By Yoshiki Matsunaga on September 2, 2014
Choosing the top 10 defenders in the world is a difficult task, with almost every club demanding different things from their defenders. This ranking will focus on defensive abilities of the defenders first. Here is a ranking of the 10 best defenders in world right now.
Atletico Madrid had one of their best seasons last year, prying away the La Liga title away from the two Spanish giants and coming minutes away from winning the UEFA Champions League. Godin not only snuffed out opposition attacks all season long, but also scored the goal that sealed their La Liga Championship against Barcelona on the final game day. Atleti conceded the least amount of goals in the Spanish top flight.
The English international stands at 6-foot-4 at the heart of the Chelsea defense. Cahill is an imposing figure with great technically abilities. The Chelsea defense had the most reliable backline in the English Premier League last season, only conceding 27 goals. Cahill’s defensive contribution for Chelsea earned the former Bolton man a spot in the Professional Footballers’ Association Team of the Year.
The Juventus vice captain is known around Europe for his hard tackling. The Italian international originally played on the left side, but was converted to a center back. Chiellini is a versatile defender who will play defense even if he is played on the wings. The Juve man is by no means an excellent ball handler, but his tackling abilities and positional awareness are off the charts.
Every summer the BVB Dortmund defender is linked to a number of clubs in the transfer window. Mats Hummels is one of the reasons for Dortmund’s rise in the Bundesliga and relevancy as of late. The German international is a defender who relies more on intelligence than pace, and possesses incredible ball handling skills.
The Belgian international is the rock on which Manchester City FC has built their English Premier League dominance. There is little doubt that Vincent Kompany has been the best defender in the Premier League. The Manchester City captain is a keen organizer of the game who offers grit and technical ability to the Etihad side’s defense.
The Portuguese international has long been known to be an absolute bruiser in defense. Pepe’s physical presence has struck fear into the hearts of many attackers. Although the Real Madrid defender is often made famous for his violent assault on opposing players, Pepe has been one of the very few players capable of shutting down Lionel Messi.
Although the Barcelona man has taken a dip in form as of late, and is even being overlooked for Spain, Gerard Pique is the epitome of the modern center back. The Spanish defender possesses great vision, tackling and ball distribution skills. Pique has won numerous trophies and accolades, both individually and for Barcelona.
The German captain has won every team honor for club and country. Phillip Lahm has long been considered the best fullback of his generation. The Bayern Munich man does not ignore his defensive duties like most defenders on the flank in the modern game. He is a versatile defender with pace, excellent distribution skills, and precise tackling abilities.
Possibly the most well-rounded defender in the world, Thiago Silva is physical, intelligent and possesses technical abilities that allude most defenders. The Paris Saint-Germain man’s importance was never clearer when Brazil was destroyed by the German national team in the 2014 FIFA World Cup in the Brazilian's absence. Silva has won numerous personal accolades for being one of the greatest defenders in the world.
Arguably the best defender in the World, Sergio Ramos is unbeatable at his best. Much like Pepe, the Spanish defender is known for his petulance as well as his defensive prowess. The Real Madrid man is an aggressive, hard-tackling defender who has the technical ability to distribute and score goals. Ramos has the ability to snuff out offensive plays before they are a threat. The Real Madrid vice captain was absolutely pivitol for La Decima.
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