Juventus: Ranking the five best full-backs of all time

Juventus, Juan Cuadrado (Photo by Mattia Ozbot/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Juventus, Juan Cuadrado (Photo by Mattia Ozbot/Soccrates/Getty Images) /
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Juventus, Juan Cuadrado
Juventus, Juan Cuadrado (Photo by Mattia Ozbot/Soccrates/Getty Images) /

From the very origin of the beautiful game, one position that has always had stayed under the radar is where the full-backs get to play. In the earliest periods, the term “full-back” had not been discovered yet; the players filling that particular role were regarded as out-and-out defenders.

And yes, it is true indeed that freedom was not something full-backs would get to associate with their individual traits at that time. But as time has progressed, detailed alternations in regard to formations and patterns of structuring a team have become more visible; and the overall evolution of football has seen full-backs playing more prominent roles — both defensively and offensively — for their respective teams. Nowadays, they gallop forward, help the team offensively, and when needed, sit deep to aid their defence.

Being a historic club, Juventus have had the legacy of rearing some of the best full-backs the world has ever witnessed. In the second part of our series about the best five Juventus players at every position, we are going to name Juventus’ five best full-backs of all time.

Last Friday, we published the first part containing the best five goalkeepers to have ever played for the Bianconeri. And this time, it will be the top 5 full-backs, decided by the votes from Old Juve writers including Kevin ParviziJames Cormack, and myself. How was the voting system? It was extremely hard! But, to give an idea to our readers, the first-placed player has got all our votes — earning five points, with the fifth getting one. Then, we counted up the points, and here is what we have.

5. Juan Cuadrado

Workrate and versatility — these are two terms that come to one’s mind when describing a player like Juan Cuadrado. The 32-year-old is a very likeable professional of the current Juve roster. A believer in working hard on the pitch and for the team, Juan Caudaro initially joined the Old Lady on loan from Chelsea in 2015 and spent two seasons as Chelsea’s loanee here in Turin.

Impressed immensely by Cuadrado’s dedication, manager Massimiliano Allegri signed him permanently from the Blues in 2017. It was as if Juan Cuadrado was made for Italian football. His technicality on the ball and inclination to help the team defensively hinted at the fact that he could play the role of a full-back for the Bianconeri.

Starting his Juve career as a right-winger, Cuadrado soon captured the eyes of the Juventus hierarchy while playing the role of a right-back and right wing-back. Almost six seasons have passed since the Colombian arrived at Juventus. And as per the starts from Transfermarkt, Cuadrado, over those six seasons, have played in seven different positions, demonstrating that what a versatile asset the diminutive creature has proved to be for Le Zebre.

For Juve, Cuadrado has won five Scudetto, four Coppa Italia, and two Supercoppa Italiana. This season, he is one of the assist leaders in Serie A with 11 to his name. Although Cuadrado’s current contract with Juventus ends in 2022, the Juventus enthusiasts hope that he would stay put in Turin for a little longer. The club needs the warm presence of its reliable servant.