# 20 : Rio Ferdinand - The United veteran is still regarded as a defending stalwart around the world, but his performances have been hampered by injuries. The scores of injuries have led to a total lack in form for the former England captain.
# 19 : Alessandro Nesta - The ageing Italian giant is no doubt a top-class defender and had a good year for the Rossonerri, but the old charm is missing. Given he is 35 years old, the loss of aura is understandable.
# 18 : David Luiz - The young and promising Chelsea player has been creating ripples in the football world with his on-field displays. He has the potential to be a top-class defender but has plenty to learn before he makes to the World XI list.
# 17 : Lucio - The 33-year-old Brazilian defending legend has failed to repeat the performances of his first years at Inter Milan. He has been solid but not the one who scared off opposing strikers during Inter's Mourinho era.
# 16 : Pepe - The Real Madrid defender has been very consistent for the Bernabeau giants but still loses out to the best in the business.
# 15 : Carles Puyol - Undoubtedly one of the greatest defenders to have graced the football field, the Barcelona veteran has seen his playing time reduced considerably due to a spate of injuries over the past two seasons. His lack of playing time has dampened his chances to make the World XI.
# 14 : Patrice Evra - Manchester United's legendary left-back has been playing well. The Frenchman has failed to remonstrate his previous performances, though. Yet he has played a big part in helping United maintain their defensive solidarity.
# 13 : John Terry - The Chelsea and England captain has been a symbol of top quality defending over the years. He is considered a defending legend not only by the Chelsea and English faithful but football fans all over the world. But the defending stalwart has failed to match his previous performances. This year might see the Chelsea legend fail to make the World XI, a place he has made his the past five years.
# 12 : Eric Abidal - The 32-year-old French defender has been a mainstay in Pep Guardiola's all-winning squad. Though the world-class defender had to spend some time recovering from a liver tumor, he recovered and fought his way back to the starting lineup.
# 11 : Maicon - Inter Milan's Brazilian right-back has failed to deliver a performance similar to the one that landed him a spot in the FIFPro World XI. He has been stable for the Italian giants but not as impressive as he had been last year.
# 10 : Ricardo Carvalho - The Portuguese's arrival is seen as the sole reason for Real Madrid's defensive solidarity. His excellent performances helped the Spanish giants maintain the best defensive record in the Champions League 2011. He has been forced out of action due to an injury which also weakened his competition for a spot in the World XI.
# 9 : Vincent Kompany - Manchester City's captain is one of those rare breeds of players who remained underated all through their playing career. Perhaps he is one of the most consistent defenders in world football at present. His exploits earned him a place in the Premier League Team of the Year for the 2010-11 season. Another season of impressive form, and no one can deny him a place in the World XI.
# 8 : Thiago Silva - Brazilian centre-back Thiago Silva has been one of the top defenders of the Serie A in the past few seasons. His exploits for AC Milan have earned him respect from all around the world as well as garnered interest from other top teams.
# 7 : Nemanja Vidic - The sturdy Manchester United defender has had a great year. He has been United's main man in defense. Definitely a player who should get a place in the World XI.
# 6 : Phillip Lahm - Presently considered one of the best full-backs in the world, the Bayern Munich and Germany national team captain has been very impressive for both club and country.
# 5 : Marcelo - Presently considered one of the best full-backs in the world, Real Madrid's Brazilian defender Marcelo has been on a roller-coaster ride of fine form. He loses out in the spot only for the sole reason he is competing against the likes of Ashley Cole for a left-back position.
# 4 : Sergio Ramos - The Real Madrid right-back has been top class for both his club as well as his country and certainly deserves a spot in the World XI. He has become the defensive mainstay for his national team as well as the Galacticos.
# 3 : Ashley Cole - Chelsea's scandal friendly left-back has been one of the top performers in the Premier League. His ability to stop opposition attacking moves as well as his use of pace and skill to create counter attacking charges makes him deserving of a World XI spot.
# 2 : Gerard Pique - The 24-year-old Spaniard has been in sensational form since his arrival from Manchester United three years ago. His world-class performances have helped him make the centre-back position his own both in the club as well for the national team. A deserving player for a place in the World XI.
# 1 : Dani Alves - Twenty assists from a right-back in a single season just defines the quality that is Dani Alves. Barcelona's defensive mainstay has been in top form over the past few seasons. The 28-year-old Brazilian defender has been instrumental in Barcelona's top form over the past few years. He undoubtedly makes it to the list of the World XI.