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5 best defenders in the world this season (2020/21)

Granada CF v Manchester United - UEFA Europa League Quarter Final: Leg One
Granada CF v Manchester United - UEFA Europa League Quarter Final: Leg One
Abhinav Anand
ANALYST
Modified 25 Apr 2021
Top 5 / Top 10

Goals win games, or so goes the saying. The majority of the focus in football is on the attackers, the players who score the goals that win their team games.

However, on the other side of the pitch, the contributions of the defense are often overlooked. There is such an overwhelming focus on the attacking part of the game that the art of defending is often forgotten.

The likes of Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos and Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk have made defending fashionable, but the two players have not been lucky with injuries this season.

Despite this, there have been some players who have excelled. We look at the:

5 best defenders in the world this season (2020/21).


#5 Marquinhos (Paris Saint-Germain)

Marquinhos is a key player for Paris Saint-Germain
Marquinhos is a key player for Paris Saint-Germain

Talk of Paris Saint-Germain instantly reminds one of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, but Marquinhos has been an equally crucial member of the side.

The 26-year old joined Paris Saint-Germain in 2013 after a sole season with Roma for a fee of £28 million. The presence of experienced centre-back Thiago Silva was important, as Marquinhos learned from his fellow Brazil international about the intricacies of defending.

Silva's departure has elevated Marquinhos into a more senior role. He is now one of the first names in the starting XI, and has been used as a centre-back and as a defensive midfielder. Good on the ball with strong technical skills and defensive attributes, Marquinhos has quietly done his job.

The former Corinthians player has made 315 appearances in all competitions for Paris Saint-Germain since his arrival. He has made 21 Ligue 1 appearances this season, with a further eight in the Champions League.


#4 Luke Shaw (Manchester United)

Luke Shaw has been in fine form this season
Luke Shaw has been in fine form this season

Luke Shaw's transformation from a league-average left-back to one of the best in Europe this season has been pleasant to see.

A highly-touted player during his days with Southampton, Shaw joined Manchester United in 2014 for a fee of £33.75 million. The England international enjoyed a good start to his Manchester United career, but a horrifying double leg fracture in 2015 halted his development.

It took Shaw nearly a year to make another appearance for the Red Devils, but he did not enjoy the best of relationships with Jose Mourinho. The arrival of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has proven to be key, though. The 25-year old has thrived under the Norwegian's management, with his creativity, crossing and passing crucial.

The left-back has made 28 Premier League appearances this season, scoring one goal and providing five assists. Shaw looks set to start for England at the Euros this summer.


Also Read: 5 players who rejuvenated their career with a positional change

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Published 25 Apr 2021
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