Best Right Backs in European Football in 2021 - Sportco Top 5 List

Football has seen some major changes over the recent years and traits that were very rare at that time are now being noticed in a lot of players from this generation. 

One of the qualities or the position that has become different from what it once was is the full-back position. 

Cafu, Javier Zanetti, Dani Alves, and Phillip Lahm are some of the examples of the best and greatest right backs the sport ever witnessed.

However, with modern football managers like Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp, Hansi Flick, etc we saw a different side of the full-back position. 

Let's have a look at the five best right backs in the world currently. The rankings are based on current form, extraordinary and peculiar attributes, and with all this, also the player's ability to play the traditional role as a right back.

Benjamin Pavard

Benjamin Pavard
Image Credits: Getty Images

Key Strength: Heading and Interception

Until the 2018 World Cup, the Frenchman could've never imagined being at the top of the best right backs list but the 25-year-old has never looked back since the World Cup.

After being an instrumental part of the 2018 World Cup-winning squad, Pavard was signed by Bayern Munich. Since then, Pavard has barely missed a game for Bayern Munich and there have barely been games, where Pavard's effect on the side has been negligible.

Benjamin Pavard also had eight contributions in the Bundesliga last season, and looking at Bayern Munich's squad depth, if you play day-in day-out a treble-winning side, it certainly means you are the best in the world. 

Hence, Pavard is first on our list of of best right backs in Europe currently and also the only World Cup-winning right back on the list.

Dani Carvajal

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Key Strength: Physicality and tactical awareness

There will be people who were expecting some other names at the no. 2 spot for the best right backs in Europe but the Spaniard surely owns it considering his consistent form over the years. 

Not only he has been a vital part of a Real Madrid squad that won the UEFA Champions League like it was a cakewalk but Carvajal's performances throughout the years has been phenomenal.

To prove the point, when was the last time we saw someone else taking the right-back spot for Real Madrid? Yes, in times of injury, Lucas Vasquez has been a replacement for the Spaniard but other than that, Carvajal has barely missed any game over 3-4 years.

Alvaro Odriozola, who was signed by the Los Blancos from Real Sociedad has barely played for the 13-time UCL champions and that has led to excessive expectations from Carvajal.

Carvajal has been a perfect example of how right backs should operate in modern football as he has contrived to balance his offensive and defensive duties very well.

Trent Alexander-Arnold 

Trent Alexander-Arnold
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Key Strength: Passing & Crosses

The 2019-20 season had been a complete contrast for the Englishman compared to this season. The reason he takes the third spot is because of his achievements in the 2019-20 season, but the thing that has worked in the Red's favor is his potential that he has shown.

If not this season, Trent has all the qualities to become one of the best full-backs in the world in future but his sloppiness in defensive positions has allowed opponents to exploit him this season.

If he can manage to get more grasp of his positioning and defensive duties, we all know how lethal he can be in the final third.

Aaron-Wan Bissaka

Image Credits: Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

Key Strength: Pin-point Sliding Tackles

Since his time with the Eagles, Crystal Palace, Wan Bissaka has been one of the best 1v1 defenders in the world. When he was signed by Manchester United, most of the people were expecting him to flop, looking at United's recruitments under Jose Mourinho and before.

However, surprisingly, Wan Bissaka has been a gem for the Red Devils. He has been defensively resolute but at the end of the 2019-20 season, comparisons with Trent Alexander-Arnold emerged and Bissaka's lack of offensive abilities looked to be a major difference.

However, this season Wan Bissaka has been brilliant. He's kept up his dominance while defending, and his passing, crossing, and dribbling in the final third have only become better.

The only reason he is below the others is because of his less-effective attacking abilities. Defensively no one beats him. That's why balance is of utmost importance in this position. Wan Bissaka has established himself as one of the best defensive right backs in the premier league.

Kyle Walker

kyle walker
Image Credits: getty images

Key Strength: Speed & Stamina

Joao Cancelo has certainly been the better Manchester City right-back this season, but it is Kyle Walker who has broken most of the records with the Cityzens.

In times of need and trust, despite Cancelo's qualities, Guardiola has chosen Walker and that shows how trustworthy Kyle Walker has been over the years.

The Englishman is one of the fittest full-backs in the world currently, and the combination of pace with physicality is what has been Walker's strength over the years.

So here are Sportco's top five best right backs in Europe currently, and in years to come, we may see several players coming up, while we may see some new entries in the list too.

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