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Soccer Champions League

Top 5 Fullbacks In Soccer

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Top 5 Fullbacks In Soccer

Cole
Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

This group of players is extremely interesting as they are defenders by trade but the good ones spend half the game in the attacking third of the pitch.

These players rarely get beat for pace, as speed and quickness are their trademarks. They specialize in one versus one defending, and always are caught defending the fastest players on the pitch for the opposing team. Most are diminutive in size and stature but make up for their shortcomings with industry.

All technically-gifted players, modern-day fullbacks have to be good defensively and have the appetite to maraud up and down the pitch. It is an exhausting position that takes enthusiasm, energy and work-rate to a whole other level. When getting forward they must have the ability to put in a menacing cross and pick out a teammate in the box from the touchline.

These fullbacks all play for dominant teams, allowing them the luxury of spending most of their time in the final third as makeshift wingers. All of them possess the skill set to play winger or as a wide midfield player, adding versatility and tactical flexibility to each of their squads. Most fullbacks are put into a box and are maligned for their defensive duties by their critics, not these guys they defend from set pieces and take pride in putting in a tackle on an opponent.

Fullbacks are some of the most versatile players in the world, affecting every aspect of the game, covering more ground than anyone else on the pitch. The qualities that make-up a world-class fullback in the modern game should never be taken for granted, because they are qualities very hard to come by.

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5. Jordi Alba

Alba
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Jordi Alba is a former left-winger turned fullback with an unbelievable work-rate, a ball of energy Alba’s motor is always on high speed. The Spanish International has a knack for ending up in the penalty box, scoring big goals. The perfect compliment to Barcelona’s style, Alba has taken his game to a new stratosphere since joining the Catalan club. Still possessing the trickery and pace that made him a highly rated winger, he has grown his game defensively to become a complete fullback in the modern game

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4. Ignazio Abate

Abate
Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Ignazio Abate is usually the fastest guy on the pitch whenever he is out there, as opponents find it hard to outrun him down the flank. The Italian International is stereotypical in his defensive ability, a formidable tackler and tactician. Abate leaves supporters astonished with his overlapping runs, always willing to get involved in the attacking third of the pitch. The AC Milan man is a complete player boasting elite athleticism and an appetite for last-ditch game-saving tackles.

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3. Ashley Cole

Cole
Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Ashley Cole is arguably the best 1-vs-1 defender in the world, never putting in a wrong tackle. A marvel in modern day football, Cole is the poster-boy for consistency. The English International has played at the highest level for a long time with a work-rate admired by his colleagues. The Chelsea man is one of the most complete fullbacks in the world, possessing pace, rare strength and the technical ability to affect the game all over the pitch.

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2. Philipp Lahm

Lahm
Tim Groothuis/Witters Sport via USA TODAY Sports

Philipp Lahm displays uncanny awareness for the position, a tactical genius that is never caught out of position. The German International is a coach’s dream, with the versatility to play on either side of the field. A Captain for club and country, Lahm is a leader in every sense of the word. The Bayern Munich man is supremely gifted and technically equipped with all the qualities that make up a complete soccer player.

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1. Dani Alves

Alves
Aristide Economopoulos/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports

Dani Alves is what a modern day fullback Is suppose to be, he plays with his hair on fire, ever present up and down the right flank. The Brazilian International is blessed with loads of pace making it easy for him to glide up and down the pitch. As a Barcelona player, he always appears in the final third, either putting in an inch perfect cross or striking the ball at goal with his powerful right foot. Alves never ceases to amaze, whether he is putting in a last ditch tackle or supplying a devastating final ball to finish off an opponent.