There is no truer anecdote in the game of football than Sir Alex Ferguson's "attack wins you games, defence wins you titles." It is simple fact that the fewer goals you concede, the fewer you have to score to win a game.
This strategy led the likes of Chelsea and Juventus to win their respective leagues whereas the struggle to find the right balance in defence led the likes of Manchester City and FC Barcelona to falter.
The job of a defender is thankless but gigantic nevertheless. He won't grab the headlines like a Messi or a Ronaldo but he is the one who drags the team out of danger repeatedly.
The recently concluded 2016/17 season saw many teams employing new strategies while defending, and subsequently, new robust defenders coming to the fore. On that note, let us take a look at the top 10 defenders in Europe for the 2016/17 season:
#10 David Alaba - FC Bayern Munich
There aren't many fullbacks in the world who are as fluent on the ball as David Alaba. If not for Marcelo, Alaba would have inarguably been considered the best left back in the world. Bayern Munich have been the perfect club for him and have even tried using the Austrian as the left-sided centre-back or even as a number 10 under Pep Guardiola.
But under Ancelotti, he returned to his favourite position and showed just why he is so highly regarded by pundits and players alike. He improved his ability in one on one situations this season and as usual, was composed in front of goal.
Alaba scored five goals and produced six assists for Munich and was also included in the Bundesliga Team of the Season. The Austrian had a pass success rate of 88% – a brilliant return from an attacking fullback.