Goals win games; defences win championships.
So goes the saying, lending weight and credence to the thought that although strikers and attacking players are generally the players who command big transfer fees, managers need to get their lower end of the pitch sorted first if they have aspirations of success.
Some of the most recognisable and best attackers on the planet are forwards, of course, but they don't score every game—and the reason for that is that sooner or later, they come up against a defence that proves their match.
A look at the best defences in Europe at this moment in time throws up some interesting team names but the vast majority of them have one thing in common—they are up in the higher reaches of their respective domestic leagues.
These are the best 22 defences right now, so if you're expecting Barcelona to be up there on account of having the best side when everybody is fit and available, you'll be disappointed.
Defensive records and quality of opposition have been taken into account.