Virgil van Dijk

Who are the best central defenders in the world right now?

In modern football today, central defenders have began to play a massive role. They are like the backbone of a football team, and their main role is to prevent the opposing team from scoring goals. However, today central defenders are tasked with starting play from deep, and scoring setpieces.

There are so many great central defenders in the world right now. Let’s find them out.


1. Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)

It doesn’t matter if the 27-year-old has never won any major trophy outside his homeland since his move to Anfield, Van Dijk has transformed the once porous backline of Liverpool to an almost impermeable wall for opponents. Thanks to his air prowess, speed, strength, accurate sense of judgment, and exceptional ability with the ball.

Van has never competed in any major international tournament but is a growing force for his country and a massive defense for Liverpool

2. Kalidou Koulibaly – Napoli

When it comes to making tackles, Kalidou is the best in the game. Kalidou is virtually unbeatable in the air; no wonder Manchester United is planning a record bid on him.

Kalidou is an influential figure with impressive passing ability and strength on the pitch. He’s one of the most valuable players in his squad, and the team will receive nothing less than a record-setting 100 million Euros before releasing him to the next bidder.

3. Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City)

Laporte is one of the greatest mysteries in modern football. This classy central defender has continuously been overlooked by France boss Didier Deschamps for a long time, but as fans, we can no longer afford to do that for long.

Laporte is everything a central defender can be – quick across the ground, powerful in the air and never afraid to put his head where it hurts.

4. Matthijs de Ligt – Ajax

The Dutch footballer enjoyed a meteoric rise this season domestically and in the Champions League. It’s hard to talk about the best central defenders in the world without mentioning the Ajax captain. De Ligt remains his team’s heartbeat, and we cannot overlook the numerous times he has risen to save the day as recently seen during the champion’s league tournament. He is currently sought after by Barcelona, Juventus and Manchester United.

5. Raphael Varane (Real Madrid)

The 2018 world cup tournament is the event we all can always look back to as a testimonial for the excellent defense capability of Raphael. With such superb performance in the major tournament and helping his country to win the second world cup in France history, it’s not so hard why many considered Raphael to be among the best central defenders in the world.

Raphael is still a very young player just crossing into the 25th year and has already made notable landmarks in his career.

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This article is brought to us by our Sports Writers Club resident columnist – Collins Michael Nwokolo. Follow him on Twitter and Pinterest.