The Covid-19 pandemic has wrapped up its tentacles all around the world causing immeasurable havoc. We all at macroscale have been interlaced with unwanted circumstances, which in return has affected our daily lives.
But the trouble is doubled, causing huge desperation among the recreational industries, with football fans across the globe being affected the most. Though the first half itself has made our living difficult, the second one has been the icing on the cake — no football fixtures in sight for months.
Because the rivalries of Milan and Madrid, or the championship battle between Brazil and Germany, or the clash of Catalonia with the Basque country is not just about 22 men chasing the ball it is simply more than that.
However, the mighty virus has also affected the football world, by slowly working its way towards the players and managers of several clubs. But as of today, the conditions are better and improved, giving authorities to restart the seasons by undertaking utmost precautions.
This season’s fixtures has started with paramount efficacy and safety to ensure the welfare of the players, managers and fans. Added to this is the unending list of injuries recorded by the most prominent clubs under Premier League due to tight fixture scheduling and changes implicated in football rules and guidelines has devastated the enthusiasm among the football lovers.
Furthermore we soon will bid adieu to this horrendous year a goodbye. Yet there are few delightful things that we should look back upon whilst stepping into a new one.
Hence we at Football Express are going to take a brief look at the best full-backs of 2020.
Top 10 Full-backs of 2020:
Decades ago, the role of full-backs was to simply guard and resist any attacks from the opponents.
A number of teams had some brilliant full-backs but failed in securing enough attention, except for a few like Dani Alves — who partnered well with Leo Messi and shown in the limelight.
Unlike today, their role in modern-day football involves more than just safeguarding the team’s defense. They’re expected to help in attack and sprint back and forth all over the pitch. Their role is also considered to be the most pivotal in the overall team’s success.
10. Jesus Navas – Sevilla, Spain
An underappreciated Spaniard, who frequently plays as a right-winger and right back for Sevilla FC is known for revolving speeds, dribbling skills, and ability to run at opposite defenders.
He first started his career at the age of 15, playing for his hometown club — Sevilla Youth Academy, impressing the scouts from 2003 to 2013, by scoring 23 goals under 285 appearances.
He also won the English Premier League with Manchester City after joining them in 2013 for £14.9 million respectively.
However, he returned back to his old club in 2017, later holding a record for being the only player to reach 500 appearances.
The Sevillian’s powerful dribbling skills have also helped him and his country win the 2010 World Cup and the European Championship in 2012. As for silverware, won other major trophies like — one UEFA Super Cup, two Copas del Rey, and three Europa League titles during his prime time with Sevilla.
9. Alex Sandro – Juventus, Brazil
Often regarded as the best left-back for his quick and powerful pace, Alex Sandro first began playing for domestic teams like Atletico Paranaense and Santos, before joining Porto for £9.6 million in 2011.
After successful five years with Porto, he merged with the Italian champions Juventus in 2015, with whom he won two domestic double over the next two years.
Further, his excellent tackles and crosses, runs throughout the pitch and playing style have drawn comparison to his fellow compatriot Roberto Carlos.
The 2002 FIFA World Cup winner made remarkable comments after the notable likeness:
“In Brazil he gets compared to me and to tell the truth I see myself in him a bit. It’s true, he’s similar to me and if he continues like this he could be my successor.”— Roberto Carlos
Moreover, at the International level, the 29-year-old has scooped the World Cup U20 (2011), Copa America U20 (2011), Olympic silver medal (2012), and Copa America (2019) with Brazil.
8. Theo Hernandez – AC Milan, France
The young Frenchman first joined Atletico Madrid’s academy at nine, alongside his brother Lucas. After years of constant progressing, he was called up for the first team in La Liga against Eibar but was kept as an unused substitute.
However, he did excel when Deportivo Alaves loaned him for a year in 2016, but he overlooked his career in 2017 after signing a six-year deal with Real Madrid for £24 million. But not being able to go through Zinedine Zidane and his squad, he was on loan to Real Sociedad in 2018.
Yet, after signing a deal worth £20 million with AC Milan in 2019, Hernandez and his career were reconciled.
His powerful attacking gallop, made him score 7 goals and provided 3 assists last season and was also named as the best left-back of Italy.
7. Hans Hateboer – Atlanta, Netherlands
An outcome of the Groningen Academy, which joined hands with Atalanta in 2017 for a million euros.
The Dutchman since then has become an integral part of the team, who later attracted a number of investors from AC Milan, Naples, and Juventus for around 25 million euros.
However the 26 year-old has snapped the possibility of being linked to other clubs, and is simply focused on being the best asset for his team in every way possible.
His impressive performance against Valencia was a major breakthrough as a right-back, who netted two goals and secured a tight victory for Atalanta in the UEFA Champions League round of 16.
6. Alphonso Davies – Bayern Munich, Canada
Due to his agility to dribble, cross and pass with high pace and acceleration, the young Canadian has slowly emerged as the most promising player in the eyes of the world.
After his signing with Bayern Munich in 2019, the sporting director of the club described his brilliance and stirring contribution to Bundesliga:
“We signed Alphonso Davies a year ago because we saw him as one of the best players of his generation.”
“Alphonso is the future…he truly is a diamond. And he shows it everyday in training.”— Hasan Salihamidžić
The rising star has also won hearts with his incredible speed and talent, gaining himself the title of a roadrunner by his teammates.
He even was a core part of the team’s success — during the demolition of Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League, and the treble. The 20-year-old is also the youngest player to score goals and make remarkable appearances for his country.
5. Jordi Alba – FC Barcelona, Spain
Often considered as one of the best-attacking left-back due to his fast run downs throughout the pitch, strong tackling ability, brilliant cross delivery inside the box, and defensive skills, Jordi Alba first started his youth career at Barcelona.
He then saw himself muddle through clubs like Cornella and Valencia, before joining Barcelona again in 2012, with whom he stood out over the years.
Today, his fruitful connection with teammate Leo Messi has made him a master of assists. Their deadly attack on the field can easily crumble the defense when paired together.
Further, he has earned himself 14 major honors with Barcelona and has also been an integral part of his national team’s journey during the 2014 and 2018 FIFA World Cup.
4. Benjamin Pavard – Bayern Munich, France
Having started his career at Lille in Ligue 1, and later being transferred to VfB Stuttgart in 2016, Benjamin Pavard rolls between the center-back and right-back position on the pitch.
After the relegation of Stuttgart, the Frenchie joined Bayern Munich for a £35 million transfer fee in 2019, where he scored 4 goals and provided 4 assists last season — amidst playing in a less attacking manner.
Yet unlike his peers, his skills and amazing style of play often receive few applauds. However under Hans Flick, the young lad has won the treble and etched his name as an unsung hero in-between the Bavarians.
Moreover, he has also deemed himself worthy after striking an astonishing goal against Argentina during the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
His spectacular strike later paved a way for his country France to scoop the trophy, and become world champions.
3. Trent Alexander-Arnold – Liverpool, England
After exploring Liverpool’s youth club, his senior team debut was in 2016 just at the tender age of 18. And since then, the teen has been playing a vital role in the team’s overall triumph.
His impressive passes, bold attacking skills, creative goal scoring opportunities for the team all at large have been remarkable in the decadent victory — during the 2018-19 Champions League final, and in the 2019-20 Premier League title race.
Due to his stunning talent, the England international has been regarded as one of the best right-backs in the football world.
2. Achraf Hakimi – Inter Milan, Morocco
A quick, active and high spirited player, who is well known for waltzing with the ball and producing long accurate passes, and exhibiting his excellence in the defense.
After progressing at Real Madrid’s youth academy, he slowly made his debut for Los Blancos in 2016. Although, not at the whole was his contribution that fertile in the development of the team, yet he was part of Madrid’s consecutive rise to glory in the 2017-18 UEFA Champions League.
Nevertheless, he continued to shine after joining Borussia Dortmund on loan in 2018 and favored the team by providing 14 assists and scoring 7 goals.
His delicious brace against Inter Milan in the Champions League group stage game was a quantum leap in his career. Dortmund later went on to win the game by 3-2, after being down by 0-2 in the first leg.
Today, his brilliant tactics and style have caught the attention of scouts of Inter Milan, making them sign the Moroccan for a reported fee of £40 million.
1. Andrew Robertson – Liverpool, Scotland
From being a Queen’s Park pearl to the best left-backs in the world, the greatness of this 26-year-old is a part of Liverpool’s folklore.
After joining Jurgen Klopp’s side in 2017 from Hull City, Robertson has been a fruitful transfer for the Reds.
His extraordinary pace, energy and crossing abilities has wowed the manager’s and pundits of the football world:
“I am still tired to look at Robertson. He makes a 100m sprint per minute! Incredible.”— Jose Mourinho
His performance on the pitch has also been a boon for the team’s success, in the 2019-20 season, where they were held as the English Premier League champions.
The Scot had nicely racked 23 assists in the last two seasons — all of them, which were provided from a defensive point. His captaining skills for his country, and other contributions for his club has made him win a number of recognitions, like that of the PFA Scotland Young Player of the Year.
There are many other talented full backs to be included in the list who have created a substantial mark for their club’s responsiveness and agility.
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