherlands and cemented his status as one of the best right-backs in football.

This doesn’t take anything away from the Dutch International, though, as he is a solid right-back and continues to feature in the Serie A for Inter Milan.

Last season, he played 34 times in the league for Inter Milan, one short of the numbers he played in the 2021/2022 season.

9. Dani Carvajal

Dani Carvajal best right-backs in the world Daniel Carvajal of Real Madrid Cf during the LeLiga EA Sports match between Athletic Bilbao and Real Madrid CF at Estadio de San Mames, in Bilbao, Spain, on August 13, 2023.

  • (Photo by Alvaro Medranda/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Dani Carvajal is one of those silent success stories. The defender is one of the veterans remaining at Santiago Bernabeu.

He rose through the ranks at Real Madrid, and he has played with the very best in the game and those who have played at the club.

His trophy cabinet speaks for him, and that’s not the only thing for the Spanish international.

Carvajal’s defensive abilities and his contributions to Real Madrid’s attacking play are often underrated. Nonetheless, his aggressive tackling, work rate, and mentality shows that he is one of the top right-backs in football.

Although he is one of the most injury-prone football players, he always puts a good shift whenever he is fit.

10. Jeremie Frimpong

Jeremie Frimpong best young defenders in football
(Photo by Ralf Treese/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

Jeremie Frimpong is a young 22-year-old Dutch defender who moved from Celtic to Bayern Leverkusen in 2021 and has been able to seal a regular shirt at the Bundesliga side.

He’s more of a prospect, but his first four seasons in the German top-flight have shown a player who is comfortable and effective when he bombs upfront with eight goals and seven assists last season.

He has already started with three assists and one goal in four games this season, continuing his consistent attacking prowess.

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