The wingback position is one of the most tasking positions in football. They are expected to be at both ends of the pitch, defending when the opposition has the ball and supporting the attack when their team is in possession. Today, you will find out who the best wingbacks in the world are. But before that, what exactly is the role of a wingback in football?
What is the role of a wingback in football?
A wingback is a full-back who is more attacking and acts more as a midfielder along with defensive duties than as a defender.
The wingback is usually allowed to move up and down in their flank. They can act as a winger when in the attack and as a full-back when they are defending; hence, they are called wingbacks. Most fullbacks function in a 3-5-2 or 3-4-3 formation.
Most wingbacks are full-backs (right-backs and left-backs), but what distinguishes them from the natural full-backs is their incredible ability to regularly overlap and trackback.
Wingbacks are very dangerous with crosses and set pieces which is why they are mostly judged by the number of assists they provide.
In this article, we bring you the top 5 best wingbacks in the world in 2022.
Top 5 Best Wingbacks in the World 2022
This article on the top wingbacks in football is made of players who have played as a wingbacks and are able to play as a wingback. This list is in no particular order.
1. Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)
Trent Alexander-Arnold has established himself as arguably the best wingback in recent years, and the English man keeps improving every season.
Although he is often criticised for his defensive lapses, Alexander-Arnold is very dangerous in the opposition area.
He regularly links up well with the attackers and is known for his wicked crosses. He is also dangerous with set-pieces.
Trent Alexander-Arnold provided an impressive 19 assists in 47 matches in all competitions last season, scoring 2 goals.
2. João Cancelo (Manchester City)
João Cancelo is the jack of all trades in Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City team.
The Portuguese can play anywhere, which is why he is mostly allowed to freely roam about the pitch at Man City — despite Guardiola being tactically known for being strict with positions.
Cancelo can play at right-back, left-back, in midfield, or as a winger. However, he has cemented his status as one of the best full-backs in the world.
His ability to brilliantly play in both full-back positions was a very useful asset for City last season.
He played 52 matches in all competitions in 2021/22 — providing 10 assists and scoring 3 goals as the Cityzens won the EPL title.
3. Theo Hernández (AC Milan)
Theo Hernández was very instrumental as AC Milan won the Serie A title for the first time since 2011 last season.
The former Real Madrid wingback was a constant menace for opposition teams.
Hernández scored 5 goals and provided 10 in 41 games in all competitions and won the Serie A Goal of the Season award.
The Frenchman is not just one of the best left-backs in the world, but also has the attacking prowess of a lethal wingback.
4. Achraf Hakimi (PSG)
PSG signed Achraf Hakimi for a huge fee from Inter Milan in the summer of 2021.
Although he didn’t replicate his Inter performances in his debut season in Paris, he was an excellent performer for Mauricio Pochettino’s side.
Hakimi scored 4 goals and provided 6 assists in 41 matches in all competitions. He is undoubtedly one of the best right-backs in the world, and has the potential to grow into an elite player.
5. Filip Kostić (Eintracht Frankfurt)
Filip Kostić was an important member of the Eintracht Frankfurt team that surprisingly won the Europa League last season.
Kostić was very impressive as a wingback and made 15 assists (with 7 goals) in 42 matches in all competitions.
What makes Kostić one of the best wingbacks in the world is his prolific returns. The Serbian player is capable of pushing forward in attack, providing width on the left flank, and delivering deadly crosses into the box.
He is now being courted by various clubs in Europe, with West Ham United and Chelsea reportedly interested in his services.
- Jordi Alba (FC Barcelona)
- Reece James (Chelsea)
- Nuno Mendes (PSG)
- Marcos Acuña (Sevilla)
- Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich)
- Denzel Dumfries (Inter Milan)
- Juan Cuadrado (Juventus)
- Borna Sosa (VfB Stuttgart)
- James Tavernier (Rangers)
- Jonathan Clauss (Marseille).