We all love to watch full-backs charge down the flank, make overlapping runs with the wingers, get to the byline, and drill pin-point crosses into the box for strikers to smash home. Sometimes they might even have a go at goal themselves.
Liverpool’s duo of Trent-Alexander Arnold and Andrew Robertson have mastered and delectably execute this play. They are often considered the best full-back pairing in world football, but Borussia Dortmund’s 21-year-old Moroccan Achraf Hakimi, and Euro 2016 winner Raphael Guerreiro are almost as tantamount.
The likes of Jadon Sancho, Thorgan Hazard, and Julian Brandt have often been lauded for BVB’s success this season, but Achraf Hakimi and Raphael Guerreiro have been outstanding in the club’s title challenge. With 25 direct goal contributions between them, they have been involved in almost a third of the club’s total goals. Their 0.86 goal involvement ratio per 90 minutes in the Bundesliga is also the best in Europe’s top five leagues.
Hakimi particularly is having a sensational season at the Westfalenstadion. In the 29 games, the speed-demon averages 33.5 sprints per game, the league’s best according to Bundesliga’s official website.
He is the fourth-best goal contributor, providing five goals and 10 assists, only behind Jadon Sancho, Marco Reus and Thorgan Hazard. His prolificity has been paralleled by Left-back Raphael Guerreiro, who also has eight league goals to his name.
Defensively, the full-back pair have also proven to be very stout this season. According to WhoScored, Guerrero leads the club’s tackles per game with 54 tackles while Hakimi has won the most duels, recording 326 successful duels.
Hakimi, currently in the last months of his loan deal from Real Madrid, has made it clear his desire to return and play for Zinedine Zidane next season. Until then, the Borussia Dortmund faithful can rest assured they have one of the best attacking full-back pairings at the Signal Iduna Park.