Defending has always been one of the most important arts in football, and teams always look to recruit the best players for the department. La Liga has produced some of the great defensive stalwarts of the past few years, including Carles Puyol, Fernando Hierro and Diego Godin, among others.
La Liga has been highly competitive in 2021/22
The teams in Spain's top-flight have delivered top quality performances in the league this season, making it very competitive. Defendershave thrived and shown up at various times this season. Without further ado, here is the list of the five highest rated defenders in La Liga this season.
#5 Nacho Vidal (6.96)
Osasuna defender Nacho Vidal has been a mainstay for the side in La Liga this season. The 27-year-old right-back joined the club from Valencia in 2018 when they were in the Segunda division and helped them return to the top-flight.
Vidal has made 21 appearances in the league this season for Osasuna and helped his side keep a clean sheet in eight of those appearances. The Spaniard has managed an assist for Osasuna this season and created two big chances for them. Vidal has been solid and efficient in defense, and is averaging 2.4 tackles and 1.8 interceptions per game.
Vidal has brought himself into the limelight in Spain with his solid displays for Osasuna. He has proven himself to be a dependable player for them as they look to maintain their place among Spain's elite.
#4 Marcos Acuña (6.98)
Versatile Argentinean player Marcos Acuña is capable of playing in defense or midfield from out wide, but is preferred in defense by Sevilla manager Julen Lopetegui. Acuña has enjoyed his time at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan since joining from Sporting Lisbon.
Acuña has featured 19 times for Sevilla in La Liga this season, with 15 coming as starts. An attack-minded defender, Acuña has already scored one goal and made three assists for Sevilla this season. The defender has created four big chances for Sevilla this season and helped them keep six clean sheets in the league.
Acuña has emerged as Sevilla's first-choice left-back option despite not being suited to the position initially. The defender has adapted his game and impressed in Spain.
#3 Eder Militao (7.01)
Of all the teams in La Liga, Real Madrid probably have the best scouting system. Los Blancos managed to prise young Brazilian defender Eder Militao from FC Porto with a clear vision in mind. The young defender was to pick up the baton whenever the old guard chose to leave. Last summer, the club lost Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane, but were in no hurry to buy any defenders because of their trust in Militao.
Militao has made 21 appearances in La Liga this season and has helped his side keep seven clean sheets. The 24-year-old is averaging 1.7 interceptions and 1.7 tackles per 90 minutes and has contributed a goal and an assist. The Brazilian has always been very involved in the way Real Madrid play out from the back, and he averages around 73.7 touches of the ball per 90 minutes.
Militao has managed to ensure Ramos and Varane are not missed at Real Madrid with the quality of his performances. The defender has managed to elevate himself to a level in Spain where he is one of the best defenders in the league.
#2 Sergiño Dest (7.02)
Due to the poor season Barcelona are having, it is quite surprising to see one of their players listed among the best defenders this season. Sergiño Dest has proven himself to be a dependable player for the team despite their struggles this season.
Dest turned Bayern Munich down to join FC Barcelona and has performed well in Catalunya. Injuries have limited Dest to only 13 league appearances this season. Dest has recorded three assists and five key passes this season for Barcelona. The 21-year-old American loves to play on the front foot, and his average of 1.7 tackles per 90 is an indicator of his fearlessness in defending.
Dest has shown that he can play as a full-back on either side, and this versatility gives him an edge over other similar full-backs. Dest is definitely one to watch out for in the coming seasons, due to the amount of quality he has.
#1 David Garcia (7.09)
Osasuna captain David Garcia is the most highly-rated defender in all of La Liga for his exploits with Osasuna this season. The 27-year-old Spaniard rose through the ranks at the club, only to go out on a single loan deal.
Garcia has made 20 league appearances this season in an Osasuna shirt and has helped his side keep eight clean sheets. The Spaniard reads the game calmly and well while protecting his goalkeeper from shots. Garcia has managed to score four goals for Osasuna this season, meaning that he also has goals in him.
Garcia is a quality central defender who has a big role to play if Osasuna are to avoid the drop and remain in the Spanish top-flight. The club captain will look to do his best to keep his side afloat and competing with the best teams in Spain.