Football

Top 10: World's best right-backs

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Although the term "full-back" dates from the earliest football formations, its early exponents were positioned centrally and would really be seen as centre-backs today.

The true full-back was born when Herbert Chapman created the W-M formation in the late 1920s by pulling back a third defender and pushing the two "full-backs" out wide. 

In modern times, a wing-back must both defend and provide wide attacking outlet. Here's a list with the best of those who played on the right side of defence.

10. Phil Neal

A side-back with a phenomenal haul of silverware, Phil Neal was a true winner. He is remembered as a great scoring full-back and a commanding presence in the defensive line. A player that was part of the Liverpool side which won it all in the late 70s and the 80s, he also won 50 caps for England.

9. Wim Suurbier

The right-back position is probalby the most problematic in Holland's history. The great exception is Wim Suurbier.

An important member of the great Ajax and Holland sides in the 70s, Suurbier was always surging forward to join the attack - and with his speed and passing ability, he was one of the most feared wing-backs of his time.

8. Rodriguez Andrade

Along with Schiaffino, they were the stars of the Uruguayan side which won the 1950 World Cup. Rodriguez is one of the most loved sports figures in his country's history, as he was a consistent defender with tireless runs - and an incredible leader.

7. Tarcisio Burgnich

A versatile defender, Burgnich is mostly remembered for his time at Inter Milan, where with his aggressive, determined style, he was ideally suited to the catenaccio system operated by Helenio Herrera throughout Inter's glory years. He had boundless stamina, defending discipline and a great ability of reading the game.

6. Javier Zanetti

One of the most consistent footballers to ever play the game; from his haircut to his playing style, Zanetti is the same great player now at the age of 40 that he was 15 years ago.

The Argentinian is a tireless, versatile full-back with great leadership skills, heart and unfaltering control of the ball. He is the all-time most capped player in both his country and at Inter Milan.

5. Berti Vogts

Vogts was not the player that someone would pay money to watch. He was the one though that would, on many occasions, cancel out the opposing star player that people had paid money to watch.

So trustworthy, so reliable, the German defender managed to win five Bundesliga titles with Borussia Monchengladbach - and both the World Cup and European Championship with Germany.

4. Lillian Thuram

The Frenchman is one of the finest defenders of his generation, as he had everything a modern right-back needs. A powerful body, endless stamina, speed and accurate feet - and unlike most of today's attacking side-backs, he was a great defender. He is the most capped French footballer, making a huge 142 appearances for Les Bleus.

3. Cafu

Brazilians are eligible to brag about having the three greatest ever right-backs to ever play the beautiful game - Carlos Alberto, Djalma Santos and Cafu.

Cafu was a great wing-back who had the indefatigable ability to run up and down the flank for the whole game. He was also a great leader, a reliable defender - and he had the technique of an offensive midfielder.

2. Djalma Santos

Cafu was just slightly better in participating in the offensive plays and leading the attacking composition, while Djalma Santos was a way better defender, a smarter footballer and the man who revolutionised the certain position. 

1. Carlos Alberto

Arguably the greatest right-back of all-time. His games with Brazil alongside Pele and Garrincha were sensational and dream-like. 

Even though Carlos Alberto was a right-back, he was always the one that was starting every attacking development for any team he played in.  He also was the captain of the greatest footballing side in history, the 1970 Brazil.

Honourable Mentions : Phillip Lahm, Manuel Amoros, Tommy Gemmel, Maicon.

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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