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Soccer World Cup

2014 World Cup: Ranking The Top 5 Defenders

2014 World Cup: Ranking The Top 5 Defenders In The Tournament

2014 World Cup Addidas Soccer Balls
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When it comes to naming the unsung leaders of any soccer team, defenders are usually first and foremost on the list. While they receive neither the glitz nor the glamor of their offensively minded counterparts in the midfield and at forward, defenders often determine how successful any team is on a given day. With that in mind, here are the five best defenders heading into the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

5. Giorgio Chiellini, Italy

Giorgio Chiellini
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5. Giorgio Chiellini, Italy

Giorgio Chiellini
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Giorgio Chiellini has been piling up awards since first joining Serie-A side Juventus back in 2005. The versatile 29-year-old has made 249 total appearances for the side and has helped Juventus claim three straight league titles while being named Serie-A defender of the year three different times. On the national team level, Chiellini has also proven himself with 67 caps and four goals scored since his debut in 2004.

4. Sergio Ramos, Spain

Sergio Ramos
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4. Sergio Ramos, Spain

Sergio Ramos
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Sergio Ramos has become one of the most feared attacking defenders in the world since he first appeared with the Spanish National Team back in 2005. A regular presence with European Cup winners Real Madrid, Ramos has netted 36 total goals and made 287 showings with the club since 2005. On the national team level, Ramos has 115 total caps while converting nine goals.

3. Vincent Kompany, Belgium

Vincent Kompany
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3. Vincent Kompany, Belgium

Vincent Kompany
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Few defensive players are steadier than Manchester City standout Vincent Kompany. Often praised for his mistake-free play, the 28-year-old Belgian serves as captain of a team that has claimed two of the past three English Premier League titles. Overall, Kompany has made 167 appearances for the club over the past six years. Kompany is also a key cog for Belgium at the national team level with 59 caps since 2004.

2. Philipp Lahm, Germany

Philipp Lahm
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2. Philipp Lahm, Germany

Philipp Lahm
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Germany’s Philipp Lahm is consistently mentioned amongst the best defenders in the world by his peers. Diminutive in size at just 5-foot-7, Lahm is a dynamic force for both his club side Bayern Munich and the German National Team as his captaincy of both squads demonstrates. In his career, Lahm has made an incredible 365 combined appearances for both teams since 2002.

1. Thiago Silva, Brazil

Thiago Silva
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1. Thiago Silva, Brazil

Thiago Silva
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Since bursting onto the scene back in 2008, Thiago Silva has become the standard by which other defenders are measured. The 29-year-old is a dominant presence for both his club team Paris St.-Germain and the Brazilian National Team. Possessing outstanding speed and a deft touch free of mistakes, Silva has emerged as captain of both teams and will feature prominently for his home country at the World Cup.