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Best Premier League Right-Backs Ever

Wednesday18 November 2020 | 6:30
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From Gary Neville to Kyle Walker, in this article of SportMob, we take a look at some of the best right-backs in the history of English Premier League.

Football analysts say that a successful attack on football begins at the defense. There's no finer feeling than a sliding block, or pursuing a striker and grabbing a ball off their feet. Scoring is crucial, but a football manager might be just as pleased to see his player stop a goal.

Full-backs, who play on both sides of the defense line, have a very different role to play. Their primary task is to deter the opponent from advancing in vast areas and also to help the Central Defenders. And the modern right-back defender also moves past the halfway line, something that was unheard until quite recently. Right-backs play a crucial role in helping their team's attackers by driving forward to supply crosses.

As several positions in football, the role of the right-back is the one that has changed in recent decades. Once a vital aspect of a static back four – where concentration, balance, and an eye for tackle were very important – it is now an environment dominated by those able to step forward and cause trouble for their full-back opponents.

Trying to prevent challenging wingers from supplying crosses to lively attackers is obviously still very important, but the objectives of a modern right-back have clearly been changed, with the majority still depending on their capacity to counter as opposed to their defensive vigilance.

English Premier League had quite some great right-backs since its formation in the early 1990s, defenders who had a massive impact on the top-tier of English football. In this article of SportMob, we take a look at some of the Best Premier League right-backs ever.

Greatest right-backs in Premier League History

Did you know one of the best right-backs in Premier League history has spent all of his almost 20 years career in one team and is one of the most iconic right-backs in English Premier League history? Stay tuned to read more about him and other best right-back in EPL history.

10- Kyle Walker

The number 10 on our list of Best Premier League Right-Backs Ever Kyle Andrew Walker, born on 28 May 1990 at Sheffield, is an English footballer who is currently playing at Manchester City. Kyle Walker is a right-back, and he's famous for his attacks on the goal. That's presumably why he was recruited by the Citizens in 2017.

He has had quite a huge influence on the team, leading them to clinch the English Premier League title in the 2017-2018 season, thus shattering multiple records (such as the highest points ever in a full season). Signing the English footballer, of course, cost the Man City a lot of money.

Manchester City had to spend an amazing 50 Million Pounds to sign Kyle Walker from Tottenham. As we've told toy before, he was born in Sheffield, England in 1990. He has a Jamaican father and an English mother. He's a current member of the England National Football Team, The Three Lions. He appeared for the team at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

The competition was a great achievement for England as they made it to the semi-finals only to be eliminated by Croatia. This was a wonderful feeling for Kyle Walker as he missed the EURO 2016 in France cos of the awful toe injury he received while playing for Tottenham Hotspur.

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9- Gary Kelly

Leeds United icon Gary Kelly played his whole career featuring in more than 500 club matches on Elland Road eventually retiring in 2007 at the age of 32.

He started his career in the 1991-92 season and played for the club for 15 years, but sadly in a season which Leeds United finished it as champions, he did not qualify for a medal at his debut season because he had not played enough games for the team. Aside from the club side of his career, he was also a key member of the Republic of Ireland National Football Team, winning 52 caps and leading them at the 1994 and 2002 FIFA World Cup finals.

After he retired from professional football, he pledged €750,000 of his testimonial match earnings to open the Gary Kelly Cancer Treatment Center in Drogheda after his sister perished because of breast cancer at the age of 35.

In February 2014, he showed interest in the vacancy of the Leeds United head coach job after Brian McDermott had been fired but never officially received an offer from the club. In March 2016, he founded a state-of-the-art fitness centre in Drogheda, which he and other family members named it the GK Gym.

Stay Tuned to read about more players in the list of Best Premier League Right-Backs Ever.

8- Lauren

The former Cameroon National Team footballer of Equatoguinean descent Laureano Bisan Etamé-Mayer is widely known as Lauren and has played as the right-back for Arsenal in Premier League and the Cameroon national team. The number 8 player in our list of greatest right-backs in premier league history was born on 19 January 1977 in Kribi and raised in Spain.

Lauren retired from professional football in 2010 while playing for Spanish second division team Cordoba, he was an essential part of the Arsenal defenders team between 2001 and 2006 and one of the prominent Invincibles players of 2003-04 season Arsenal team.

He has won several titles, such as the English Premier League and the FA Cup two times (respectively with Arsenal and Portsmouth) and also the Spanish Super cup, in an impressive 15-year professional career.

He has also been a member of the national team of Cameroon that won a gold medal during the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000.

Lauren began a new career in the entertainment business after he retired from playing football, and now primarily conducts reporting and commentary on Spanish La Liga football for outlets like Eurosport, the BBC and Sky Sports.

He also serves for his former Arsenal club in an ambassadorial role that sends him across the world to boost the Arsenal brand.

7- Bacary Sagna

The French footballer is one of the most unfortunate and underrated footballers who played in our list of best premier league right-backs ever. For a footballer of this caliber, he should've had lots of trophies and he just lifted the FA Cup with Arsenal and the League Cup with Man City.

Bacary Sagna leads the chart in terms of talent. Gifted with amazing pace, Sagna can go on and on rampaging down the right flank, causing unrest in the defense of the opponents. His crossing ability is spot-on and has enabled several goals during his time in Premier League.

During a 2011 interview, Arsene Wenger introduced Bacary Sagna as the best right back in the English Premier League. Driven by his boss' remarks, he had a fantastic season that year and was a part of PFA's English Premier League Team of the Year in 2011.

Sagna transferred to Manchester City, where he was the first choice right-back of Pep Guardiola. After playing for 10 years at Premier League and participating in almost 270 league matches to Arsenal and Man City and also establishing himself as one of the best right-backs in EPL of all time, he moved to Serie A side Benevento Calcio in February 2018.

6- Stephen Carr

Stephen Carr is a former international Irish right-back and one of the premier league best right-backs of all time. He was born in Dublin, Ireland, on 29 August 1976. His youth career started at Stella Maris, from where the soccer player transferred to Tottenham Hotspur Academy in 1991. It took around two years for him to start his professional career in there.

In 1993 Stephen Carr signed his first deal with Tottenham and soon became a vital part of the team which managed to build confidence and regain the trust of the fans by delivering amazing performances. The Irish right-back played 226 games over 11 years and scored seven goals for Spurs.

In 2004, Stephen moved to Newcastle United but struggled on becoming an important player for the team and he just managed to score one goal in 78 matches for 'The Magpies' over 4 years. In 2009 and after coming out of retirement, he reached an agreement with Birmingham City and played in 106 games for them.

Stephen Carr retired from professional football in 2013 at the age of 36. He has also played 44 times for Republic of Ireland National Football Team between 1999 and 2007. There are still 5 more players in our list of best premier league right-backs ever, so stay tuned!

5- Steve Finnan

On 24 April 1976, Steve Finnan was born in Limerick. At a very young age, he migrated to England and started playing for the Welling non-league club. After a few seasons of playing for teams like Notts County and Birmingham City, Liverpool legend Kevin Keegan took him to Fulham.

His appearances at the London club and for the Republic of Ireland National Team drew the interest of a variety of major clubs. And finally Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier decided to pay 3.5 million Pounds for the promising right-back in July of 2003.

Steve Finnan is one of the best right-backs of the Premier League era and the sole footballer in the world who has competed in the UEFA Champions League with Liverpool, the World Cup with the Republic of Ireland, the Intertoto Cup, the UEFA Cup, all levels of English League Football and also Football Conference.

Winning the 2005 UEFA Champions League Final in Istanbul with Liverpool was one of the trophies he has won in his football career. Finnan was famous for his attacking capabilities and his ability to cross the ball.

Since its debut in 2000, he appeared in 52 international matches, having scored two goals for the Republic of Ireland. At the FIFA World Cup 2002 in Japan and Korea, he performed for National Team.

4- Branislav Ivanovic

Throughout his tenure at the Blues, the Serbian international was a critical part of the Chelsea team. His never-say-die mentality and dedication to the football are heartwarming to watch. Unlike other right-backs, Ivanovic is not blessed with a great pace.

However, he was one of the greatest right-backs ever to play the game at English Premier League. With his composure during possession and spectacular passing abilities. As far as the defense is involved, he generated the goods on a regular basis. His peak saw a variety of punishing challenges on its right flank, accompanied by a medium diagonal ball.

Ivanovic hasn't ever backed away from striking despite his lack of agility. He is well recognized for his aerial skills, which when coupled with his power, allowed him to score a lot of goals throughout his career.

His bravery on the ground has captured the hearts of many football supporters. Jose Mourinho thanked him also described the Serbian right-back as a competitive animal with a huge heart'. Ivanovic has made a total of 261 league appearances for Chelsea and also has proven himself as one of the greatest right-backs in the Chelsea Football Club and indeed in the history of the Premier League.

3- Pablo Zabaleta

Number 3 on our list of best premier league right-backs ever, Born in Buenos Aires, the capital city of Argentina on 16 January 1985, Pablo Javier Zabaleta Girod is without a doubt one of the greatest right-backs in the history of English Premier League. He was raised about 200 km from the capital in Arrecifes, a small town. He spent his childhood days playing football and cycling until he was scouted at the age of 10.

He then left home to try his luck with San Lorenzo back at the capital. In the summer of 2008, after declining a contract offer from the Italian giants Juventus F.C., Zabaleta reached an agreement to join Man City from Spanish side Espanyol and moved to the UK to sign a five-year contract with the English club.

On 13 September 2008 Zabaleta played his first match at the City Stadium versus Chelsea. On 17 January 2009, he netted his first goal for Man City. Zabaleta renewed his Blues contract till the summer of 2015 in November 2011.

Zabaleta was also the only Manchester City player to feature in the PFA Team of the Year at the end of 2012/2013 Premier League season. During his spell at Man City, Pablo Zabaleta won all of the major English football trophies: the Premier League two times in 2011-12 and 2013-14, the FA Cup in 2010-11, the Football League Cup two time in 2013-14 and 2015-16 and the FA Community Shield in 2012.

Zabaleta was hailed by Man City manager Pep Guardiola as a "legend" after his final game for the club on 16 May 2017 versus West Bromwich Albion, and he was awarded a lifetime Man City season ticket. On 26 May 2017, he moved to West Ham United.

2- Lee Dixon

Lee Dixon spent 14 good seasons with Arsenal as a right-back who represented his team with extreme pride. The rise to prominence of the Manchester-born right-back began at Stoke City, where he and Steve Bould established a deadly defensive partnership. After playing for two seasons at Stoke City and putting on some great performances, Lee Dixon was signed by Arsenal, only to become one of the club legends during his 14 years spell with the gunners.

Steve Bould and Lee Dixon's partnership continued at the Arsenal. Lee Dixon was a threat to opponents during attacks, scoring goals out of mere half chances. He scored 25 times for the Gunners, and his attitude stood out the most, proving to be the motivating force of his fellow teammates, making him one of the best right-backs of his day.

Lee Dixon is no stranger to winning trophies and clinching titles, unlike the modern Arsenal footballers. He has won eight trophies with Arsenal, including four Premier League titles and three Football Association Cups. He retired from playing football as a 37-year old Arsenal legend back in 2002. Stay tuned for the number 1 player in our list of best Premier League right-backs ever.

1- Gary Neville

Gary Neville is a retired English football defender who was born in Bury, England, on 18 February 1975. For the best part of two decades, Manchester United's 'Mr. Reliable' Gary Neville has always been a crucial part of the club's success. While the English footballer lacked talent, he put his body and spirit into every single match for the club.

Neville developed confidence as his career advanced at Old Trafford and founded himself as among the best right-backs in the English Premier League. In Manchester United's unparalleled treble in 1999, he played a big part.

The right-back was named as club captain after Roy Keane's exit in 2005, an accolade that he genuinely deserved. The England international who played 85 matches for his country team, hung up his boots in February 2011, having played 602 matches for the Red Devils.

He is among the few players in English football with a single club during his whole professional career. In 2007, Neville was identified by PFA as one of the footballers on their 'Team of the Century' list. During his service, he won a stunning twenty trophies.

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source: SportMob
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