With the brightest talents of the game competing in an epic contest to be the very best, football has become a game of ferocious rivalries and elite competitions.
But it is the predatory strikers alone that are awarded the prestigious honours in world football.
The extravagant signings of forwards have always been the hottest prospect of the transfer market. And the “Messi vs Ronaldo” dilemma remains the most heated debate in all of football.
But then, what good is the defence? What honour have they attained for their invaluable contributions? Surely they deserve more recognition?
They may not have been the sole protagonist of the team, but they are certainly the ones pulling the strings that set up the attacking manoeuvres.
The defence has always had a crucial impact on any team as they are the pillars on which the offence rests on.
Had it not been for the flaws in Barcelona’s defence, then they would have won the Champions League with one of the most lethal strike forces in all of Europe.
We all are tired speculating the impact that the combinations of Falcao, Messi and Ronaldo could potentially have together (if they ever get together).
So, for a change of taste I'm going to bring forth the prospect of defence into our debates.
As of their latest performances on the grand stage, the world’s best defenders, in my opinion, are aligned as follows:
Goalkeeper- Iker Casillas
It is no wonder that this celebrated Madrid icon can make miracles happen between the very posts that he guards. Known for his split-second reflexes, breathtaking dives and precise position, the Spaniard has convincingly proved himself to be the greatest of all keepers.
The illustrious Madrid starlet has not only led his club to numerous glories and triumphs at club football level, but has also captained his national team to their first ever World Cup triumph. Regardless of his age, it is the incredible achievements that speak on the behalf of the Madrid captain.
Left Back – Marcelo
The Brazilian prodigy has always stood out in every pitch he has ever graced, be it for his exceptional talents, his mesmerizing skills, or simply his unique hairstyle. In the light of their Confederations Cup glory, the Brazilian starlet has become the unchallenged contestant in his position.
The Madrid superstar has undoubtedly played an integral role in Brazil’s Confederations Cup triumph, as the five-time world champions cruised to victory. With lightning speed, high composure and the ability to back up attacks, dominating the flanks has always been a speciality of his.
Right Centre Back- Sergio Ramos
Fast, elusive and simply magical. Surely there are no better words to describe the might and the magic of the Spanish phenomenon.
Operating at the heart of the defense, the Spaniard is well equipped with the skills to set up incisive through balls and quality crosses. He is in fact the cement that holds the back-line together.
Being influential in executing the counter-attack strategy, he also lethal from corners. With his proficiency at headers and his unique skills of defence mastered to a level of flawless perfection, it is unlikely that he will ever miss the spot on anyone’s list
Left Centre Back- David Luiz
Having emerged into the limelight of world attention with his extraordinary performances at the Confederations Cup, the Brazilian talisman is yet to hit his peak.
As he enters the prime of his wonderful career, the Chelsea star will unmistakably prove himself to be the very best of his generation, in the years to come.
Though it may come as a shock to many, Luiz has been superior in comparison to Pique, Verane and his Brazilian compatriot Thiago Silva. With his inquisitive vision of the pitch he is always in the right place at the right time. And sometimes that’s all it needs for victory.
Right Back- Dani Alves
It seems that Brazil has produced yet another legend to carry on the legacy of the nation’s former greats. The Barcelona talisman Dani Alves is probably the most effective in the position and one of the greatest defenders of his generation. Whether it is for Barcelona or Brazil, he gives it all.
The full-back can join up in attacks and retreat to defence when possession is lost. With an exceptional control of the ball and proficiency in tackling, the Brazilian excels in dribbling and stands as an invincible obstacle to every striking force.
Very rarely does a defence promise to be impenetrable to any force, and formidable in every way. This star-studded defensive barrier is, as a matter of fact, fit to duel the likes to Messi, Ronaldo and Falcao combined.
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