Full backs are perhaps the most under-rated part of football over the years because of the less importance and limelight that they get. But they are known to be the backbone of any side when it comes down to defence and even a bit of play-making these days.
Let’s have a look at a few of the world beaters in their own position based upon how long they served their sides and the trophies that they won. The list is headed by:
1. Paolo Maldini (AC Milan/Italy)
Paolo Maldini known as one of the walls of Italy, he served the famous historical AC MILAN side only where he became as one of the most important players bagging a total of 5 UEFA Champions League title and around 7 serie A trophy, a mammoth collection of 26 trophies during his tenure. The most unique part about his career was a turning point as well when he swapped from a right back to being a left back even though his preferred foot was right aswell. The Italian international has had the privileged to be nominated for the Ballon D’ or twice which being a left back is a massive achievement.
2. Carlos Alberto (Santos/Brazil)
During the 1970’s era the world saw a Brazilian right back Carlos Alberto re-defining the art of turning a defence into an attack where he was rock solid at the back but was never shy to press forward providing assists and not to forget banging in famous goal in the World cup final which was a once in a life goal absolutely incredible to describe.
He won 53 international caps for his Brazilian side and bagged 8 goals.
3. Roberto Carlos (Real Madrid/Brazil)
No surprises that we have another Brazilian making into the list, the greatest left back to have ever graced the game for Real Madrid. Roberto Carlos known to have completely changed the dynamics of game, defeating normal physics his free kicks could have curved from anywhere and reached the top corner of the goals. If you ever log in to youtube to watch some football stuff, Roberto Carlos free kicks is what you need to browse to get entertained & stunned. What set him apart? Being a left back but always thinking to attack.
4. Giacentto Fachetti (Inter Milan/Italy)
Another Italian master class Left back who represented the famous Italian club Inter Milan during his time in 1960-70’s tasting almost every possible success that there could be at club level , the only regret being not to be able to win the 1970 world cup where they were heart broken in the Finale. Giacentto Fachetti physical ability was perhaps the stand out among all the legends mentioned in the list.
5. Dani Alves (Bracelona/Brazil)
The Brazilian / Barcelona / Juventus / PSG Dani Alves right back has won every possible trophy in the bank numerous times mainly with FC BARCELONA where he was also the part of the famous PEP GUARDIOLA treble winning side. Another Samba boy who is extremely attacking, providing assists from the right flank and apart from this he has the brilliant ability to strike the ball on free kicks.
6. Cafu (Roma/Milan/Brazil)
The Brazilians have produced the best full backs along with the Italians no doubt, Cafu had gelled with his partner from the other flank Roberto carlos so brilliantly that they were successful in winning a world cup twice which obviously is a feat. Almost impossible to achieve for many. He also holds the proud record for being the most capped Brazilian international player. Cafu represented AS ROMA for most his life, but tasted European success with the legendary AC Milan side of that time.
7. Javier Zanetti (Inter Milan/Argentina)
Javier Zanetti is the first Argentianian to make the list and perhaps the one with purely his defensive skills being outclass, because he was a unique prospect who could use both his foots to perfection when kicking the ball and winning it through key interceptions. Zanetti is another InterMilan legend and former UEFA Champions league winning captain.
8. Ashley Cole (Arsenal/Chelsea/England)
Ashley Cole is the only English defender to make it to the list and the man from London who played for the two local bitter rivals. Arsenal & Chelsea. Began his career as a pure North London player winning the EPL twice with his childhood club Arsenal. Although an unexpected move to Chelsea made him lose some respect from his former club fans, but only till he won the UCL with Chelsea shut up all his haters.
9. Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich/Germany)
Philipp Lahm a player of short stature but versatile being able to be used at almost every place at defence and also as a defensive midfielder. He captained the German side to a world cup winning glory only recently in 2014 and now has retired as a captain of Bayern Munich winning every possible trophy even at the club level. A career many can be satisfied of.
10. Marcelo (Real Madrid / Brazil)
Marcelo is another Brazilian left back currently playing for Real Madrid has some brilliant play making abilities linking up even with the strikers upfront and delivering them the perfect ball and back tracking whenever needed even on the counters. With his bag of tricks and recently winning all the trophies possible at club level, Marcelo is still not done and wants to achieve much more in his career especially at International level.