Barcelona’s fullback positions are the two crucial points of both their offensive and defensive game plan which requires not just physical stamina but also mental understanding and discipline with the willingness to play the Barcelona way.
Sergi Roberto got his big break at right full-back after waiting patiently on the sidelines for years, refusing to exit the club or even go on loan and when he got the chance, he took it and made the position his own.
The following year Nelson Semedo was signed from Benfica for €35m. A proper young right back and both players have been jostling for position ever since.
In Barcelona’s first game of the season, both players played together but Sergi Roberto played as a midfielder while Semedo remained at right-back. They lost the game so it’s unlikely Roberto plays in that position anymore.
Defensively both players do not put up particularly great stats.
Roberto is good at making clever interceptions due to his reading of the game with an average of 1.5 per contest compared to Semedo’s 0.8 interceptions per game average.
Semedo alternatively, is slightly more aggressive in the tackle, winning 1.5 of those per night compared to Roberto’s 1 a game.
Their poor defensive stats can be attributed to the fact that their team has all of the ball almost all the time so they have less defensive concerns.
Both players have good passing stats but Roberto edges this one out.
The Spaniard averaged 55.9 passes per game with 90.5% accuracy. He also averaged 1 key pass given per game and delivered 7 assists as well.
Semedo passed less but more accurately than Roberto. His 91.2% success rate was higher than his counterpart’s but he had a 41.4 passing average per match, 0.3 key passes per match and lack of any goal involvement be it a goal or an assist last season.
Barcelona seems to be walking on eggshells at the moment with every decision they take or turn they make being viewed as a wrong one but it’s almost certain that whoever is chosen amongst these two defenders will be seen as worthy candidates.