19 Jul 2018: Football: 5 best defenders in the world
At the recently concluded FIFA World Cup 2018, we witnessed that the art of defending is one of the crucial aspects to win titles.
No wonder, France capitalized on the same as they had the best defensive unit that never set a foot wrong.
As we gear up for the 2018-19 European club season, here are 5 best defenders across Europe.
Chelo: Marcelo- Real Madrid
The Brazilian left-back has grown on to become one of the most influential defenders across the globe.
He has been a vital cog for Real Madrid. He has helped the side win four Champions League titles.
In another defining season, Marcelo, who is equally good going forward, scored 5 goals in 44 matches across all competitions.
He had 11 assists to his name.
Mr. Clean: Raphael Varane- Real Madrid
The 25-year-old Frenchman was a rock for the national team and played an important role in helping the side win the FIFA World Cup 2018.
He made 39 clearances in the World Cup.
Physically dominating and great composure in the air, Varane is alert in making key interceptions and is also a threat in set-pieces.
He played 44 times for Real Madrid last season.
Umtiti: Samuel Umtiti- Barcelona
France and Barcelona central defender Samuel Umtiti was solid during the World Cup and enjoyed his partnership with Varane.
In the Barca set-up, he has become quite influential and has chipped in well alongside Gerard Pique.
He made a whopping 36 clearances alongside 2 tackles and blocks in the World Cup.
Umtiti was a key figure for Barca in their title winning season.
Otamendi: Nicolas Otamendi- Manchester City
The Argentine might not have performed as per his capabilities in the World Cup, but he had an excellent campaign with Manchester City last season.
Pep Guardiola has transformed the player in the last two seasons and his game in 2017-18 was top notch.
Otamendi scored 4 goals in City's EPL campaign and had 48 interceptions and 58 tackles under his belt.
Smalling: Chris Smalling- Manchester United
Perhaps, one of the most underrated footballers of this generation- Chris Smalling has earned the trust of Jose Mourinho like no other defender.
The Manchester United player had a terrific 2017-18 season helping the club with the most clean sheets (19).
He went on to score 4 goals, playing nearly every week.
He made 40 tackles, besides 63 interceptions and 159 clearances.