The role of wingbacks in a match in modern football has gone beyond defending alone. Wingbacks are now involved in an offensive role for their clubs and countries. Let’s find out who the top wingbacks in the world are, but before that what is the role of a wingback?
What is the role of a wingback in football?
A wingback is a fullback 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 fullback when they are defending; hence, they are called wingback. Most fullbacks function in a 3-5-2 or 3-4-3 formation.
Top 5 Wingbacks in The World 2021
This article of the top wingbacks in football is made of players who have played as a wingbacks, and are able to play as a wing back. The list is in no particular order.
1. Achraf Hakimi
The Inter Milan man has been in exceptional form for the Serie A Champions, and his national team Morocco. Achraf Hakimi has all the makings of a great wingback. He is a tenacious defender who loves to makes tackles and track back. Hakimi is also very attack-minded, this 2020/21 season, he has managed 7 goals, and 9 assists in 33 matches. Currently widely regarded as one of the best wingbacks in football, Hakimi has been sought after by PSG and Chelsea.
2. Jordi Alba
Jordi Alba has been a first team player for Barcelona since he joined them. The Spanish left-back has formed a formidable and telepathic partnership with Lionel Messi. Jordi Alba is so attack-minded, that if you were watching him you’d think he was quite winger. He has scored 8 goals in over 70 matches for the Spanish national team. The 32-year-old often plays as a wingback when Barcelona are on the attack.
Alba is a technically gifted and fast attacking full-back, who can cause problems for the oppositions defense. Alba uses his blistering pace, and stamina to participate in both attack and defense, as he can move from one area of the pitch to the other in seconds. Alba is arguably the best wingback right now, as he excelled in Ronald Koeman’s 3-5-2 formation. He scored 5 goals and provided 10 assists in the just concluded 2020/2021 season.
3. Theo Hernandez
Theo Hernandez was exceptionally brilliant for AC Milan last season. The 23-year-old has tremendous quality and is very good in playing both attacking and defensive roles. Despite playing as a left back, he made a lot of progressive runs forward, and created a lot of goalscoring chances in the process.
The Frenchman proved that he was a vital asset to AC Milan’s attacking game, as he scored 8 goals, and provided 7 assists in the 2020/21 season.
4. Trent Alexander-Arnold
The English full-back is a speedy, energetic and attack-minded full-back. Alexander-Arnold is also a tenacious full-back and an excellent reader of the game, as he expertly uses his speed and anticipation.
Trent Alexander-Arnold is an incredible crosser of the ball and also an expert set-piece taker. Jurgen Klopp has made him into a playmaking full-back. So far this season, TAA has scored 2 goals while providing a staggering 9 assists. He has also created a huge number of chances in the EPL this season.
5. Ben Chilwell
Ben Chilwell gradually rose to become one of the best fullbacks in England. He is known for his passing, pace, energy and fantastic crossing abilities. Last season, Chilwell scored 3 goals and provided 5 assists in his role as a wingback for Chelsea. He was instrumental to Thomas Tuchel’s Champions League triumph with Chelsea.
Ben Chilwell is also good in defending, he makes crucial tackles, interceptions and blocks in defense.
- Juan Cuadrado – Juventus
- Kieran Trippier – Atletico Madrid
- Yannick Carrasco – Atletico Madrid
- Giovanni Di Lorenzo – Napoli
- Angeliño – RB Leipzig
- Sergino Dest – Barcelona