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Top 10 Best Defenders in the World 

A defender should think ahead of a midfielder and run faster than a striker. The work of a defender is very challenging. One must be fearless and brave while facing any dangerous striker. They should have 100 % concentration on the field and should be able to make quick decisions while defending. Here are the top 10 best defenders in the world.

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Top 10 best defenders in the world  Player name  Team Career Appearances  Goals  Career yellow cards  Career red cards 
1 Virgil Van Dijk  Liverpool/ Nederlands  445 47 41 3
2 Sergio Ramos PSG/ Spain 896 127 250 8
3 Gerard Pique FC Barcelona/ Spain 727 61 162 6
4 Thiago Silva  Chelsea/ Brazil 656 42 63  4
5 George Chiellini  Juventus/ Italy  759  51  130 2
6 Raphael Varane Manchester United/ France 474 24 31 2
7 Ruben Dias  Manchester City / Portugal  302 15 65 2
8 Marquinhos  PSG / Brazil  429  35 27 1
9 Mats Hummels Borussia 

Dortmund / Germany 

674  58 86 1
10 Kalidou Koulibaly SSC Napoli/ Senegal   474 17 117 4

Best defenders in the world: Virgil Van Dijk

Virgil Van Dijk - KreedOn
Image Source: The Guardian

The rise of Van Dijk has been incredible. From Groningen, Celtic, Southampton then to Liverpool. At Liverpool, he gained world-class recognition. Van Dijk tops the list for best defenders in the world. The Dutchman has yet to make his mark in an international event, owing to the Netherlands’ failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup and an injury that has kept him out of Euro 2020. But Medals from the Champions League and Premier League, have gone a long way towards making up for it. The 6’4 has every attribute that a modern defender should have, He possesses strength, pace, positional versatility, leadership characteristics, and ball skills.

Best defenders in the world: Sergio Ramos

Sergio Ramos - KreedOn
Image Source: Indian Express

The best defender in the history of Real Madrid and is the exceptional one for Spain, it had to be Ramos in the second place. The 34-year-old may be at the peak level of his career, but he still maintains himself like a diamond. Ramos started his career as a right-back at Sevilla, then made a move to Los Blancos and became a legend. Now the former captain left the Spanish capital for PSG. Scoring, defending, and even attacking, Ramos knows it all and does it all. Fans adore and despise him in equal measure. He is powerful and swift, excels in one-on-one confrontations with opponents, and can be a threat in offensive areas if necessary. 

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Best defenders in the world: Gerard Pique

Gerard Pique - best defenders in the world | KreedOn
Image Source: MARCA

Some might question his position on this list but the Shakira man deserves to be named third. Pique was a dominating and technically skilled defender and embodies the contemporary center-half. Strong in the tackle, a strong game reader, and a great distributor, the game has gone on, but Pique’s talent has not. During Pep Guardiola’s tiki-taka era at the Nou Camp and for Vicente del Bosque’s World Cup and European Championship-winning Spain team, Pique was a focal point and heart of the whole defense. He may not have had the best of seasons on the pitch in recent years, but he is as vital to the cause as he has been for the last decade. 

Thiago Silva

best defenders in the world - Thiago Silva | KreedOn

Brazilians have a variety of great players, and Thiago Silva is one of them. He is undisputedly among the best defenders in the world. The legendary Fluminense and AC Milan great is one of football’s most well-rounded players, combining strength, intellect, and high levels of talent which makes him exceptionally an impressive defender. Silva was the driving force behind Paris Saint-Germain. Truly a club icon who lead them on their remarkable climb to European superclub status. The Brazillian is currently at Chelsea where he won the European title with his former PSG coach Thomas Tuchel and is competing for this season’s League title.

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Best defender in football: George Chiellini

George Chiellini - KreedOn
Image Source: The Guardian

The Italian brick wall, Chiellini has made his mark in European football. The Italian captain lead his nation for the 2020 Euros and thus defeated England to win the cup. Even at his club Juventus, the 37-year-old leads the team like a warrior. He may lack on-ball skills, but he is one of the best defender in football. Chiellini is one of the most feared one-on-one opponents in the world, because of his exceptional positional awareness and tackling skill. He may not be fast or talented in possession, but the Italian provides balance in a world dominated by ball-playing center-backs. He executes his job well and makes it impossible for opponents to dribble past by. 

Best defender in football: Raphael Varane

Raphael Varane - KreedOn
Image Source: Sky Sports

A rock-solid Frenchman, Varane has established himself as one of the greatest talents of this generation. Ever since joining Los Blancos in 2011, the defender has won 18 major titles. The world cup winner matured over the years at Madrid and quickly booked his place into the first team. The 27-year-old is an all-around center defender. He analyses the game brilliantly and has the recovery speed to compensate for mistakes made by teammates, and he’s skilled at moving into midfield with the ball and launching his team on the attack. Noe the Frenchman has joined Prem League giants Manchester United, where he reunites with his former Madrid teammate, CR7. 

Ruben Dias

Ruben Dias - best defenders in the world | KreedOn
Image Source: Sports Illustrated

Ruben Dias, City’s yet another expensive signing. Pep Guardiola’s side splashed a whopping £65 million on the Portuguese International. After a slow start last season, he has now proved everyone as money well spent. The 23-year-old has provided even leadership and structure to Pep Guardiola’s defence and orchestra’s city’s backline. He plays defence flawlessly and is as solid as a rock and is currently one of the best center back in the Premier League. He’s composed on the ball, dominant in his position, and the defensive leader the Citizens have been missing. The defender still has a lot of potential to become one of the best CB. 


best defenders in the world - KreedOn
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After the departure of Silva, Marquinhos has taken over the reins at PSG. The 27-year-old is living a dream at Parc Des Princes as he captains the French capital, with Messi and Ramos to his side. Fit as you like, a huge game player, quick and robust, and understanding large-scale gaming environments, Marquinhos is regarded as one of the best center backs in the world.  He leads them – even in goals, as seen by PSG’s recent Champions League campaigns – and he’s dominating at the back, aerially, positionally, and in beginning attacks. He’s as important to the team today as Thiago Silva was for years.

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Mats Hummels

best defenders in the world | KreedOn
Image Source: BVB Buzz

German international Mats Hummels is another center-back who has established himself as a top-notch defender in recent years. He has aided Dortmund’s ascension to the top of the European game. Hummels a CB who depends on his game intelligence rather than speed is an exquisite ball-playing half of Dortmund’s center defensive combination. He has a combination of both clever positional play and rigidness and is quirky in bringing the ball out of defence. A Bayern academy product, Hummels won the 2014 World cup, European Cup, and 5 League titles. The 32-year-old is currently back at Dortmund. 

Kalidou Koulibaly

best defenders in the world | Kalidou Koulibaly - KreedOn
Image Source: Bleacher Report

Koulibaly is another defender who we surely can’t miss on this list. The Senegalese defender may have struggled and missed half a season of Napoli due to injuries and Covid 19, but he is still regarded as the hottest prospect around Europe. He is a big, aggressive, fast, physically powerful, and graceful player. Fans of Napoli have dubbed him “The Wall.” Since his Serie A debut in 2014-15, the Senegalese has led the league in clean sheets, tackles won, recoveries, successful passes, and successful passes in the opposing half. The 29-year-old is still linked to a no. of top clubs every summer. 

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Abhishek Mishra
Abhishek Mishra
Greetings, I'm Abhishek Mishra, a passionate sports writer, and football fanatic. Currently, I'm pursuing Bachelor's in Journalism and Mass Communication from GGSIPU, DELHI. I have a keen interest in sports and I aspire to become a sports journalist. I want to work in the overall development of sports and also work towards the grassroots and athlete recognition of our country.


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