The Top 10 Defenders in World Football
If it's true that defense wins championships, these 50 players are certainly the most important players in the world right now.
Defenders are often overlooked from the spotlight because they usually don't score goals, and they are the bad guys in soccer because they're all there to prevent anybody from actually scoring.
This list does have a few scorers amongst it, but if it were for most, they'd prefer a nil nil match to a high scoring festival any day.
Who are the top 50 defenders in the world right now? We'll start by simply listing No. 50 through No. 11 before going into more detail for each player in the top 10.
10. Ashley Cole: LB
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Why No. 10?
If he is playing his best football, Ashley Cole is the best left back in the world.
He's not as good on offense as he is actually defending, but there aren't many that can play at the Chelsea left back level.
One of those men may actually be Leighton Baines (No. 24 on this list).
Still has at least five more years in Chelsea unless Abramovich finds a suitable replacement or sells him.
€25 million is a good asking price for him at 30 years old.
9. Giorgio Chiellini: CB
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Why No. 9?
Giorgio Chiellini is a big man and has the Italian philosophy to either let the ball or the man go through, but definitely not both. He's also not afraid to break any and all legs and feet when he needs to stop someone.
Giorgio is also terrific at defending aerial balls and also in set-pieces when going forward.
He's Juve's pillar for the next decade, maybe more if he doesn't injure himself.
€35 million would be a starting price for one of Europe's top centre-backs.
8. Patrice Evra: LB
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Why No. 8?
Evra's the best left back in the world (at least when Phillip Lahm doesn't play on that side).
Very solid both offensively and defensively, Evra doesn't have any weak points as a full back. Perhaps you could argue that he's not great at either as his only downside.
At 30 years old, Manchester United might want to find a replacement. We won't be seeing Patrice going up on this list any time soon.
€30 million could make United part ways with the Frenchman to look for a suitable replacement on the left.
7. Pepe: CB, DMF
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Why No. 7?
Ah yes, an assassin and a mad man playing football. Pepe's quite good at it as well.
His aggressive style is feared by many, and his speed to the ball is just top class.
He isn't higher on this list because of two reasons: he's unpredictable, and he's injured frequently.
He'll stay in Madrid until Mourinho goes or until he kills or badly injures someone. Whatever comes first.
€45 million or more could be required to take Florentino and Mourinho to the negotiating table.
6. John Terry: CB
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Why No. 6?
The Chelsea skipper is one of the best central defenders in the world. John Terry's all around play is top notch, and he's a dangerous force when going forward to head in free kicks and corner kicks.
He has lost a step or two, but it's difficult to find a more secure man on the back-line.
He's 30, so he has five more years of top football. It'll be hard to see him climb further on this list.
€40 million would be a good asking price for him.
5. Phillip Lahm: RB, LB
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Why No. 5?
Philip Lahm is perhaps the world's best all-around full-back. Both on the left and on the right, Lahm can both attack and defend equally well.
His only downside might be his aerial game, because at 1.70, you just can't be dominant in the air.
He's 27 and still has his best years ahead of him. It'll be hard for him to leave Bayern now.
€40 million euros is a fair price to pay for who perhaps is Europe's best full back.
4. Ricardo Carvalho: CB
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Why No. 4?
Ricardo's getting slower. And he's definitely getting older. But what he lacks in youth and pace, he makes up for in magnificent positioning and the tricks you can only learn form experience.
As José Mourinho put it "He's the best defender in the world."
Or at least the fourth best.
He's 33, but given his performance doesn't rely on physique, we could se him for three more years with Mourinho.
€15 million for a 33-year-old isn't bad business at all. If he were younger, he'd be un-buyable and un-sellable.
3. Dani Alves: RB, RMF, RWNG
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Why No. 3?
Dani Alves is a difference maker on Barcelona's right side. He's the world's best attacking full back, but sometimes, he seems like he plays three roles: winger, right midfielder and right back.
There's no one better at it than Dani right now.
Alves just re-signed with Barça, so we'll see his best days in Cam Nou for a while.
Nothing shy of €50 or 60 million would even be considered for Brazil's most attacking full-back since Roberto Carlos.
2. Gerard Piqué: CB
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Why No. 2?
Gerard Piqué is exceptionally solid at pure defending, but is the world's best at ball distribution from the back line.
He could be number one shortly and was a close call on this list.
Gerard has 10 years in Barcelona ahead of him, and probably will be a number one defender in the world for that same amount of time.
€60 or 70 million would make Rosell think about it. But Gerard will retire a Barça player. Have no doubt about it.
1. Nemanja Vidic: CB
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Why No. 1?
Nemanja Vidic is the world's best defender. He's magnificent in all aspects of centre-back play, and he edges out Pique in this list by a very slim margin.
To add even more value, he also is a threat on dead ball occasions and scores frequently to boot.
Vidic has at least five more years of top flight football at Manchester (and on the top defenders list).
€60 to 70 million is a fair asking price for the world's best defender.