Best Defenders in Mexico's Liga MX
The Apertura 2013 is here and the best defenders of the tournament are putting their best effort to help their teams to be unbeatable; it is not an easy job, though.
From top-notch foreigners, like Aquivaldo Mosquera and Jose Maria Basanta, to Mexico internationals such as Hiram Mier, these footballers have proven to be the real deal.
Join me and discover which are the best Liga MX defenders.
Ivan Estrada (MEX)
A natural right-back that can also play as a defending midfielder, "El Guty" started wearing the Pachuca jersey from this tournament. He is very skillful, hence he knows how to help the attackers.
Darvin Chavez (MEX)
He came through the ranks of Atlas and currently plays for Monterrey. Chavez caught the eye of the fans and media at the 2012 Summer Olympics, where he won the gold medal.
Jorge Torres Nilo (MEX)
Despite being just 25 years old, Torres Nilo has appeared 35 times with the national team. He is a strong and fast left-back that constantly feeds balls to the strikers.
Severo Meza (MEX)
He came throught the ranks of "Rayados" and slowly became an undisputed starter with the first team, guarding the right line. He has played for "El Tri" under the command of Jose Manuel de la Torre.
Dario Veron (PAR)
At age 34, this centre-back has helped UNAM claim four Liga MX titles. Veron has quite a temper on the pitch, he fights for every ball and has a superb header.
Hugo Ayala (MEX)
In 2011, Ayala was appointed Best Centre-Back of the Liga MX while playing for his current club, Tigres. He is one of the brightest Mexican defenders. His tackling, positioning and heading are his most valuable assets.
6. Felipe Baloy
From his arrival to Mexico, in 2005, Felipe Baloy has established himself as one of the most reliable defenders in the Liga MX.
"Pipe" has played for Monterrey, America and Santos, helping them all regroup their defenses.
His 6’1’’ and 202 lbs have been the perfect mix to be fast, strong and have an enviable aerial game.
Baloy also plays for Panama, where he serves as captain.
5. Luis Amaranto Perea
After spending eight seasons with Atletico de Madrid, Luis Perea left to try his luck in Mexico.
It turns out his decision was right. Perea helped Cruz Azul to become the best defense of the previous tournament in Clausura 2013.
He is, without a doubt, one of the strongest centre-backs in the local league. His experience has been one of the key factors in leading "La Maquina" back to the top spots of the general table.
Perea was also instrumental in Cruz Azul's conquest of the 2013 Copa MX.
4. Hiram Mier
Hiram Mier has proved his superb technique with Monterrey, a club where he has played since he was 18 years old.
Mier debuted in the second division, but quickly caught the attention of the first team staff and was transferred in 2010. That season he played 35 times and won the Apertura tournament.
Although he is a natural centre-back, Hiram can also take care of the right side. He has great ball control and fine touch.
He was a cornerstone of the U-23 team that won the gold medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics. He led the defense in style, holding off big teams like Japan and Brazil.
3. Javier Gandolfi
Javier Gandolfi arrived in Mexico in 2009. At that time, the centre-back wore the Jaguares jersey. After one season he was sold to Tijuana.
Gandolfi helped Xolos in their way to promotion, where the team had never been before. Once in the Liga MX, Javier was, once again, a key player for the club, as he helped them secure their first local league title.
At age 32, he is one of the toughest defenders. His positioning and tackling have put him among the most fierce and respected players of the Liga MX.
2. Aquivaldo Mosquera
Aquivaldo Mosquera played for Pachuca from 2005 to 2007. In that period, the Colombian won two league titles, a CONCACAF Champions League and the Balon de Oro (Best Centre-Back).
He left to Sevilla, where he stayed for a couple of years prior to returning to Mexico, this time with current champion Club America.
Mosquera’s aerial game is by far the best in the league. His strength and tackling set him as one of the most complete defenders. Plus, his experience makes him a great leader. No wonder he is America's captain.
Aquivaldo has been capped 30 times with Colombia national team and has scored once.
1. Jose Maria Basanta
Jose Maria Basanta has worked hard since his arrival to Mexico in 2008. Basanta left Estudiantes La Plata for Monterrey, where he currently wears the captain armband.
He has been picked Best Centre-Back twice (Apertura 2010 and Clausura 2012). Along with Hiram Mier, he has established one of the toughest defenses of the Liga MX.
Coach Alejandro Sabella called Basanta to represent the “Albiceleste” in the 2014 World Cup qualifier. The two know one another from their time at Estudiantes La Plata, where Jose Maria was a player and Sabella served as an assistant.
Basanta is great keeping the ball safe from the rival, his touch is very good and he hardly ever makes mistakes. He may not be as fast as others, but he is tough and fights hard.