Italian football has always relied heavily on full-backs, whether it is with the 4-4-2 diamond—where they are required to defend deep, often isolated, before triggering a counterattack—or the flavour-of-the-month 3-5-2, which demands that the full-backs offer more of a cutting edge in attack, but also remain diligent to the threat behind, with the centre-backs tucked in.
With Paolo Maldini largely considered to be the best all-around full-back world football has ever witnessed, it is a position with a great deal of responsibility, more so than in other footballing cultures.
With such tactical diversity in Italian football, poor full-backs are quickly identified and can be exposed, so it is a position that has great strength in depth all the way down the league.
Here are my top eight full-backs. I have tried to included four right-backs and four left-backs, but as is the case in Italy especially, full-backs are becoming more and more versatile and covering both sides of the pitch.
I have included full-backs operating as wingers in 3-5-2, but also tried to avoid selecting other players shoehorned into the wide areas in order to be fitted into the starting lineup, such as Kwadwo Asamoah.
Let me know your suggestions in the comments section below and whether you agree or disagree with my selections.
Vasilis Torosidis only arrived in Italy in January, but he's wasted little time in announcing himself to the Giallorossi faithful.
Since the sacking of Zdenek Zeman, Aurelio Andreazzoli has installed a 3-5-2, and it has been the perfect formation for Torosidis to shine.
The Greek international's stamina and drive allow him to totally dominate the entire right wing.
With good quality on the ball too, I have no problems including a player with so few games in Serie A.
Stephan Lichtsteiner has very little to prove. Having been an excellent player for Lazio, the Swiss international is maintaining some outstanding form for the Bianconeri too.
Seemingly under threat from Mauricio Isla at the start of the season, Lichtsteiner has seen off any threat from the Chilean by adding a cutting edge to his game, often breaking through the opposition's back line and putting in dangerous crosses.
Mattia De Sciglio has enjoyed a brilliant season for Milan and is now cementing a place in the first team, whether that is on the right or the left.
De Sciglio is most comfortable playing on the right side, although the Rossoneri youngster is equally adept from the left side.
Diligent when tasked with defending one-on-one, especially when backed up, De Sciglio has a great ability to intercept the ball and begin counterattacks.
His attacking game could do with some improving, as the Azzurri international can sometimes rush things in the final third, but the 20-year-old has already established himself as one of the best full-backs in Italy.
Juan Cuadrado might not be a natural defender, but he is fast becoming one of the most potent threats from full-back in the league.
With raw pace and incredible athleticism, the Colombian can recover quickly when making defensive lapses.
The upside to his game is, of course, his directness in the final third, darting beyond the opposition's left-back and generally tying him in knots.
With Vincenzo Montella choosing a 4-3-3 lately, Cuadrado has shown how he can play at right-back, right midfield and right wing, all equally well, making him the complete right-sided player.
Kevin Constant is not a natural left full-back, but he has adapted brilliantly this season to his new position.
Surprising many by winning a starting place in Massimiliano Allegri's side, Constant's exceptional physical qualities enable him to cover any technical mistakes he makes defensively, while also offering a threat in the other direction.
With Stephan El Shaarawy always keen to come inside, Constant's desire to drive forward and outside of Il Faraone is one of the main reason's Milan have been so successful over the last few months.
Luca Antonelli has been one of the few success stories of a car crash of a season for Genoa.
Relegation seemed probable at times, but Il Grifone are safe now and playing in a more relaxed fashion that is helping Antonelli to stand out as the international player he threatens to be.
Called up by Cesare Prandelli for the internationals this week, Antonelli is tremendously versatile.
Although he has played at centre midfield at times, Antonelli has thrived at left-back and left midfield, providing a wicked left boot that has given Marco Borriello and Ciro Immobile some great service.
Stefan Radu has been one of Lazio's players of the season and an essential part of Serie A's fourth-best defensive unit.
The Romanian is predominantly a defensive-minded full-back and is outstanding at marking in one-on-one situations.
Strong and deceptively quick, Radu is one of the most trusted defenders in Serie A.
Another Fiorentina player making himself the best in the league at his position is Manuel Pasqual.
Now a Viola veteran, Pasqual has proven himself again to be the best left-sided full-back in the league, delivering amazing consistency with defensive solidarity.
Pasqual also provides a threat from set pieces, with a lovely in-swinging free kick from the right and deadly accuracy in central areas, chipping in with a goal or two.