B90M’s Rating Index for Full Backs (FBRI) at end 2016/17

After so much focus on attackers and goalkeepers in our rankings, it’s time to unveil the top dogs in the back line, starting with those lung busting full backs. We’ve covered the best full backs in an attacking and defensive sense. Now we put everything together as we reveal the top 25 at the position in world football. Here’s a reminder of what we consider for these rankings.

The weighting system for the FBRI considers:

Goals, Assists, Key Passes, Successful Passes, Pass Accuracy, Pass Intent, Crossing, Dribbling, Tackles, Interceptions, Clearances, Blocks, Aerials Won and defensive errors

25 Serge Aurier (Tottenham)

Index rating: 52.72

Raw score: 53.05 (27th)

Age: 24

Games: 57

Minutes: 4,851

Goals and Assists: 2 (10)

Strongest category: Aerial score (2nd), passing accuracy (5th) and goal contributions

Weakest category: Pass intent and possession retention

Once subject to Arsenal interest before they eventually promoted Héctor Bellerín, North London rivals, Tottenham, snapped him up from PSG in the summer. He hasn’t looked out of place so far for Spurs, aside from a red card and occasional lapses in judgement.

24 Benjamin Henrichs (Bayer Leverkusen)

Index rating: 53.50

Raw score: 54.41 (21st)

Age: 20

Games: 38

Minutes: 2,970

Goals and Assists: 0 (3)

Strongest category: Interceptions (1st) and tackling (4th)

Weakest category: Aerial score and crossing

There’s no shortage of brimming, young German talent and this man is one of the more intriguing prospects around. A strong ball reader and attacker, Henrichs is one of many promising starlets at an increasingly exciting Bayer Leverkusen side.

23 Sergi Roberto Carnicer (Barcelona)

Index rating: 53.82

Raw score: 53.77 (24th)

Age: 25

Games: 75

Minutes: 4,819

Goals and Assists: 0 (11)

Strongest category: Pass accuracy (4th) and dribbling

Weakest category: Errors and ball retention

Barcelona’s Champions League hero against PSG in March, Roberto has proven a solid utility man for the La Liga giants. Solid at right back, defensive midfield and central midfield, Roberto has reportedly grown frustrated at the Camp Nou, with Premier League and Serie A sides keeping an eye on him.

22 Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid)

Index rating: 54.00

Raw score: 54.54 (22nd)

Age: 25

Games: 75

Minutes: 5,929

Goals and Assists: 0 (11)

Strongest category: Pass accuracy

Weakest category: Clearances and blocks, and pass intent

A surprising entry for a man some regard at the best right back in the game, or at least a contender to be. Though a solid two-way player, his penchant for safe passing, plus underwhelming tackling numbers and lack of defensive actions hurts his placing.

21 César Azpilicueta Tanco (Chelsea)

Index rating: 54.42

Raw score: 54.23 (23rd)

Age: 28

Games: 104

Minutes: 9,103

Goals and Assists: 3 (10)

Strongest category: Errors (Tied for 1st) and ball retention (1st)

Weakest category: Crossing and dribbling

Operating as a centre back for the majority of Antonio Conte’s successful reign at Chelsea, the Spanish international just misses out on a podium place. Comfortable on the ball, always aware and versatile, the Spaniard has become an integral cog in the Blues’ disciplined set up and only seems to be getting better each season.

20 Abdul ‘Baba’ Rahman (Chelsea)

Index rating: 54.77

Raw score: 55.53 (18th)

Age: 23

Games: 59

Minutes: 4,410

Goals and Assists: 0 (7)

Strongest category: Tackling (3rd), interceptions and aerial score

Weakest category: Ball retention and pass accuracy

Not the Chelsea left back you were expecting, were you? Chelsea fans could be forgiven for not knowing he remains on the club’s books, but a solid enough run of form in Germany with Augsburg and Schalke helps Rahman crack the top 20.

19 Danny Rose (Tottenham)

Index rating: 55.14

Raw score: 55.75 (17th)

Age: 27

Games: 70

Minutes: 6,029

Goals and Assists: 6 (9)

Strongest category: Tackling and goal contributions

Weakest category: Pass accuracy and ball retention

Injury and some very inflammatory comments following a breakdown in contract talks has Rose in Mauricio Pochettino’s dog house for now. When fit, he remains one of England’s better choices at the position. Another case of being unspectacular, yet effective, Rose has become a PFA Team of the Year selection two seasons running.

18 David Alaba (Bayern Munich)

Index rating: 55.33

Raw score: 53.43 (17th)

Age: 25

Games: 81

Minutes: 6,669

Goals and Assists: 7 (5)

Strongest category: Pass accuracy (2nd) and Ball retention (4th)

Weakest category: Aerial score, dribbling and tackling

In the last couple seasons, Alaba hasn’t quite hit the form that made him a big subject of interest across Europe. But the Austrian international remains a world beater on his day, with his wicked crosses, curling free kicks and solid game reading ability.

17 Faouzi Ghoulam (Napoli)

Index rating: 55.37

Raw score: 55.19 (19th)

Age: 26

Games: 84

Minutes: 7,057

Goals and Assists: 0 (11)

Strongest category: Aerial score, drawing fouls and key passes

Weakest category: Tackling and interceptions

Arguably the best full back in Italy not at Juventus, the Algerian international is  helping Napoli look like legitimate threats to Juve’s Serie A throne. Surprisingly out of contract next summer, Manchester City look set to pounce on the soon-to-be free agent.

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16 Danilo (Manchester City)

Index rating: 55.61

Raw score: 56.04 (16th)

Age: 26

Games: 41

Minutes: 3,528

Goals and Assists: 3 (7)

Strongest category: Goal contributions (5th), ball retention and interceptions

Weakest category: Crossing and clearances/blocks

Comfortable at right and left back, Danilo has helped form a more formidable defensive unit under Pep Guardiola. Injury and suspect form at times held him back at Real Madrid, but the two-time Champions League winner and Brazil international still has time to realise the potential he displayed at FC Porto.

15 Jonas Hector (FC Cologne)

Index rating: 56.10

Raw score: 57.43 (19th)

Age: 29

Games: 95

Minutes: 7,438

Goals and Assists: 30 (19)

Strongest category: Drawing fouls (1st) and aerial score (3rd)

Weakest category: Goal contributions, tackling and interceptions

Badly missed due to injury as FC Cologne languish in the Bundesliga basement, Germany’s number one left back just misses out on the top 10. A strong dribbler known for his high concentration levels and motor, Hector could very well be snapped up by a top club next summer, especially if Cologne get relegated.

14 Leighton Baines (Everton)

Index rating: 56.73

Raw score: 57.63 (8th)

Age: 32

Games: 86

Minutes: 7,192

Goals and Assists: 6 (13)

Strongest category: Key passes (3rd), goal contributions and crossing

Weakest category: Interceptions

This season hasn’t been Baines, or Everton’s best season for that matter. Nonetheless, the long-time Toffees left back continues to standout for his strong crosses and no nonsense defending. His best years may be behind him, but he remains first on the team sheet at Goodison Park each week.

13 Juan Bernat (Bayern Munich)

Index rating: 56.93

Raw score: 56.80 (15th)

Age: 24

Games: 65

Minutes: 4,946

Goals and Assists: 3 (3)

Strongest category: Errors (Tied for 1st), pass accuracy (3rd) and dribbling

Weakest category: Crossing and pass intent

Essentially a spot starter at Bayern, the Spaniard impressed with his speed and ability to retain possession. Also very comfortable up the pitch, Bernat has impressed at the Allianz Arena when he’s gotten chances to.

12 Ricardo Rodríguez (AC Milan)

Index rating: 57.14

Raw score: 57.32 (11th)

Age: 25

Games: 74

Minutes: 7,075

Goals and Assists: 10 (10)

Strongest category: Crossing (1st), goal contributions and ball retention

Weakest category: Errors and tackling

A part of AC Milan’s huge spending spree, the Swiss international built a reputation at Wolfsburg as arguably the Bundesliga’s best full back. His deadly set pieces, intelligent runs and high comfort level in possession makes him a reliable asset to have for the long-term. His proneness to mistakes keeps him from a top 10 spot though.

11 Antonio Valencia (Manchester United)

Index rating: 57.21

Raw score: 56.98 (12th)

Age: 32

Games: 74

Minutes: 5,924

Goals and Assists: 1(8)

Strongest category: Pass accuracy, crossing and dribbling

Weakest category: Clearances and blocks, and drawing fouls

Jose Mourinho and Ander Herrera each proclaimed the Ecuadorian the best right back in the world. Considering his continued improvement since switching to the position full-time, they’re not far off. Intelligence is the biggest marker of his game, with touches of physicality and crossing ability. Always full of energy and effort, Valencia has found a second wind in his United career and continues to blow away his opposition.

10 Daley Blind (Manchester United)

Index rating: 57.40

Raw score: 56.89 (14th)

Age: 27

Games: 86

Minutes: 7,313

Goals and Assists: 4 (6)

Strongest category: Pass intent (1st), ball retention (3rd) and interceptions

Weakest category: Drawing fouls and errors

One of the few signings Louis Van Gaal got right in his ill-fated tenure at Old Trafford, Blind has become one of the Premier League’s most reliable utility men when picked, helping him crack the top 10. He doesn’t do anything spectacular, but his attention to detail and ability to fulfill any role makes him a key part of Jose Mourinho’s big money squad.

9 Gaël Clichy (İstanbul Başakşehir)

Index rating: 57.61

Raw score: 57.54 (9th)

Age: 32

Games: 62

Minutes: 5,242

Goals and Assists: 2 (4)

Strongest category: Interceptions (3rd), clearances and blocks (4th) and ball retention

Weakest category: Crossing and goal contributions

Next is a Frenchman who’s been hurt by perception to some degree. Yes, his time at Manchester City saw him make some mistakes that made Sky Blues fans go mad. But stats show he was actually more steady than people realise, hurt by the fact City’s defensive setup as a whole looked daft far too often. Now in the twilight of his career in Turkey, the former Invincible at Arsenal can at least look at a decorated career with some amount of pride.

8 Cédric Soares (Southampton)

Index rating: 57.71

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Raw score: 58.72 (5th)

Age: 26

Games: 54

Minutes: 4,481

Goals and Assists: 0 (3)

Strongest category: Errors (Tied for 1st), tackling (2nd) and crossing (3rd)

Weakest category: Goal contributions and pass accuracy

A European champion with Portugal, Soares has been one of the constants in a respectable Southampton back line, known for his strong tackling ability and positional sense. He doesn’t offer much going forward for a team who struggles to score goals, but there are few better defenders in the Premier League.

7 Dani Alves (PSG)

Index rating: 57.74

Raw score: 57.41 (10th)

Age: 34

Games: 78

Minutes: 6,031

Goals and Assists: 2 (12)

Strongest category: Crossing and pass accuracy

Weakest category: Clearances and blocks, and errors

While a far, far more expensive Brazilian is grabbing all the headlines in Paris, the addition of Dani Alves on a free has already looked a wise piece of business for the champions elect in France. He continues to reinvent himself as he ages, essentially becoming this decade’s version of Cafu. Sure to add to a ridiculously populated trophy haul this season, Alves seems capable of a couple more strong years at an elite level.

6 Aleksandar Kolarov (Roma)

Index rating: 57.87

Raw score: 57.94 (7th)

Age: 31

Games: 79

Minutes:6,314

Goals and Assists: 6 (7)

Strongest category: Crossing (5th) and errors

Weakest category: Tackling

One of the most solid attacking outlets and dead ball specialists at his position since his days at Lazio, Kolarov joined Lazio’s eternal enemies in the summer after a successful six year spell at Manchester City. His lack of pace and agility leaves him exposed at the back at times, but he’s a very savvy player with that bit of class to affect any game.

5 Layvin Kurzawa (PSG)

Index rating: 59.00

Raw score: 58.84 (4th)

Age: 25

Games: 67

Minutes: 5,476

Goals and Assists: 7 (11)

Strongest category: Goal contributions (2nd), crossing and aerial score

Weakest category: Errors and tackling

At times not the most mature personality, but his game surely has grown over the years since initially impressing at defending champions, Monaco. One of the better attacking full backs in the game, Kurzawa is in hot contention for France’s number one spot at left back for next summer’s world cup

4 Rafinha (Bayern Munich)

Index rating: 60.96

Raw score: 58.59 (6th)

Age: 32

Games: 71

Minutes: 4,927

Goals and Assists: 1 (5)

Strongest category: Pass accuracy (1st), ball retention (2nd), crossing and interceptions

Weakest category: Tackling and pass intent

The outstanding Philipp Lahm may have walked away, but he had a pretty good understudy at his position for many years. The Brazilian is master on both ends of the part and has long been a live wire throughout his Bundesliga career. He barely misses out on a podium place.

3 Filipe Luís Kasmirski (Atlético Madrid)

Index rating: 64.57

Raw score: 64.64 (3rd)

Age: 32

Games: 81

Minutes: 6,795

Goals and Assists: 4 (10)

Strongest category: Errors (Tied for 1st), tackling (1st) and dribbling (2nd)

Weakest category: Clearances and blocks, and ball retention

This man who’s come a very long way since horrifically breaking his leg during his Deportivo La Coruña days. Playing in Diego Simeone’s defensive system ensures he’s never short of a workload, but his attacking strengths are also to be praised. It’s a surprise Chelsea let him go so quickly, but the La Liga and Premier League winner seems quite happy being back in the Spanish capital.

2 Marcelo Vieira da Silva Júnior (Real Madrid)

Index rating: 64.89

Raw score: 64.81 (2nd)

Age: 29

Games: 94

Minutes: 7,679

Goals and Assists: 6 (20)

Strongest category: Goals contributions (1st), key passes (4th), crossing (4th) and dribbling (5th)

Weakest category: Interceptions and ball retention

Regarded as the world’s best full back by many, Marcelo surprisingly isn’t even the best Brazilian at the position as you’ll see in a second. Arguably Madrid’s most lethal attacking threat after Ronaldo, Marcelo is the complete player. Silky, samba style instincts on the ball, aware (though occasionally reckless) defensively, his growing influence in a team of superstars has earned him massive respect from his peers.

1 Alex Sandro Lobo Silva (Juventus)

Index rating: 73.07

Raw score: 72.70 (1st)

Age: 26

Games: 49

Minutes: 3,820

Goals and Assists: 5 (7)

Strongest category: Dribbling (1st), key passes (1st) crossing (2nd), goal contributions (3rd)

Weakest category: Clearances and blocks, and ball retention

Man, Brazil have the pick of the litter at left back, don’t they? Alex Sandro’s high ceiling has been earmarked ever since impressing at FC Porto. From he signed on at Juventus, Sandro has become an elite attacking outlet, a very solid ball winner and a sublime crosser of the ball. Without Sandro, Juve’s attack lacks the verve and link up play that’s made them hard to catch in Italy. The best full back in Europe resides in Turin, and it will take some convincing for him to leave a team that’s transformed his game to world class levels.

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