Best full-back/wing-back ever in football

These days full-backs are not just there to defend the opposing wingers. Nowadays they also have to provide offensive impact. The following ten are considered the best wing-backs ever…

10. Dario Srna (Hajduk Split, Shakhtar Donetsk)

Unfortunately never played for a top club, although he definitely had the skills to do so.

Achievements: UEFA Cup 2009
Strengths: Free Kicks, Crossings
Weaknesses: Temper

9. Dani Alves (FC Sevilla, FC Barcelona, Juventus)

The third-most expensive defensive player of all time and the second most-decorated player of all time.

Achievements: Many international titles, UEFA Cup and Champions League winner, as well as many national titles in La Liga
Strengths: Offensive skills, pace, many assists
Weaknesses: Defensive behaviour

Additional reading: Best goalkeeper ever in football


8. Lukas Pisczek (Hertha BSC Berlin, Borussia Dortmund)

The Pole is an absolute BVB legend

Achievements: Two championships in German Bundesliga, Champions League final
Strengths: Very athletic and focussed, consistency
Weaknesses: Goal scoring

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7. Bixente Lizarazu (Girondins de Bordeaux, Bayern Munich)

Achievements: Champions League title, six German championship titles, World champion, European champion
Strengths: Technique, Stamina, cleverness
Weaknesses: Height

Additional reading: Best holding midfielder ever in football

6. Patrice Evra (AS Monaco, Manchester United, Juventus)

Achievements: Five Premier League titles, Champions League winner
Strengths: Athleticism, crosses
Weaknesses: Goal scoring

5. Ashley Cole (Arsenal London, FC Chelsea)

Achievements: Several Premier League titles and Champions League winner
Strengths: Attacking style, good scorer
Weaknesses: Defensive behaviour

4. Roberto Carlos (Real Madrid)

Famous for his lefty hammer shot. I distinctly remember a goal against France, when he scored with a free-kick about 30m distance and kind of “shot around the edge” to get past the wall – a spectacular scene. He was probably not as solid as some others in defence, but he made up for this with his regular support of the attacking department.

Achievements: Four Primera Division titles and three Champions League titles
Strengths: Incredible left hammer, offense
Weaknesses: Defense

Additional reading: Best central defender ever in football

3. Lilian Thuram (AC Parma, Juventus, FC Barcelona)

Achievements: World and European champion with France national squad
Strengths: Physical and agressive style, tactical awareness
Weaknesses: Technique and attacking sklills just average

2. Javier Zanetti (Inter Milan)

The long-time Argentine international is THE legend of Italian club Inter Milan!

Achievements: 19 seasons for Inter, 858 appearances overall with 16 trophies, Champion League one of them.
Strengths: Consistency, tactically astute, leader
Weaknesses: Hm…

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1. Philipp Lahm (VfB Stuttgart, Bayern Munich)

The little German should not be underestimated cause of his size. Might possibly be the best wing back that football has ever seen! At least I cannot think of another player of that position with so few mistakes and downs, with such regular high-class performances. His trainers in Munich and the German squad could always count on him. His understanding of the game is beyond believe. Well deserved world cup title for Germany with him as captain!

Achievements: World Cup champion, countless national titles and Chmapions League winner
Strengths: Consistency, good on both sides, technique, tactical awareness
Weaknesses: Rather small and light-weighted

Best full-back ever in football
von Horge (Eigenes Werk) [GFDL oder CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
What do you think about the ranking of the best full-backs ever? Any other wing-backs that should be in there?





  1. Dani’s position in the rankings make me laugh. He’s only second to Lahm!
    Don’t joke around the guy with about 40 trophies

  2. Maldini was simply best left-back as a defender, but he couldn’t have offensive ability enough. Why did you ignore Cafú for right-back? He was even better than Zanetti and Dani Alves during his prime. Maybe he was the best right-back in football history…

  3. The best wing back ever was Paolo Maldini. Very efficient center back as well,
    he’s the best defender I’ve seen. Arguably the best player. Absolutely no weakness. Very impressive one-on-one defender, strong, tall, quick, intelligent, great head game, great technique & vision, fantastic ability to sliding tackle, get back on his feet, keep the ball & counterattack…

  4. Why is Evra defined as athletic & not Lizarazu? Sometimes it seems that people’s opinion is influenced by the color of the skin. Lizarazu was quicker, stronger & more resistant than Evra & his impressive vertical leap allowed him to defend on tall players efficiently. His discipline & one-on-one defense were far better thatn Evra’s & he lost the ball less often.

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