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5 April 2020 - 13:57
Best Soccer Defenders of 2019

Football plays a main role in many of us lives. There is no doubt that watching the harmonious performance of our favorite football team can bring us an indescribable sense of pleasure.

Indeed, for most of us, goals are more exciting. However, as proven, the great feeling of winning matches requires more than scoring goals. We all have felt the cardinal role of defense in football whole-heartedly. We may have proudly shouted with joy when a defender clears the ball up the field or, we may have mumbled curse words after witnessing an unforgivable mistake in the backline.

To highlight the importance of defenders’ performance, here is a review of the best football defenders of 2019-20 season based on what we have seen so far. You can also read more about best football left backs here.

Best soccer defenders of 2019-20 Season

5. Leonardo Bonucci (Center-Back; Juventus)

Leonardo Bonucci was signed by Juventus on 1 July 2010 and became Giorgio Chiellini’s partner in defense. With Andrea Barzagli, the trio formed one of the best defensive lines in the world and earned the nickname of BBC. Bonucci won 3 consecutive Coppa Italia titles and has earned the Serie A championship for 6 consecutive seasons. After a disappointing season with A. C. Milan, the Italian defender returned to Juventus and continued to shine for “La Vecchia Signora”. The vice-captain of Juventus and Italy national football team is admired for his strength, positioning, and passing range. As one of the best defenders in 2019-20 season, Bonucci is helping Juventus to maintain in their place at the top of the table, hoping to earn the ninth consecutive title in Serie A for “The Black and Whites”.

4. Kalidou Koulibaly (Center-Back; Napoli)

2019 has been unkind to the 28-year-old Muslim as he has been racially abused, injured, suspended, and has made unforgivable individual errors. Nonetheless, even in the midst of Napoli’s colorless form, Kalidou Koulibaly deserves to be placed amongst the best football defenders of 2019-20 season. Having finished the last two seasons as runners-up to Juventus, Napoli is now enduring a rather disappointing season. The position of the club may cause worries for the fans, as its’ loyal defender, Kalidou Koulibaly, who has drawn a lot of attention to himself for some time, is now heavily linked with a January move. The Senegalese center-back joined “Gli Azzuri” in 2014 and gradually, as a result of his stable performances, became a regular starter for the club. Central to Napoli’s success, Koulibaly earned the Serie A Award as the best defender in 2018-19 season.

Koulibaly’s aggressive style of play proves to be a costly problem for him at times. Nevertheless, his physical prowess enables him to make Napoli’s own half a living hell for Serie A’s attackers. “K2” is a beast in duels, and his positioning, tackling, and passing abilities have led him to be praised by the fans as one of the most qualified center-backs in football.

3. Sergio Ramos (Center-Back; Real Madrid)

Sergio Ramos Garcia has been known as one of the best defenders in the world for more than a decade now. The Real Madrid Legendary center-back is gifted with everything a defender needs: Strong physics, speed, aggression, short and long range passing abilities, competency in one to one encounters, heading accuracy, and an eye to scoring goals. In his prestigious career, the 2010 World Cup winner has won La Liga, Supercopa de Espana, UEFA Champions League, and FIFA Club World Cup 4 times. Sergio Ramos holds the record of the defender being included in UEFA Team of the Year for 8 times. Additionally, he has claimed the La Liga Award for the best defender 5 times.

In 2005, Real Madrid paid €27 million and secured the signing of the most expensive Spanish defender to sign Ramos. Capable of playing in various positions, he became a critical figure in Real Madrid’s defensive line with no delay. After 15 seasons, the 33-year-old defender has played more than 630 games for Real Madrid and continues to shine in the current campaign. Thanks to the experience of captain Ramos, Real Madrid has the best defensive line in Spanish football in 2019-20 season so far.

2. Trent Alexander-Arnold (Right-Back; Liverpool)

Trent Alexander-Arnold is just 21 years old, but he is already being admired as one of the best right-backs in 2019-20 season, if not the best. The English Defender is an academy product and has been a Red since 2004. He was the club’s Under-16 and Under-18 captain and many, including Steven Gerard, the Liverpool legend, predicted a bright future for him. He started his senior career in 2016, and even though he had some shaky performances, Nathaniel Clyne’s back injury provided an opportunity for him to prove himself. His creativity, ruthlessness, and impressive passing abilities claimed him a spot as a regular starter for the club in 2017. Consequently, the 2018 Golden Boy runner-up, has the Guinness World Record for the most Premier League assists by a defender in a single season. With just 116 appearances for Liverpool, he has won 2018 UEFA Champions League, 2019 UEFA Super Cup, and 2019 Fifa Club World Cup. Of course Alexander-Arnold is not the only best right back in 2019. To know more, read our article on best football right backs here.

1. Virgil Van Dijk (Center-Back; Liverpool)

Unsurprisingly, when discussing the best center-backs in the world in 2019, Virgil Van Dijk takes the top spot. The right-footed center-back was admired by Lionel Messi in a 2019 interview with Marca, where the best football player of all time said: “He is a defender who knows how to judge his timing and wait for the right moment to challenge or jockey. He is very fast and big, but he has a lot of agility for height. He is fast because of his great stride, and he is impressive both in defense and attack because he scores lots of goals.”

We could not agree more with Messy as being in the peak of his career, the 28-year-old center-back is an absolute football legend already.

Joining Liverpool as the world’s most expensive defender, Virgil Van Dijk did not need much time to be revered by Kopites. He made his debut for Liverpool in the Merseyside derby and scored the winning goal with a late header to earn a sweet victory against Everton. However, a great number of football fans still treated him with skepticism. After all, the Dutch center-back had cost Liverpool a reported fee of £75 million. “The Reds” expected a lot, and Van Dijk, not yielding to the pressure, certainly delivered. He went on to receive a lot of nominations and awards for his stable performance throughout 2018-19 season. Strong and agile, the leader of Liverpool’s defense won UEFA Player of the Year award in August 2019, and further finished runner-up behind the Argentine genius, Lionel Messi, in the 64th annual ceremony of the Ballon d’Or in December 2019. He was the first center-back who was able to secure a place in the first three spots in Ballon d’Or in the last 13 years, after Fabio Cannavaro won the award in 2006. Van Dijk’s success was followed in the 2019 Fifa Club World Cup with Liverpool winning the prestigious trophy for the first time ever in the club’s rich history. Chasing the longest unbeaten run with Liverpool, Van Dijk has experienced the sweet taste of victory in 21 matches out of the first 22 matches he has played in the Premier League, while conceding only 14 goals so far.

Whose name do you think is missing in the list? Definitely many more. In case you are interested in knowing about the other Best Football Defenders of 2019, read best football defenders of 2019 here.

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