Not always the most glamorous position, but a fantastic building block to form your team around, a pair of good central defenders is always an important component in any winning side.
With the game being faster than ever, and teams playing out from the back far more than they used to, centre backs need a wide array of skills more than ever before.
We take a look at some of the best defenders to be gracing the modern game.
5. Nemanja Vidic- Manchester United
Vidic's Manchester United career has been plagued with injury, but when he walks out onto the grass of Old Trafford, few attackers get an easy game.
Known for his key role in one of the most formidable defensive partnerships, Vidic is one of the slower centre backs. This is not a problem though, as his reading of the game is second to none, and does wonders to make up for a lack of pace. Vital in United’s three year domination of the Premier League, Vidic will be remembered for his crunching tackles, aerial domination and commanding leadership.
4. Thiago Silva- PSG
At the age of 28, Thiago Silva only burst onto the seen in the last few years, when he signed for Milan in 2009.
If it wasn’t for his common lapses of focus, Silva could be at the top of this list. Fast, strong and fantastic on the ball, Silva should be the perfect centre-back.
His only problem is his short attention span, which can sometimes mean he doesn’t pick up his man. More often than not, if this happens against the best, you’ll be punished. When on his game, Silva is a rock; he dominates the defence, and is a fantastic leader.
I believe Silva has not reached his full potential, but if he does, he will be more than just a force to be reckoned with.
3. Gerard Pique- Barcelona
Tall, physical and composed on the ball, Gerard Pique is the complete defender. Also accomplished in the holding midfield role, Pique is an important component in the Barcelona squad.
Signing for Barca from Manchester United, Pique was never a favourite at Old Trafford and only played 12 times in the famous red. After an impressive loan spell at Real Zaragoza, Barca took a gamble on him, and that gamble has definitely paid off.
With passing at the same standard of many centre midfielders, Pique suits Barca's style of play perfectly. With honours such as the World Cup, three times in the Fifa team of the year and two time winner of the European Championships, Pique has earned his reputation as one of the best.
2. Sergio Ramos- Real Madrid
Starting off as a right-back, Sergio Ramos only moved into the central position a couple of years ago. The transition has been perfect however, with Ramos showing his composure and experience.
Ramos has had the benefit of an immaculate career with very few serious injuries, shown by the consistent amount of appearances he has made, playing at least 40 times every season for the last eight years. His experience as a right back clearly shows through, as he is one of the most composed centre-backs you’ll ever see play the game. Att the age of 27, he still has a long time left in his career.
1. Vincent Kompany- Manchester City
The captain of a star studded Belgium team, Vincent Kompany’s rise to stardom has been on the cards for years.
Starting off at Anderlecht, Kompany’s talent was clear to see, as at 18 he was already a club favourite. Three seasons later he earned himself an £8.7million move to Hamburg SV, and only two seasons later he was on the move again, this time to current club Manchester City for a reported £6million.
What a bargain it’s proved to be, with Kompany playing a huge part in City’s first Premier League win, his contributions rewarded him with the Premier League 2011-12 Player of the Season. Famed for his last ditch blocks, powerful headers and faultless commitment, Kompany deserves this spot as the best of centre defenders.
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