What is a Full Back in Football? July 24, 2023 – Posted in: Featured Articles – Tags:

On a football field, there are many different positions. If you’re wanting to go into either playing or coaching football, you’ll need to have a firm understanding of each role’s unique set of duties, obligations, and criteria.

Because of this, we’ll examine one of the most crucial soccer positions in this article: full back. Both the left-back and right-back positions in football are referred to as “full-backs.” Both of these topics will be covered in this article, along with a description of the full-back position and an examination of the essential abilities required for success at the position. Let’s get going!

How to be a full back in a game

The full-back’s responsibilities are tremendously varied. It’s perhaps one of the trickiest locations on the pitch.

Full-backs are supposed to support the team in attack, link with the midfield and forward players, and provide constant defensive coverage throughout their side (whether left or right). Although they are technically part of the defensive back line and are mostly depended upon for their defensive abilities, they frequently play much higher up the pitch, with central defensive midfielders in single or double pivots frequently dropping back to protect them when they move forward. 

Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson of Liverpool serve as excellent examples of this type of full-back behavior. This offensive mindset is particularly prevalent in the current game. The key to playing the fullback position is knowing when to drive up the pitch and support teammates out wide and when to sit back and support the center-backs. After all, if you find yourself in an unfavorable situation, the opposing wingers may wind up with seriously dangerous attacking opportunities.

Wing-backs, who are typically a little more advanced and less defensively-minded, could alternatively be referred to as full-backs. Simply put, full-backs are wider central defenders who sit on either side. A back four formation would consist of a right back, two center backs, and a left back (similar to a 4-3-3) on the field.

The essential qualities of a full-back

Soccer full-backs are responsible for a variety of duties, as was just mentioned. What qualities and skills are therefore needed to be able to bear the pressure of being a top-tier fullback in football?

  1. Speed

On a football pitch, full-backs are frequently among the quickest players. In defensive positions, dealing with swift, skilled, technically gifted wingers requires a burst of speed; but, full-backs who relish getting forward and attacking the opponent also need it.

  1. Endurance

Full-backs also need stamina because their profession requires them to move quickly up and down the pitch throughout the game. Their level of fitness must be exceedingly high in order for them to be able to carry out both their defensive and offensive responsibilities.

  1. Positional Sensitivity

Without sound positional knowledge and the ability to understand the game, center-backs will be left open and full-backs will be caught off guard. Players in this position must be able to transition between offering offensive possibilities on the overlap and covering their teammates.

  1. 1 on 1 Defence

Both the left and right backs must be capable, adaptable, and effective 1v1 defenders. These kinds of circumstances call for precise timing, powerful tackling, and ferocity.

  1. Technical Competence

If you lack the technical expertise to support it, getting yourself in the appropriate places doesn’t matter anything. Modern fullbacks need strong first touches, excellent passing abilities, and excellent ball control and dribbling skills.

  1. Interaction

Clear communication is more important than ever because full-backs and wing-backs are so critical in today’s game. Communication is essential in all aspects of the game, from letting teammates know when you’re moving forward or dropping back to just hollering “Man on!” to the winger next to you.

Who are the world’s top full-backs?

In recent years, there have been significant changes to the fullback position in football. The top left-backs and right-backs in the world are now expected to be good forwards as well as defensive players, with many of them serving as important playmakers for their teams.

Let’s look at some of the most innovative attacking players who are rewriting the football fullback role’s rulebook.

Trent Alexander Arnold

Trent Alexander-Arnold, one of the great wonder kids of contemporary sport, has made over 160 Premier League games for Liverpool at the age of just 23. The right-back has established a reputation for having exceptional crossing and passing skills. Since making his league debut in 2016, he has registered 45 assists, which is only surpassed by Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City.

Joao Cancelo

Joao Cancelo has been essential to Pep Guardiola’s advancement of positional mobility and shape-shifting at Manchester City since his arrival in 2019. Cancelo’s primary job has evolved into one of creativity as a result of his relentless pursuit of the ball and drifting into central midfield areas. His technical prowess has allowed him to redefine what a full-back is capable of doing.

Alphonso Davies

Alphonso Davies of Bayern Munich is near the top of the list of the world’s fastest players. His explosive pace enabled him to surge past defenders down the left side of the pitch; one defensive recovery sprint against Arminia last February saw him reach a phenomenal high speed of 36.51km/h. The attacking powers of the Canadian left-back are well-known.

Achraf Hakimi

Achraf Hakimi is a young full-back with a lot of promise. The Moroccan international has played for some of the world’s finest clubs, including Inter Milan, Borussia Dortmund, and Real Madrid before joining PSG last year. His agility, quickness, and dribbling skills place him among the world’s top full-backs.

Full Back in Football FAQs

1) Which football full-back is the best?

Full-backs may now be more crucial strategically than ever before. Trent Alexander-Arnold of Liverpool, Joao Cancelo of Manchester City, Alphonso Davies of Bayern Munich, and Achraf Hakimi of PSG are a few of the top full-backs.

2) What is a Fullback Inverted?

When their team gets the ball, an inverted fullback frequently switches from a wide to a more central position to create overloads in the middle of the field.

3) What are the main football positions?

Goalkeeper, center back, full back, center midfield, wide midfielder/winger, and forward are the four main positions in soccer. Each position has a unique set of duties, accountability, and essential qualities. For additional information, see our article on the various football positions.