The 25 Best Right Backs in the World 2024

Best Right Backs in the World 2024: Football has seen a significant transformation in the role of full-backs. They are not just defenders anymore but have become crucial in defense, creating plays, and contributing to the offense. This evolution makes it important to rank the best right-backs in the world.

Best Players In The World By Position

We’re trying to make a list of the best football players, and to do that, we’re looking at different positions on the field. Full-backs, especially on the right side, have become more than just defenders. Players like Alexander-Arnold and Reece James have changed the game by being not only solid in defense but also playing a vital role in creating scoring opportunities.

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Best Right Backs in the World 2024

In today’s football, full-backs are not limited to defending or supporting wingers. They act as additional midfielders or attackers, making them key players in the modern game. Now, let’s explore the top 25 right-backs in the world, considering their contributions on both defense and offense.

25. Danilo

  • Country: Brazil
  • Club: Juventus

Starting our list at number 25 is Danilo. He might not always be in the spotlight, but he consistently plays well and gets a lot of time on the field in top European clubs. He’s taken over Dani Alves’ role in the Brazilian national team and is a regular starter in Tite’s tactical system. Danilo has a starting position at Juventus, which is a top club, making him one of the top 25 players in the world.

Danilo’s career started at América Mineiro, then he moved to Santos, where he scored the winning goal in the 2011 Copa Libertadores. He went to Porto in 2012, winning consecutive Primeira Liga titles. In 2015, he joined Real Madrid and later moved to Manchester City in 2017. After winning several titles with City, he joined Juventus in 2019, winning the Serie A title in his first season.

Danilo has been playing for the senior Brazil team since 2011, winning the 2011 U-20 World Cup and a silver medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics. He represented Brazil in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the 2021 Copa América, and the 2022 World Cup.

24. César Azpilicueta

  • Country: Spain
  • Club: Atlético Madrid

César Azpilicueta is ranked 24th in the list of Best Right Backs in the World. He’s been a key leader in his team’s defense, adjusting well to a more defensive role. Even though he’s focused more on defense, Azpilicueta has been excellent in both defending and helping with the team’s attack.

In 2012, he joined Chelsea and won the Europa League in his first season, followed by a domestic double two years later. Azpilicueta played over 500 times for Chelsea, making him sixth on their all-time appearances list when he left in 2023. He’s considered a Stamford Bridge legend, captaining Chelsea to victory in the Europa League in 2019, the Champions League in 2021, and the FIFA Club World Cup in 2021.

Azpilicueta made his debut with the full national team in 2013 and was selected for three World Cups, as well as Euro 2016 and UEFA Euro 2020.

23. Juan Guillermo Cuadrado

  • Country: Colombia
  • Club: Inter Milan

Juan Guillermo Cuadrado holds the 23rd spot in the Best Right Backs in the World list. This Colombian player has been turning heads with his impressive performances as a right winger for Inter Milan. Despite some initial uncertainty about his position, he has discovered his best form in this role.

Cuadrado made his senior international debut in 2010 and has earned over 110 caps since then. He played for Colombia in five editions of the Copa América (2011, 2015, 2016, 2019, and 2021), reaching the quarter-finals three times and contributing to their third-place finishes in 2016 and 2021. He also represented Colombia in the FIFA World Cup in 2014 and 2018.

His strong performances, especially his offensive skills, solid defense, and creativity, have earned him a place among the top 25 right-backs in the world. Cuadrado had an outstanding individual year at Inter Milan, showcasing his abilities both in the club and for Colombia, scoring 1 goal and providing 1 assist.

22. Kieran Trippier

  • Country: England
  • Club: Newcastle United

Kieran Trippier is placed 22nd in the Best Right Backs in the World list. He has proven wrong the belief that British players struggle to perform outside the UK. Since joining Newcastle United in January 2022, Trippier has become a crucial part of the team. He consistently delivers impressive performances in the current season, contributing to the positive start of the Magpies.

Trippier made his senior international debut in June 2017, scoring in the semi-final of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Trippier was also part of the England squads for UEFA Euro 2020 and the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Despite not being the fastest player, Trippier makes up for it with exceptional positioning and composure on and off the ball. His experience shows, and he demonstrates technical proficiency, especially in delivering enticing crosses into the penalty area.

21. Giovanni Di Lorenzo

  • Country: Italy
  • Club: SSC Napoli

Napoli has been a pleasant surprise in European football this season, showing dominance over opponents and bringing back the excitement reminiscent of the Sarriball era. Despite the spotlight on their attacking players, the team’s defense is also impressively strong.

Giovanni Di Lorenzo, who took on the captain’s role this summer, is a reliable defender for Napoli. Despite not getting enough recognition for his contributions, he has consistently performed well in Serie A this season.

Fans worldwide are hopeful to see him play a crucial role in Napoli’s quest for another Scudetto win.

20. Takehiro Tomiyasu

  • Country: Japan
  • Club: Arsenal FC

Takehiro Tomiyasu is ranked 20th among the Best Right Backs in the World. He plays as a defender for Arsenal in the Premier League and the Japan national team. After starting his career in Japan, he played for Sint-Truiden and Bologna before joining Arsenal in 2021.

Tomiyasu has been praised by Arsenal’s manager and technical director. He made a strong impact, earning the Player of the Month award in September 2021. His recent performances include a controversial red card in August 2023, and a clean sheet victory as a center back in September 2023.

Tomiyasu was also named the team’s MVP for October 2023.

19. Kyle Walker

  • Country: England
  • Club: Manchester City

Kyle Walker, the English right-back, played a crucial role for Manchester City in both the Premier League and the UEFA Champions League. He was also a regular starter for the national team in the EURO tournament.

Despite being 33 years old, Kyle Walker is still one of the fastest right-backs in the game. He has been a consistent starter for Manchester City for several years, showing strong skills in both defense and offense.

He excelled at defending, helping his team secure clean sheets, and played a key part in their success. While his offensive stats were not extraordinary, his defensive abilities were outstanding.

Walker is comfortable with the ball and has excellent passing accuracy, completing 91% of his assists in the Premier League since the season started. His speed and ability to outmaneuver defenders in the attacking third have been highly effective for Manchester City, especially against teams with defensive formations.

18. Noussair Mazraoui

  • Country: Netherlands
  • Club: Bayern Munich

Noussair Mazraoui holds the 18th spot in the Best Right Backs in the World list. He serves as a right-back for Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga. Remarkably versatile, he can also play as a left-back, midfielder, or winger. Born in the Netherlands, he represents the Morocco national team.

Mazraoui signed a four-year deal with Bayern Munich. In January 2023, he faced a setback due to inflammation in his pericardium after contracting COVID-19, causing him to be sidelined for six to eight weeks.

Mazraoui played a crucial role in Morocco’s journey to the semi-finals, making them the first African side to reach this stage in the World Cup.

Mazraoui was among the 27 players chosen by coach Walid Regragui to represent Morocco in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.

17. Aaron Hickey

  • Country: Scotland
  • Club: Brentford

Aaron Hickey is ranked 17th in the Best Right Backs in the World list. He serves as a full-back for the Premier League club Brentford and plays for the Scotland national team.

In July 2022, Premier League club Brentford secured Hickey from Bologna, signing him on a four-year contract. Despite missing a few months due to an ankle ligament injury in October, he regularly played on the right side of defense for Brentford during the 2022–23 season.

In 2023, when there were transfer rumors linking Hickey to Manchester City, Brentford’s coach Thomas Frank made it clear that they had no intention of selling him.

Frank praised Hickey as a very good young player with a fantastic future ahead, stating that more outstanding performances were needed to break into a team like Manchester City.

16. Rico Lewis

  • Country: England
  • Club: Manchester City

Rico Lewis holds the 16th spot among the Best Right Backs in the World. He made an impactful debut season in 2022–23, becoming the youngest scorer on a first start in a UEFA Champions League match and helping Manchester City secure the Premier League title, FA Cup, and Champions League, marking a historic domestic double and continental treble achievement.

Best Full Backs in the World

Starting as a substitute, Lewis progressively earned his place in the starting lineup, notably scoring his first goal in a Champions League comeback win against Sevilla. Despite facing racist abuse during the match, he became a key player for Manchester City, contributing to their stellar season and playing a vital role in their historic triumphs in both domestic and continental competitions.

15. Lutsharel Geertruida

  • Country: Netherlands
  • Club: Feyenoord

Lutsharel Geertruida is ranked 15th among the Best Right Backs in the World. He plays for Eredivisie club Feyenoord and the Netherlands national team, showcasing versatility as a right-back, center-back, or defensive midfielder.

Best Full Backs in the World

Geertruida made his professional debut for Feyenoord in October 2017 and steadily progressed through the ranks. In August 2021, he extended his contract with Feyenoord until 2024. Geertruida played a crucial role in Feyenoord’s triumph in the 2022–23 Eredivisie season.

Internationally, Geertruida received his first call-up to the Netherlands senior national team in March 2023, making his debut in a Euro 2024 qualifying match against France.

14. Juan Foyth

  • Country: Argentina
  • Club: Villarreal CF

Juan Foyth holds the 14th spot in the Best Right Backs in the World list, playing as a right-back for La Liga club Villarreal and the Argentina national team.

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Starting his professional journey at hometown club Estudiantes, Foyth ventured into the Premier League with Tottenham Hotspur before joining Villarreal in La Liga. He contributed to Villarreal’s UEFA Europa League triumph in 2021.

Foyth made his senior international debut for Argentina in 2018 and has been part of significant achievements, including a third-place finish at the 2019 Copa América and victories in the 2022 Finalissima and the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

13. Emerson Royal

  • Country: Brazil
  • Club: Tottenham Hotspur

Emerson Royal is ranked 13th among the Best Right Backs in the World, playing for Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur and the Brazil national team. Emerson moved to Tottenham Hotspur in the 2021 summer transfer window for a reported £25.8 million.

His debut for Tottenham was in the Premier League against Crystal Palace. Unfortunately, in March 2023, Tottenham announced that Emerson would undergo surgery for a knee injury sustained during international duty with Brazil.

Internationally, Emerson has represented Brazil at various levels, making his senior international debut in November 2019. He was part of Brazil’s squad for the 2021 Copa América, playing in the final against Argentina.

12. Tino Livramento

  • Country: England
  • Club: Newcastle United

Tino Livramento is ranked 12th among the Best Right Backs in the World, currently playing as a full-back for Premier League club Newcastle United. He initially gained recognition at Chelsea, where he was named the Academy Player of the Year for the 2020–21 season.

Best Full Backs in the World

His impressive performances caught the attention of Newcastle United, Livramento joined the club, signing a five-year contract for a reported initial fee of £32 million, plus £8 million in add-ons.

Livramento has represented England up to the U21 level. Despite his English background, he is also eligible to play for Scotland and Portugal through his parents’ heritage.

11. Malo Gusto

  • Country: France
  • Club: Chelsea

Malo Gusto secures the 11th position among the Best Right Backs in the World, currently playing for Premier League club Chelsea and the France national team. His football journey began at ASVF before joining Olympique Lyonnais academy as an under-14 player.

Gusto made his professional debut for Lyon in January 2021, and by the summer of 2021, he emerged as one of the club’s promising prospects.

Starting the 2021–22 season as the official replacement for France international Léo Dubois, Gusto showcased his skills in several notable games, including Europa League and Ligue 1 matches.

Chelsea officially signed Malo Gusto in a deal until 2030, with a reported fee of £26.3 million plus £4.45 million in bonuses. He was loaned back to Lyon until the end of the 2022–23 season.

10. Benjamin Pavard

  • Country: France
  • Club: Inter Milan

Benjamin Pavard has been in outstanding form for Inter Milan, especially at the beginning of the season. The French player has impressed with his excellent defensive skills, showcasing more confidence in defense rather than focusing on attacking. Despite the arrival of new signings, Pavard has secured his place in the first team, thanks to his consistent performances.

Best Full Backs in the World

He started his career at Lille in Ligue 1 and later moved to VfB Stuttgart in 2016, winning the 2. Bundesliga in his first season. In January 2019, he agreed to join Bayern Munich, completing the move after Stuttgart’s relegation. In 2020, he achieved a historic sextuple, winning the Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal, Champions League, DFL-Supercup, UEFA Super Cup, and FIFA Club World Cup. In the summer of 2023, Pavard made a move to Inter Milan.

Pavard made his international debut for France in November 2017, winning the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the 2020–21 UEFA Nations League. He also featured at UEFA Euro 2020 and the 2022 World Cup. He is notably remembered for his volley against Argentina in the 2018 FIFA World Cup round of 16, voted as the goal of the tournament.

What makes Pavard stand out is his tactical role at Inter Milan. Unlike many other right-backs, he plays in an inverted role, not frequently overlapping with attacking players. Instead, he positions himself closer to the center of the field, almost functioning like an additional midfielder when the team is in possession. This unique tactical approach allows Pavard to contribute to the team’s gameplay in a distinctive and valuable way.

9. Diogo Dalot

  • Country: Portugal
  • Club: Manchester United

Diogo Dalot holds the 9th position in the Best Right Backs in the World list, playing as a full-back for Premier League club Manchester United and the Portugal national team. He began his football journey in the Porto youth system, making his professional debut for the club’s B team in January 2017.

Best Full Backs in the World

Dalot’s first-team debut for Porto came in a Taça de Portugal game in October 2017, and he later joined Manchester United in June 2018 for a reported fee of €22 million (£19 million).

During the period from October 2020 to June 2021, Dalot was loaned to Italian Serie A club Milan. As a youth international, he represented Portugal from under-15 to under-21 levels and was part of the under-17 squad that won the 2016 UEFA European Under-17 Championship. Diogo Dalot made his senior international debut for Portugal at UEFA Euro 2020.

8. Nahuel Molina

  • Country: Argentina
  • Club: Atlético de Madrid

Nahuel Molina holds the 8th position in the Best Right Backs in the World list, playing as a right-back or right wing-back for La Liga club Atlético Madrid and the Argentina national team. Known for his speed, crosses, vision, and versatility, Molina began his football journey in the Barça Juniors Luján sports project, affiliated with FC Barcelona in Argentina. He made his first-team debut for Boca Juniors in February 2016.

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After loan spells at Defensa y Justicia and Rosario Central, Molina joined Udinese Calcio on a free transfer in September 2020. In July 2022, he signed a five-year deal with Atlético Madrid for a reported fee of €10 million and €5 million in variables.

Molina debuted for the Argentina national team in June 2021 and scored his first goal in December 2022 during the 2022 World Cup quarter-final against the Netherlands, contributing to Argentina’s championship victory with six starts, one goal, and one assist in the tournament.

7. Jeremie Frimpong

  • Country: Netherlands
  • Club: Bayer 04 Leverkusen

Jeremie Frimpong is recognized as one of the standout right-backs in 2024. A young and highly skilled player, he has swiftly become one of Europe’s most exciting fullbacks, contributing significantly to Bayer Leverkusen’s success and representing the Netherlands at the international level. Despite not being fluent in Dutch, Frimpong’s understanding of the football language has earned him a place in the Netherlands senior national team.

Best Full Backs in the World

His inclusion in the squad for the 2022 FIFA World Cup showcased his talent, although he didn’t feature in the tournament. Frimpong made his debut for the Netherlands in October 2023 during a UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying match against France.

Known for his excellent dribbling skills and proficiency in crossing, he poses a constant threat to defenders and has proven to be a valuable playmaker by creating many scoring opportunities for his teammates.

6. Pedro Porro

  • Country: Spain
  • Club: Tottenham Hotspur

Pedro Porro has indeed established himself as one of the premier right-backs in 2024, showcasing his youth, talent, and considerable potential. A key player for both Tottenham Hotspur and the Spanish national team, Porro’s skills extends to both offensive and defensive aspects of the game.

Best Full Backs in the World

His career began with Girona’s reserve team Peralda, and in 2019, Porro made a notable move to Premier League side Manchester City. Subsequently loaned to Real Valladolid and Sporting in the Portuguese Primeira Liga, Porro achieved remarkable success with Sporting, securing both the Primeira Liga and Taça da Liga titles. His loan move to Sporting was made permanent, underscoring his impactful contributions.

Known for his exceptional dribbling abilities, Porro effortlessly maneuvers past defenders, while his adept crossing skills have translated into numerous goal-scoring opportunities for teammates. Defensively, he excels in one-on-one situations and demonstrates a keen understanding of the game, solidifying his reputation as a well-rounded and promising right-back.

5. Ben White

  • Country: England
  • Club: Arsenal FC

When Ben White first joined the Emirates Stadium, he was a bit impulsive and reactive in his playing style. However, since taking on the role of a right-back, he has fully embraced his fiery and confrontational approach to the game.

Best Full Backs in the World

White started his professional club career at the age of 18 in 2016 with Brighton & Hove Albion. Over the next few years, he went on loan to Newport County, Peterborough United, and Leeds United between 2016 and 2019. He played in all four professional English leagues and won the Championship with Leeds. Following a season with Brighton, White made a big move to Arsenal in 2021, becoming their most expensive defender with a transfer fee of up to £50 million.

In 2021, at the age of 23, White made his senior international debut for England and was part of their squads for UEFA Euro 2020 and the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

As of 2024, Ben White has established himself as one of the best right-backs in the world. He plays a crucial role for Arsenal, contributing to their challenge for the Premier League title. White is a versatile player who can also perform well as a center-back, showcasing his excellence in both positions.

4. João Cancelo

  • Country: Portugal
  • Club: FC Barcelona

João Cancelo has been a crucial player for Thomas Tuchel’s team this season, even though he’s been playing in different positions. Despite not being in his preferred role, he’s had an outstanding season.

Best Full Backs in the World

Cancelo started his career in Benfica’s youth academy in 2012 and moved up to the first team in 2014 after playing for the reserve team. He had a loan spell at La Liga club Valencia in the 2014–15 season before making a permanent move in 2015. During the 2017–18 season, he went on loan to Serie A team Inter Milan and was included in Serie A’s Team of the Year. His performances caught the attention of Juventus, and he joined them in 2018 for €40.4 million, winning the league and Supercoppa Italiana in his first season.

In 2019, Canelo signed with Premier League club Manchester City. He has since won three Premier League titles, the EFL Cup, and the UEFA Champions League with the team. In the 2020–21 season, he played a significant role in Manchester City reaching their first-ever UEFA Champions League final.

Cancelo made his senior debut for Portugal in 2016 and has won 75 caps, scoring three goals. He was part of Portugal’s under-21 team that reached the 2015 UEFA European Championship Final and won the 2019 UEFA Nations League Finals on home soil.

Cancelo’s notable contribution has been in the defensive aspect of the game. Similar to Alexander-Arnold, his impact on the attack goes beyond just statistics. He has been crucial in creating opportunities for his team, averaging 0.9 key passes per game.

3. Reece James

  • Country: England
  • Club: Chelsea FC

Reece James has quickly become Chelsea FC’s wing-back of the future. He seamlessly fits into the team’s system, sharing the right wing with Azpilicueta. When it comes to offense, James has all the qualities to be considered one of the best players in the world.

Best Full Backs in the World

James started at Chelsea’s academy as a youth and turned professional in 2017. In that season, he led the under-18s to win the FA Youth Cup and was named Academy Player of the Season. After a successful loan spell with Wigan Athletic in the Championship, he returned to Chelsea’s first team in 2019. In 2023, he was appointed club captain.

Beyond just numbers, James is recognized as one of the most promising wingers in the Premier League, indicating a bright future ahead for him. His impact on the field goes beyond statistics, making him a valuable asset to Chelsea.

2. Trent Alexander-Arnold

  • Country: England
  • Club: Liverpool FC

Trent Alexander-Arnold has secured the 2nd spot in our ranking, despite having a less impressive year compared to his previous performances. It’s important to note that Liverpool faced challenges with key players like van Dijk, Gomez, Matip, and Fabinho being absent for a significant portion of the season.

Alexander-Arnold joined Liverpool’s academy in 2004, captaining the youth levels. He made his senior debut in 2016, playing in consecutive UEFA Champions League finals in 2018 and 2019, winning the latter. He earned recognition in the Champions League Squad of the Season. In 2019–20, he received awards for PFA Young Player of the Year and played a key role in Liverpool’s Premier League title win. His success led to his inclusion in the FIFA FIFPRO Men’s World 11. In 2021–22, he claimed a domestic cup double, winning the EFL Cup and FA Cup with Liverpool.

It’s challenging to assess Alexander-Arnold only as a right-back because he brings more to the team than just his defensive role. With qualities resembling a creative midfielder and a unique understanding of the game, he has been a valuable asset to Liverpool. Despite facing inconsistency this year, Trent deserves recognition for his overall abilities and contributions to the team.

1. Achraf Hakimi

  • Country: Morocco
  • Club: Paris Saint-Germain

Achraf Hakimi is currently recognized as the best right-back in the world. He recently joined Paris Saint-Germain and has already built a strong reputation playing for top clubs Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, and Inter Milan. At just 25 years old, Hakimi has displayed remarkable talent and has excelled in his offensive skills. However, there’s room for improvement in his defensive abilities.

Best Full Backs in the World

Hakimi is particularly known for his outstanding performances as a winger. He has been one of the most influential players in European football, contributing significantly to goal-scoring and assisting his teammates.

Despite his great potential, it’s important to note that he still has areas to develop, especially in terms of his defensive game. Nevertheless, Hakimi’s youth and talent suggest that he has the potential to become the best winger in the world if he continues to perform at his current level.

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