32 Best Tacklers in World Football Right Now

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32 Best Tacklers in World Football Right Now
Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

Every good defender must master the fundamental technique of tackling. So surely the world's best defenders must be the world's best tacklers as well, right?

Not necessarily.

Having analyzed the statistics of more than 500 footballers playing in the top six to eight teams in Europe's top five leagues, I've narrowed the list down to the 32 best tacklers in world football today.

In order to do this, I've limited the list to only footballers with three or more tackles per game and only footballers who've played at least 15 league games this season.

I'll say it right now: This list will surprise you. Even the most ardent of world football followers won't recognize many names on this list, and many of the names you'd expect to be on this list won't be there.

That's the beauty of it. Often, we base our "best of" lists largely on our preconceived notions of who the best at a certain activity is. Rather than get our analysis to fit our research, we get our research to fit our analysis.

So consider this going back to basics. We're letting the stats do the sorting, and we'll do the analyzing. Join us as we statistically break down and analyze the best 32 tacklers of the 2011-12 season.

All stats provided by WhoScored.com.

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