Mats best soccer defender in the world

7 Best Soccer Defender in the World Right Now

Who is the best soccer defender in the world? What makes a great defender? Well here we break it down into the top seven in the world, balancing each players good and bad points. A lot more is required of a defender these days than a strong tackle, you need a whole set of skills to be the best on the world, and these defenders have it all, but which one comes out on top?

7. Sergio Ramos

Sergio ramos

When it comes to defending, not many in the world do it better than Ramos, when he’s on the field that is! When he’s on his game it simply looks as if there is no way an attacker will be able to score past his Real Madrid side.

He may try and look pretty with clean looks and styled hair, but Ramos loves the dirty work in defending his goal by whatever means needed.

His reading of the game is second to none and always seems to be in the right place at the right time. He is often one step ahead of the attacker and seems to know what his next move will be before he has already made it, and always seems to anticipate where a pass will go.

Some arts of defending go unnoticed, but one that doesn’t with Ramos is his phenomenal heading ability. He is often in the box when he is attacking corners, no more memorably than in the 2014 Champions League final when he scored the equalizer with just seconds to spare as Madrid went on to win the trophy.

His defensive heading is also as equally as important as he always seems to be the one that is heading away dangerous crosses and corners and taking away any threat from the opposition in the air.

He is very brave as well, and is not afraid of putting his head to be ball even if it may mean a kick in the face. He is always prepared to take a blow for the team and do whatever it takes to win the match.

The one thing that can let Ramos down however is his temper, he gets sent off far too many times leaving his teammates with a man short on the pitch. This lack of discipline is his only downside, as apart from that, he is a near perfect defender.

If Ramos dialled down his aggression a bit, then he could be one of the best of all time. There are games where he is totally switched on and he looks unbeatable. As he gets older and wiser those kind of games seems to be happening more regularly, which is frightening for any attackers coming up against him.

Pros

  • Heading
  • Tackling
  • Determination

Cons

  • Aggression
  • Decision Making

6. Jérôme Boateng

Jérôme Boateng

A few years ago not many would have imagined that Boateng would have ended up on a list of best soccer defender. In 2010 he was transferred to Manchester City to solve their defensive worries, but ended up failing and moving on.

Manchester City must now really regret giving the German more time to prove himself at England, as he has since cost them a lot of money. The club have spent millions on centre backs since he left, an expensive mistake!

During his time at Bayern Munich he has proved himself to be one of the best in the world and excelled under Pep Guardiola. He isn’t the typical Guardiola defender, but the manager moulded him into a much better player.

His marking is one of the best in the world and it’s a must have when you play for such a big club, he has all the raw defensive attributes needed to succeed at the top level.

What he also has which is useful when playing for such a dominant team is pace. He is able to recover situations on counter attacks and keep up with speedy wingers and strikers.

He is also very strong and can out-muscle anyone that tries to beat him with his big frame. His pace and power makes him a great asset for any team that likes to dominate possession and play a high line.

Sometimes however he can’t be committed enough in challenges and loses out with his lack of bravery and aggression. A bit more fight in his game would probably make him a better player.

He has improved a lot since leaving Manchester City, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him improve further and end up higher on this list.

Pros

  • Marking
  • Strength
  • Pace

Cons

  • Aggression
  • Bravery

5.Laurent Koscielny

Kosceilny

When he first transferred to Arsenal he struggled in the Premier League, but soon adapted to be become the best defender in England and has the kind of ball playing ability that Arsene Wenger loves.

This ball playing ability is his trademark, as he has the ability to play anywhere on the field, but has found a home for himself in the centre of defence. In this position, he can start attacks and control possession from the back.

He is a brilliant passer of a ball and can usually find his fellow teammates with pinpoint precision, which is important when you play for a team like Arsenal.

His composure is rather special too, as whatever the situation he is in, he always seems to find the right ball. He isn’t scared about making mistakes, and would rather keep the ball or give it to a teammate rather than kick it long.

His heading, both in attack and defence is brilliant as well, he is often the man clearing the ball away from corners, this heading ability also works well in attack and he has scored many goals from corners.

One negative however of Koscielny is his ability to stand up for himself when the going gets tough. He isn’t the bravest of centre backs in the world which can lead him to be bullied by big, powerful strikers.

His agility can sometimes let him down when he comes up against small and nimble players, and can sometimes be beaten by quick movement.

He is one of the best in the world however and still seems like he is getting better. His reading of the game has become world class and he is in a small group of elite defenders.

Pros

  • Heading
  • Passing
  • Composure
  • Interception

Cons

  • Agility
  • Bravery

4. Leonardo Bonucci

Leonardo Bonucci

Old fashioned centre backs are going out of fashion, but Leonardo Bonucci has all the characteristics of a defender that would have been one of the best in the world in any decade. His tough tacking and bullying of defenders makes him a fierce competitor.

With Bonucci, you have to be prepared for the fight, as if you aren’t prepared to give it back to the Italian, then he’d just bully you all game. He is very physical off the ball, but what sets him apart is that he can be very classy off it.

Defenders as tough as Bonucci aren’t usually good with the ball at their feet, but Bonucci is calm and collected on the ball, and has the passing ability of some of the best midfielders. This was seen in the recent Euro 2016 where his immaculate ball to Emanuele Giaccherini helped beat a talented Belgium side.

This list is about defending however, and that’s where Bonucci is a specialist. He seems to love keeping a clean sheet above all else, and it’s that pride in defending that all Italians seem to have.

On key area that is often undervalued is his positioning on the field. Making sure you’re in the right place won’t exactly made the highlights, but it is one of the most important factors when it comes to a defender stopping the opposition from scoring.

Bonucci always makes sure he’s in the perfect place, and it allows him to always make important tackles, blocks and interceptions. A defender in a perfect position shouldn’t have to make last ditch tackles, and it’s something he rarely has to do.

He can also anticipate danger and can read what an attacker is planning to do, this allows him to be one step ahead and not be beaten by pace or movement. If he is struggling, then he’s never afraid to put his body on the line for his team.

One thing he is vulnerable to is being ran at by an attacker with a lot of pace, and Bonucci isn’t the quickest defender around. This means the can be beaten by speed or has to concede a foul if he’s in a safe area of the field.

If you love the art of defending however, you love Bonucci. Clean sheets are his everything and seems like the type who would rather stop someone from scoring than to score himself.

Pros

  • Anticipation
  • Concentration
  • Positioning

Cons

  • Agility
  • Pace

3. Thiago Silva

Thiago Silva

Brazilians used to be known for their attacking flair, with the likes of Ronaldo, Rivaldo and Ronaldinho making them one of the most enjoyable teams to watch of all time. These days though, it’s a country more noted for its defenders with Silva, Marcelo and Dani Alves all making Fifa’s team of the year in its most recent edition.

Thiago Silva is the best of the Brazilians and is exactly what you would wish for in a defender. He has been a brilliant player for Brazil and recently in Europe for AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain. Indeed he forms the most expensive defensive partnership in history with David Luiz, as the two combined cost the club around 90 million.

What sets Silva apart from most is that he is an expert in the fundamental areas of defending, marking, tackling and positioning. Marking is an underrated skill by many as it’s something that isn’t really noted unless it’s done badly.

Silva is an expert in the art of marking are rarely let’s his man run off him in the area, and you hardly ever see him get beaten from crosses or corners. The same can be said for his work in open play where his positioning is superb in order to stop any dangerous attacks.

Aggressive tacking is something that you’d always associate Silva with too, and he never seems to be bothered about hurting with opponent as long as he gets the ball, which he usually does. The timing of his tackles is almost always perfect, or if he has to take a yellow card for the team with doing a tactical foul, he will.

He is not the best on the ball, but I’m sure he’d say he makes up for that by dealing with anything that comes into his box after he clears it. He’s not the tallest, and can sometimes be beaten in the air.

His biggest fault however probably comes from sometimes messing up in big moments, whether it be giving away a penalty or getting sent off, sometime he can let his team down.

Overall though he is an unbelievable defender, who seems to love the dirty side of the game and getting stuck into challenges. His absolute desire to protect his goal marks him out as one of the best in the world.

Pros

  • Marking
  • Tackling
  • Positioning

Cons

  • On the ball
  • Error prone

2. Mat Hummels

Mats best soccer defender in the world

Bayern Munich’s defence just got a whole lot better with the acquisition of Hummels, and the club will be looking to once again win the Champions League with the specialist Carlo Ancelotti in charge of the team.

Unfortunately for Borussia Dortmund fans they’ve had to see another player leave the club to their bitter rivals.

Hummels has a great amount of composure on the ball which is needed in order to keep possession as it means that he doesn’t panic and kick the ball up field. He is a good passer.

What he does have though is brilliant positioning and anticipation so he can always be one step ahead of the attacker. He is clearly very intelligent and uses his football train to outsmart his opponents and read their next move.

What Hummels wasn’t blessed with was a great deal of pace, with a club that have such a high line as Bayern Munich so, this may cause some problems. When faced one on one with an attacker, he can struggle as he isn’t the most agile either.

Hummels is clearly a brilliant defender however and will be a key asset for Bayern Munich. He is another that seems to be getting better with his age as his reading of the game improve and his mistakes get less and less.

Pros

  • Composure
  • Anticipation
  • Passing
  • Positioning

Cons

  • Pace
  • Agility

1. Giorgio Chiellini

Chiellini best soccer defender

If you’re a purist of the game of soccer and you love seeing a tactical battle and love the art of defending, then you love Giorgio Chiellini. It is a delight to watch what he does and is a classical Italian defender.

Still in his early 30’s, Chiellini is in his peak as a defender and it shows, becoming the best in the world and helping to lead Juventus back to become one of the most feared teams in Europe.

What separates him from the rest are those key defending abilities that he simply does better than anyone else in the world, and enabled him to become the best defender in the world.

His tackling is a thing of beauty as they are always perfectly timed and he always seems to come away with the ball. If he needs to hurt someone in order to come away with that ball, then so be it.

He is also extremely brave and doesn’t give a moment’s thought to throwing his body around if needs be, he must surely come off the field with many bumps and bruises, but he probably doesn’t care. As he shown in the World Cup of 2014, he can even take a bite from Luis Suarez and get on with the game!

With a man of his size, the disadvantage would always be with agility and he certainly isn’t the most nimble of defenders. In order to compensate for this though his positioning and awareness comes into play to make sure that a quicker player doesn’t get the better of him.

It’s his incredible tackling and marking that make him the best in the world, and he must be a nightmare for any attacker to play against as he’ll bully you and beat you all match.

Pros

  • Strength
  • Tackling
  • Bravery
  • Positioning

Cons

  • Passing
  • Composure
  • Agility

Final Thought

Many older people say that the art of defending has been lost with modern soccer, but all these players would disagree. It may be a more attacking, passing game in these times, where defenders are expected to be able to pass the ball, but the best still have to know how to defend. All the players in this list may have other qualities, but defending is their first love and they love nothing more than a clean sheet. No-one loves it more than Giorgio Chiellini, who has made himself into the world’s best soccer defender.

About the Author Moha

Hardcore fun of the beautiful game. Played soccer for different clubs in my country before hanging up my boots. Now writer for My Soccer HQ

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