Who are the best Euro 2024 right-backs in 2024?

Who are the best Euro 2024 right-backs in 2024?
Who are the best Euro 2024 right-backs in 2024?

Euro 2024 will be home to some of the world’s best right-backs.

Some of football’s most talented full-backs have graced the competition in years gone by, from Lilian Thuram to Gianluca Zambrotta to Philipp Lahm and everyone in between.

But who are the standout right-backs heading to Germany from the start of 2024?

Based on their Squawka Score across 2024, this list includes only players who have played 400+ minutes of football. Wing-backs are excluded, and only those with a strong chance of starting for their nation are considered.

Here are the five best right-backs going to Euro 2024.

5. Giovanni Di Lorenzo

  • Club: Napoli

  • Nation: Italy

  • Squawka Score: 60%

The appointment of Luciano Spalletti as the manager of Italy was great news for Giovanni Di Lorenzo. Di Lorenzo had a successful time playing under Spalletti at Napoli, where they famously won the Serie A title. There should be no accusations of favouritism, as Di Lorenzo is arguably the best Italian right-back option. Despite Napoli’s disappointing title defence, Di Lorenzo created six goals and scored one himself.

4. Diogo Dalot

The transformation of Joao Cancelo into a solid left-back has created an opening for Portugal to fill the right-back position. Diogo Dalot has seized this opportunity and rightfully earned the chance to become Roberto Martinez’s first choice. Although his time at Manchester United has often been challenging, under Erik ten Hag’s guidance, he is starting to fulfil his potential, even though he is occasionally used in the same position where Cancelo now plays.

3. Kyle Walker

Trent Alexander-Arnold has a higher Squawka Score (72%) than Kyle Walker in 2024. However, despite his strong performance, he is not the first choice for England’s right-back position, as Gareth Southgate prefers Kyle Walker and will likely play Alexander-Arnold in midfield anyway.

To his credit, Walker has enjoyed a great season, helping Manchester City win their fourth consecutive Premier League title. The 34-year-old notched four assists in the Premier League and was City’s top performer when it came to possessions won in the defensive third (74).

2. Jonathan Clauss

  • Club: Marseille

  • Nation: France

  • Squawka Score: 74%

Didier Deschamps has many options for the right-back position. Malo Gusto, who made his France debut last September, had the highest Squawka Score (78%) of any right-back in 2024. However, the Chelsea youngster hasn’t made the Les Bleus squad this summer.

Jonathan Clauss will fancy his chances. The Marseille man already has 13 caps under his belt and scored in a recent 3-0 win over Luxembourg. Clauss faces competition from Barcelona’s Jules Kounde but his superior attacking skills could give him the edge.

1. Joshua Kimmich

Philipp Lahm’s heir apparent for both club and country. In the past, Kimmich preferred playing midfield rather than playing full-back. However, many managers have chosen to deploy him as a right-back due to his exceptional performance on the flank and his tactical intelligence when moving inside. Kimmich, an 86-time Germany international, has accepted this role and continues to do his best in this position. After a period of decline, he has returned to form this season and finished Bayern’s campaign strongly, despite the team experiencing a rare season without winning any trophies and slipping to third in the Bundesliga.

How did we rank Euro 2024’s best right-backs?

We used Twenty3 Sport’s Discovery Tool to run a customised search. The Discovery Tool rates a player’s per 90 output in the metrics detailed below to produce a percentage score, referred to above as the Squawka Score.

Each player’s stats are compared to the average output of left-backs across the past three seasons of big-five European league football. The higher the score, the closer they rank to the 95th percentile and above for each metric.

We also weighted each stat from 1 to 5 to highlight the most important aspects of a right-back’s play style.

  • 5 – Percentage of sequences featured in ending in shots, Percentage of sequences featured in ending in final third, Ground duel success (%), Percentage of open-play chances created that are Big Chances

  • 4 – Passes into final third completed, Successful passes into penalty area, Ball recoveries, Big chances created, Pass into final third success percentage (%), Retention rate (%), Aerial duel success rate (%), Cross completion from open play (%), Red cards

  • 3 – Open-play expected assists, Non-penalty expected goals, Challenge lost, Interceptions, Number of sequences ending in final third featured in, Number of sequences ending in a shot featured in, Total tackles, Yellow cards

  • 2 – Clearances attempted, Open-play crosses attempted, Take-ons completed, Touches in opposition box

  • 1 – Fouls committed, Goal contribution, Blocked crosses effective, Blocked passes successful

(-) indicates a weighting that favours fewer instances within the relevant metric (e.g. fewest fouls conceded from tackles made)

To be awarded a score, a player must have reached the automatically calculated minutes threshold, in this case, 400 minutes in the Premier League during 2024.