This article profiles the 20 best buccaneering full-backs in world football today.
This signifier is perhaps an over-used epithet, but its casual usage doesn’t change the joy and excitement provoked by the sight of a full-back gallivanting forth, tearing down the flank or dribbling past opponents and swinging in crosses.
“Buccaneering” suggests high-risk and reckless activity, and indeed, while some of the figures celebrated on this list occasionally stray too far or attempt one shimmy too many, the very best have made it because of their boldness and their consistent contributions from deep, lateral positions.
For the purpose of this piece, only players who are primarily known as full-backs have been considered. Thus, the likes of Jonathan Schmid and Gareth Bale have been overlooked. Despite his prominence as a central midfielder these days, Philipp Lahm was eligible for inclusion due to his continued role at right-back for Germany and his historic contributions in this position.
All statistics have been sourced from WhoScored.com.