Best Right-backs in the World 2023 – Top 10 Defenders

Top 10 Best Right-backs in the World 2023


Best Right-backs



Achraf Hakimi

Paris Saint-Germain


Reece James



Kieran Trippier

Newcastle United


Kyle Walker

Manchester City


Trent Alexander-Arnold



Joao Cancelo

Manchester City


Giovanni Di Lorenzo



Jules Kounde

FC Barcelona


Dani Carvajal

Real Madrid


Jeremie Frimpong

Bayer Leverkusen

Best Right-backs in the World 2023

In 2023, the world of football is graced with a remarkable pool of talent when it comes to right-backs. These players not only excel defensively but also contribute significantly to their teams’ attacks. From seasoned veterans to emerging stars, the best right-backs in the world showcase their versatility, athleticism, and technical prowess. Let’s take a closer look at some of the standout right-backs who are dominating the global football stage in 2023.


1. Achraf Hakimi (Paris Saint-Germain)

Achraf Hakimi, donning the Paris Saint-Germain jersey in 2023, is widely regarded as one of the most dynamic and exciting right-backs in world football. Known for his incredible speed and versatility, Hakimi has made a significant impact at PSG following his transfer from Inter Milan. His journey to PSG was preceded by a successful spell with Inter, where he played a pivotal role in helping the club secure the 2020/21 Serie A title. Hakimi’s style of play is characterized by his blistering pace down the right flank, making him a constant threat in attack. Not only is he a terrific defender, but he’s also adept at joining the attack and providing crucial assists or even scoring goals himself. Hakimi’s offensive contributions have added a new dimension to PSG’s play, and he has quickly become a fan favorite at the Parc des Princes.

Off the field, Hakimi’s Moroccan heritage and upbringing in Spain have enriched his footballing journey with a diverse cultural perspective. This blend of experiences has made him an even more well-rounded individual, both on and off the pitch. At just 23 years old, Hakimi’s career is on an upward trajectory, and his presence in the PSG squad is a testament to his exceptional talent and potential. As he continues to mature and refine his skills, there’s no doubt that Achraf Hakimi will remain a prominent figure in the global football landscape for years to come.

2. Reece James (Chelsea)

Reece James has emerged as a cornerstone of Chelsea’s success in 2023, establishing himself as one of the most complete right-backs in the world. His journey through Chelsea’s youth academy to becoming a key figure in the first team is a testament to his dedication and immense talent. James possesses an exceptional blend of defensive solidity and attacking prowess, making him an invaluable asset for both club and country. Defensively, he is a tough, physical presence who rarely gets beaten in one-on-one situations. His positional awareness and ability to read the game enable him to intercept passes and make crucial tackles effectively. However, what truly sets James apart is his offensive contribution. He boasts a wicked delivery from wide areas, often delivering pinpoint crosses that create goal-scoring opportunities for his teammates. His powerful long-range shots and ability to contribute goals from outside the box make him a constant threat in the attacking third.

Off the pitch, Reece James is a role model for aspiring young footballers. He has been involved in several charitable initiatives, including efforts to combat food poverty in his local community. James’ commitment to social causes reflects his character and the positive influence he wields beyond the football field. As Chelsea continues to vie for top honors, Reece James will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in their quest for success, and his versatility and all-around excellence make him a player to watch in the years ahead.

3. Kieran Trippier (Newcastle United)

Kieran Trippier’s arrival at Newcastle United in 2023 brought a wealth of experience and quality to the club’s ranks. The seasoned English right-back boasts an impressive career that includes stints at clubs like Burnley, Tottenham Hotspur, and a successful period at Atletico Madrid. His return to the Premier League with Newcastle has been met with enthusiasm, and Trippier’s impact on the team has been immediate. Known for his exceptional crossing ability and set-piece prowess, he provides a consistent source of quality deliveries into the box. Trippier’s pinpoint accuracy in distributing the ball and his defensive astuteness make him a valuable asset in both attack and defense. His ability to read the game, anticipate opponents’ moves, and make timely interceptions has bolstered Newcastle’s backline.

Off the pitch, Kieran Trippier is a respected figure in the football community, known for his professionalism and dedication to his craft. His experience, which includes representing England at major international tournaments, adds a layer of maturity and leadership to the Newcastle squad. Trippier’s presence in the Premier League once again is a testament to his enduring quality as a right-back, and he remains a player capable of making a significant impact for both club and country. As he continues to ply his trade at St. James’ Park, he will play a crucial role in Newcastle United’s aspirations and the development of their younger talents.

4. Kyle Walker (Manchester City)

Kyle Walker, the English right-back for Manchester City, has firmly established himself as one of the premier defenders in world football. Known for his remarkable pace, versatility, and strong defensive acumen, Walker has been an integral part of Manchester City’s success under manager Pep Guardiola. His journey to becoming one of the best right-backs globally began with his development at Tottenham Hotspur and later evolved under Guardiola’s tutelage. While initially renowned for his attacking prowess as a winger, Walker successfully transitioned into a full-back role.

Walker’s defensive contributions are invaluable, as he combines speed with excellent positional awareness to thwart opposing attacks. Furthermore, his technical abilities enable him to contribute offensively, with precise crosses and the capability to join the attack effectively. With multiple Premier League titles and other domestic honors to his name, Kyle Walker’s impact on Manchester City’s backline is undeniable, making him a crucial asset for both club and country.

5. Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)

Trent Alexander-Arnold has redefined the role of a right-back in modern football. A product of Liverpool’s youth academy, Alexander-Arnold burst onto the scene with his incredible crossing ability and playmaking skills. His visionary passing and ability to deliver pinpoint crosses have made him a key creator in Liverpool’s attack. Alexander-Arnold’s performances have played a pivotal role in Liverpool’s recent successes, including their Premier League and Champions League triumphs.

While his attacking contributions are well-documented, Alexander-Arnold has also improved defensively, making him a more complete right-back. His work rate and ability to read the game have developed significantly, and he continues to mature as a player. At a young age, Trent Alexander-Arnold has already cemented his status as one of the best right-backs in the world and is poised for a bright future both at Liverpool and with the England national team.

6. Joao Cancelo (Manchester City)

Joao Cancelo, another Manchester City right-back, brings a unique and creative dimension to the position. The Portuguese international possesses exceptional dribbling skills, close control, and an innate ability to navigate tight spaces, making him a potent force in both attack and defense. Cancelo’s versatility allows him to operate as a wing-back or even in midfield, offering tactical flexibility for his teams.

Under the guidance of Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, Cancelo’s game has evolved significantly. His ability to cut inside and contribute to build-up play is a valuable asset for the team’s possession-based style. While he may not be the traditional defensive-minded right-back, Cancelo’s football intelligence and technique make him an influential presence on the pitch. As one of the world’s top right-backs, he continues to thrive in a system that values innovation and creativity.

7. Giovanni Di Lorenzo (Napoli)

Giovanni Di Lorenzo, representing Napoli in Serie A, has quietly established himself as one of the most underrated right-backs in world football. His journey to prominence began when he became a mainstay in Napoli’s starting lineup over three years ago. In the 2022/23 season, he achieved the remarkable feat of captaining Napoli to a Serie A title, etching his name into the club’s folklore. Di Lorenzo is not just a defensive powerhouse; he’s an aggressive and robust defender who excels in one-on-one duels. Whether it’s intercepting passes, making crucial tackles, or contributing to Napoli’s offensive maneuvers, Di Lorenzo is a player who consistently delivers in every phase of the game. His leadership qualities have also come to the fore as he seamlessly transitioned into the role of captain. In a world of flashy right-backs, Giovanni Di Lorenzo’s no-nonsense approach and defensive prowess make him an invaluable asset for both Napoli and the Italian national team.

8. Jules Kounde (FC Barcelona)

Jules Kounde, although not primarily a right-back, displayed his versatility and adaptability during FC Barcelona’s 2022/23 La Liga title-winning campaign. Originally a central defender, Kounde was thrust into the right-back role due to the form of his teammates, Ronald Araujo and Andreas Christensen. Remarkably, he embraced this challenge with poise and excellence. Kounde’s technical abilities, honed as a central defender, translated seamlessly to his new position. His ball control, passing accuracy, and composure in tight situations were exceptional, making him a reliable presence in Barcelona’s defense. While Kounde’s future may still lie in the center of the defense, his ability to excel as a right-back underscores his adaptability and football intelligence, cementing his reputation as one of the most promising and versatile young talents in the game.

9. Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid)

Dani Carvajal, the stalwart of Real Madrid’s defense for over a decade, remains one of the most decorated defenders in football history. With five Champions League titles and three Spanish league titles to his name, Carvajal’s impact on Real Madrid’s success cannot be overstated. His journey, however, has not been without challenges, as injuries have intermittently slowed him down in recent years. Nevertheless, Carvajal’s reliability, consistency, and completeness as a right-back continue to shine through. His ability to defend with tenacity, contribute to the attack with precise crosses, and maintain a strong work rate make him a trusted figure in the eyes of both Zinedine Zidane and Carlo Ancelotti. Despite the rise of new talents, Carvajal’s enduring legacy as one of the most reliable and complete full-backs in the world remains intact, making him an integral part of Real Madrid’s success.

10. Jeremie Frimpong (Bayer Leverkusen)

Jeremie Frimpong, who honed his skills in the youth academy of Manchester City, has become a fan favorite in the footballing world. Starting his professional journey at Celtic, he quickly made a name for himself with his electric pace and attacking flair from the right-back position. His move to Bayer Leverkusen further solidified his reputation as an exciting talent. Frimpong’s ability to exploit the vast spaces offered in the Bundesliga by using his speed and technical ability has made him a key contributor to Leverkusen’s success. While he may be relatively young, Frimpong’s potential is undeniable. As he continues to develop and refine his defensive skills, he has the potential to become one of the most dynamic right-backs in the game, exciting fans with his thrilling style of play.

What Makes These Right-backs Exceptional?

The exceptional qualities that define the best right-backs in the world in 2023 extend beyond traditional defensive roles. These players are a testament to the evolving demands of modern football, where full-backs are expected to contribute significantly to both defensive solidity and offensive creativity. Here are some key aspects that make these right-backs exceptional:

Versatility and Adaptability: One of the standout traits of these right-backs is their versatility. Many of them have showcased the ability to adapt to different tactical setups and playstyles. For instance, Jules Kounde’s seamless transition from central defense to right-back for FC Barcelona demonstrates his adaptability, proving that modern right-backs need to be multifaceted players capable of fulfilling various roles on the pitch.

Offensive Prowess: Today’s top right-backs are not just defenders but also potent attacking weapons. Players like Reece James and Trent Alexander-Arnold are known for their exceptional crossing ability and playmaking skills. They consistently provide assists, create goal-scoring opportunities, and even find the back of the net themselves. Their offensive contributions make them invaluable assets in modern football.

Solid Defensive Foundation: Despite their offensive exploits, these right-backs maintain a strong defensive foundation. They excel in one-on-one duels, make crucial tackles, and read the game effectively to thwart opposition attacks. Players like Giovanni Di Lorenzo and Dani Carvajal embody this combination of defensive strength and attacking flair, ensuring they contribute at both ends of the pitch.

Adaptation to Tactical Systems: The best right-backs seamlessly adapt to their team’s tactical systems. Whether it’s Dani Carvajal’s role in a Real Madrid side that emphasizes possession and control or Jeremie Frimpong’s utilization of space in the expansive Bundesliga, these players are adept at fitting into their respective teams’ strategies, showcasing their tactical intelligence.

Leadership and Consistency: Some of these right-backs, such as Dani Carvajal, have evolved into leaders within their teams. Carvajal’s experience and consistency have made him a trusted figure at Real Madrid, exemplifying how these players not only perform but also provide stability and leadership on the pitch.

What makes these right-backs exceptional is their ability to blend various attributes – versatility, offensive prowess, defensive solidity, tactical adaptability, and leadership – into a cohesive and impactful package. They epitomize the modern full-back, contributing significantly to their team’s success while redefining the role’s expectations in contemporary football.

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