Thursday, 18 Apr 2024

The Complete Guide to Playing as a Full Back in Soccer

fullback soccer

Soccer is a game of intricate positions, each with its own unique responsibilities. One of the most crucial positions on the field is the full back. Whether you’re interested in playing or coaching soccer, understanding the role of a full back is essential. In this article, we’ll delve into the intricacies of playing as a full back, explore the key skills required for the position, and highlight some of the best full backs in the game. Let’s get started!

How To Play As a Full Back

Playing as a full back is no easy task. It is a position that demands versatility and adaptability. Full backs are expected to provide defensive cover on their respective flanks while actively participating in attacks and linking up with midfield and forward players. In modern soccer, full backs often push forward, acting as additional attackers. This attacking intent is exemplified by players like Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson. However, it is crucial for full backs to strike the right balance between attack and defense to avoid leaving their team vulnerable to counter-attacks.

The Key Attributes of a Full Back

To excel as a full back, certain attributes and skills are crucial:

1. Speed

Alphonso Davies

Full backs need to possess exceptional speed to keep up with agile and skillful wingers. Their speed is not only vital for defensive purposes but also for supporting their team’s attacks.

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2. Stamina

Full backs cover a lot of ground during a match. They need to possess great stamina to constantly move up and down the field, fulfilling defensive and offensive duties alike.

3. Positional Awareness

Being aware of one’s position on the field is crucial for a full back. They should have a deep understanding of when to provide defensive cover and when to join in the attack, thus contributing to the team’s overall strategy.

4. 1v1 Defending

Full backs must excel in one-on-one defending situations. Strong tackling, timing, and aggression are vital in defending against opponents on the flanks.

5. Technical Ability

Full backs should have excellent technical skills, including ball control, dribbling, passing, and a precise first touch. These skills enable them to effectively contribute to their team’s attacking play.

6. Communication

Clear communication is essential for modern full backs. They must effectively communicate with their teammates, providing information about opponents’ movements, signaling when they are advancing or falling back, and alerting others to potential threats.

The Best Full Backs in the World

Over the years, full backs have evolved from defensive specialists to influential playmakers. Here are some of the best full backs in the game today:

Trent Alexander-Arnold

Trent Alexander-Arnold, a key player for Liverpool, is highly regarded for his extraordinary crossing and passing ability. At just 23 years old, he has already notched up an impressive number of assists, making him one of the top full backs in the world.

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Joao Cancelo

Manchester City’s Joao Cancelo is a prime example of positional fluidity. His technical ability allows him to roam into central midfield areas, disrupting the opponent’s defense and creating opportunities for his team.

Alphonso Davies

Bayern Munich’s Alphonso Davies is known for his blistering speed, which allows him to outrun defenders and be a constant threat on the left-hand side. His attacking prowess has made him one of the most exciting full backs in the game.

Achraf Hakimi

Achraf Hakimi is a versatile full back who has played for top clubs like Inter Milan, Borussia Dortmund, and Real Madrid. With exceptional agility, speed, and dribbling ability, Hakimi showcases the modern full back’s attacking capabilities.

The Best Full Backs of All Time

In the history of soccer, several legendary full backs have left their mark on the game. Here are a few noteworthy examples:

Roberto Carlos

Roberto Carlos, known for his powerful free kicks and attacking prowess, is widely regarded as one of the best full backs in history. He lifted trophies for both club and country, leaving an indelible legacy.


Cafu formed an unstoppable full back partnership with Roberto Carlos for the Brazilian national team. A two-time World Cup winner, Cafu’s defensive prowess and attacking contributions made him a true legend of the game.

Paolo Maldini

Paolo Maldini’s defensive intelligence, technical skills, and leadership abilities earned him a reputation as one of the greatest defenders of all time. His success with AC Milan and the Italian national team highlights his exceptional career.

Javier Zanetti

Argentine international Javier Zanetti was renowned for his versatility, playing as a full back and in midfield. With his speed, strength, and technical prowess, he became a legendary figure for Inter Milan.

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Phillip Lahm

Phillip Lahm, the former captain of the German national team, epitomized versatility and tactical intelligence. Winning the World Cup in 2014 and numerous trophies with Bayern Munich, Lahm’s defensive acumen made him one of the best right backs in the game.


Who is the best full back in soccer?

Currently, some of the best full backs in the world include Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joao Cancelo, Alphonso Davies, and Achraf Hakimi.

What is an Inverted Fullback?

An inverted fullback is a player who moves from wide positions to more central areas when their team is in possession. This movement helps to create overloads in the middle of the pitch, contributing to the team’s attacking play.

What are the main positions in soccer?

The main positions in soccer include goalkeeper, center-back, full back, center midfield, wide midfielder/winger, and forward. Each position has its own specific roles and responsibilities.

What is the role of the goalkeeper in soccer?

The goalkeeper is responsible for guarding the goal, communicating with the defenders, saving shots, and preventing the opposing team from scoring.

In conclusion, the role of a full back in soccer is multifaceted, demanding a diverse skill set and exceptional decision-making abilities. From providing defensive cover to contributing to the team’s attack, full backs play a vital role on the field. By mastering the key attributes and learning from the best, aspiring players can excel in this challenging position. Keep honing your skills, and remember to visit Pesstatsdatabase for more insights into the beautiful game.