Ranked! The 10 best women’s right backs in the world

The role of fullback has become increasingly important across men’s and women’s football in recent years. 

There is a large number of talented right-backs in the women’s game, with younger stars emerging in the last few years to rival the established full-backs already competing for top honours. 

Here are the ten best women’s right-backs in the world right now.

Best women’s right backs in the world: 10. Natalia Kuikka

Natalia Kuika

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Natalia Kuikka is a versatile footballer who can play across a backline but it is at right-back where the 26-year-old Finnish international really excels. Kuikka is part of the Portland Thorns side that won this year’s NWSL Championship, playing every single minute of their post-season matches. 

She has won the Finnish Women’s Player of the Year award three times, in 2017, 2020 and 2021.

9. Laura Wienroither

Laura Wienroither

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It was a quiet start to life in the WSL for Laura Wienroither after she signed for Arsenal from German side Hoffenheim in January of this year. She initially struggled to displace Arsenal’s long-term right-back Noelle Maritz but an accomplished Euros for Austria saw her attract lots of extra attention.

Wienroither particularly impressed in Austria’s opening group game against England, keeping Lauren Hemp quiet as they limited the eventual tournament winners to only scoring once. Roll on to this season and Wienroither looks to have displaced Maritz to become Arsenal’s first-choice right-back.

8. Lynn Wilms

Lynn Wilms

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Much like Laura Wienroither, Wilms did not initially make a big splash as she jumped to a bigger club, in this case Wolfsburg. She had been part of manager Tommy Stroot’s squad at FC Twente but only made six starts last season.

However, this year her role has become a lot more important and she has started every game in the FrauenBundesliga so far, already getting two assists. Wilms also started every game for the Netherlands at the Euros, and despite a disappointing tournament for them generally, she was one of their more successful players.

7. Eve Perisset

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Chelsea have spent the past couple of seasons searching for a fullback and seem to have found the perfect fit in Eve Perisset. The 27-year-old French defender is a very versatile player who can play at left-back or in midfield but it is at right-back where she has looked at her best. Perisset is another player who attracted a lot of attention at the Euros where she helped France achieve their highest-ever finish at an international tournament, but Chelsea had already secured her signing following the expiry of her contract at Bordeaux where she spent two seasons. Perisset already has 20 shot-creating actions in the WSL this season, second only to Guro Reiten at Chelsea.

6. Giulia Gwinn

Giulia Gwinn

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Named in the Euro 2022 team of the tournament, 23-year-old Giulia Gwinn looked set to establish herself as one of the best right-backs in the world. Gwinn had previously won the Best Young Player Award at the 2019 World Cup and has shown herself capable at performing at the highest level for both Germany and Bayern Munich.

However, her career has been repeatedly interrupted by serious injury, and she tore her anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee in October, having previously torn her ACL in her right knee back in 2020. 

5. Sofia Huerta

Sofia Huerta

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Sofia Huerta has long been a versatile player but it is at right back where she has seen her career really go to the next level.

Huerta actively looked for opportunities to play full-back more regularly at club level in order to secure a national team spot and has only recently truly established herself on the US Women’s National Team roster. Her 2022 season has been the best of her career, winning the NWSL Shield with the OL Reign and being named in the NWSL’s Best XI, having made the Second XI four times previously.

Only Carson Pickett had more shot creating-actions in the 2022 NWSL season from defence than Huerta, who will be hoping to go to her first World Cup with the USA in 2023.

4. Ashley Lawrence

Ashley Lawrence

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Ashley Lawrence’s performances for Paris St-Germain and Canada have seen her regularly recognised as one of the best right-backs in the world. Lawrence won the third most tackles in the Champions League last season for PSG as they reached the semi-finals, whilst her six goal-creating actions was also the third most for a defender.

Lawrence was also an integral part of the Canadian side who won Olympic Gold in 202, starting all six of their matches. Only centre-back Kadeisha Buchanan played more minutes at the tournament than her.

3. Ellie Carpenter

Ellie Carpenter

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Another player who is currently out with an ACL injury, Ellie Carpenter was one of the most highly-rated fullbacks in the world when Lyon signed her as a 20-year-old. Carpenter made her international debut for Australia as a 15-year-old and became the youngest-ever women’s footballer to compete at the Olympics when she went to Rio in 2016.

She injured her ACL during the Champions League final that Lyon went on to win 3-1 but will hope to be back fit for a home World Cup in Australia in 2023. 

2. Ona Batlle

Ona Batlle

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Manchester United’s Ona Batlle might only be 23 years old but looks set to have a very successful career ahead of her.

The Spanish right-back, who can also play at left-back, has been one of the stand-out stars in the Women’s Super League over the past couple of seasons. The former Barcelona youth player was forced to leave the club to seek out more first-team opportunities with spells at Madrid CFF and Levante before she joined United. 

Battle regularly tops lists in terms of metrics like tackles made and progressive passes within the WSL, demonstrating her ability both defensively and going forward with the ball. Last season she was named in the PFA WSL Team of the Year.

1. Lucy Bronze

Lucy Bronze

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Heading into Euro 2022, it seemed like Lucy Bronze’s career might be drifting a bit. The former FIFA Women’s Player of the Year did not have a positive relationship with Manchester CIty manager Gareth Taylor, where she had rejoined after leaving Lyon following three incredibly successful years.

Heading into the Euros, she made a surprise decision to sign for Barcelona before going on to win Euro 2022 with England, fulfilling a lifelong dream to win a major tournament with her country. Bronze started every match for England, as an important leader in the team as they lifted the trophy.

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