Defenders were traditionally needed to build up the backline, with their major goal being to counteract the attacks of their opponents. The full-backs were tasked with defending their flanks and blocking the winger’s attacking efforts.
The days of a defender’s main mission being to defend are gone forever. With the growth of football in recent years, fullbacks have become more prominent in the attack, even contributing to goals on occasion.
There are a few fullbacks who reflect the current game’s evolution. These right and left backs are frequently seen running down the flanks and delivering inch-perfect crosses into the opponents’ box, allowing their forwards to score.
Take a look at the top five defenders in Europe’s top five leagues in terms of assists since 2012.
Marcelo used to be a permanent figure in the Real Madrid defense. In the previous 15 years, the Brazilian has gone on to become a true club legend after joining Real Madrid in 2007.
Marcelo, who is known for his speed and excellent passing, has often produced when the team needed him the most.
Marcelo has made almost 500 games for Los Blancos, making him one of the most experienced defenders on the planet. He has five La Liga titles and two Copa del Rey titles to his credit.
His most illustrious achievement is his role in Real Madrid’s four UEFA Champions League victories between 2013 and 2018.
Since 2012, Marcelo has scored 37 assists, ranking him fifth on the list of defenders with the most assists in Europe’s top five leagues.
Dani Alves is recognized as a modern-day legend. During his career, the 38-year-old has had remarkable success with FC Barcelona, Sevilla, Juventus, and Paris Saint-Germain. Alves has a lot of knowledge and is one of the most recognized football players in history.
Alves is known for his defensive prowess as well as his ability to make a significant contribution to attacks. Dani Alves is without a doubt one of the most iconic Brazilian players of all time, having won an incredible 43 trophies.
Since 2012, Alves has racked up 38 assists, ranking him in fourth place on this list. He is still starting for Barcelona in La Liga at the age of 38, which is a true testimonial to his endurance.
Many consider Trent Alexander-Arnold to be the best right-back in the world. The Englishman made his Premier League debut for Liverpool in 2016 and has redefined what it means to be a right-back in the modern game.
Alexander Arnold’s great skills are his flawless passing and dead-ball ability, which he possesses with a wand of a right foot.
Alexander-Arnold is currently ranked third among defenders with the most assists over the last decade, yet he was only 14 years old in 2012. He only made his debut in 2016, yet he already has a staggering number of assists.
He has the most assists by a Premier League defender in a single season and appears to be getting better with each game. Alexander-Arnold, who is only 23 years old, has the potential to set unbreakable records if he maintains up his current pace.
Andy Robertson has proven himself as one of the top left-backs in Europe. The Scot joined Liverpool in 2017 and has widely recognized himself as one of the best fullbacks in the league.
Robertson, who lines up on the left wing, possesses the ideal mix of offensive and defensive skills.
Robertson and teammate Trent Alexander-Arnold have been at the forefront of European football’s move to aggressive fullbacks. When given enough room and time, the duo can be highly lethal, averaging at least one assist per game.
Since 2012, the 27-year-old has earned 48 assists. Robertson is an important aspect of Jurgen Klopp’s approach and will play a major role in the Reds’ future success.
Jordi Alba is a well-known left-back in the football world. In 2012, the Spaniard moved to Barcelona from Valencia and has since had great success with the Blaugrana.
Alba has won four La Liga titles, four Copa del Rey titles, and one UEFA Champions League in ten years. Alba is one of Barcelona’s most experienced defenders, having made over 400 games for the club.
Alba will go down in history as a club icon, having won titles alongside club heroes such as Xavi, Iniesta, Sergio Busquets, and Lionel Messi.
Alba holds the record for most assists by a defender since 2012, with 55. He is still a fixture in Xavi’s Barcelona lineup, having made 19 league games so far this season.