5 best right-backs of all time

Dani Alves has enjoyed an incredible career
Dani Alves has enjoyed an incredible career
Abhinav Anand
Modified 29 Apr 2021

Modern football has seen an evolution in the role of right-backs, with much more expected from them in attack and in defence nowadays.

In general, full-backs these days are expected to be tactically versatile with strong attacking capabilities. Managers demand a lot from them, be it acting as a centre-back in a three-man defence or as a right-back in a four-man backline.

Apart from this, they are often utilised on the wings and in certain cases in midfield. Such demands create elite full-backs, with the likes of Manchester City's Joao Cancelo and Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold being prime contemporary examples.

However, history has provided us with some amazing right-backs who transformed the position as well, paving the way for the future generation.

We look at the 5 best right-backs of all time.

#5 Cafu

Cafu is regarded as one of the greatest full-backs of all time
Cafu is regarded as one of the greatest full-backs of all time

The most internationally capped Brazilian of all time, Cafu played much of his club football in Italy.

An attack-minded, intelligent right-back, Cafu played for Brazilian clubs like Sao Paulo and Palmeiras before joining Roma in 1997. Here the right-back established himself as one of the best in the world, winning Serie A once before joining AC Milan in 2003. Cafu was often utilised as a right-winger due to his offensive prowess.

For Brazil, Cafu registered 142 caps, winning the World Cup and the Copa America twice. The 50-year old retired from international duty in 2006 and from club football in 2008.

#4 Javier Zanetti

Javier Zanetti enjoyed an illustrious career for Inter Milan
Javier Zanetti enjoyed an illustrious career for Inter Milan

One of Inter Milan's greatest ever players, Javier Zanetti enjoyed a storied career at the very top and represented the Nerazzuri for 19 years.

The Argentina international joined Inter Milan from Banfield in 1995, and made his name with his energy and dynamism. Applauded by many for his longevity, Zanetti made 858 appearances in all competitions for Inter Milan, and was also used as a midfielder for his tactical versatility and intelligence.

Zanetti won five Serie A titles with Inter Milan, as well as a Champions League trophy. He retired in 2014, and is currently the vice-president of Inter Milan.

Also Read: 5 players who have scored the most goals in UEFA Champions League semi-finals and finals

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Published 29 Apr 2021
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