Sir Alex Ferguson famously said, 'Attack wins you games, defense wins you titles.' What could be more important to a player than winning the World Cup for his nation? While attacking football always earns praise from fans and critics of the game, a solid defense often makes the difference between a title and returning home empty-handed.
With positioning, height and strength being key attributes to an individual's play, the fact that every formation fields a minimum of two center backs - sometimes even three - shows how important they are to the team.
A great understanding of the game, great coordination with fellow team-mates and the ability to read the game in order to intercept and initiate counter-attacks are all traits that separate a great defender from a good one.
With the modern day defender required to do much more than just clearing the ball, demand for great defenders has gone up by several tines. With the World-Cup a stage for every player to present himself, a host of scouts shall also be looking at them with keen attention.
The list includes 5 players who have stood out with their performances in the domestic and European Cup competitions and deserve a place in the starting XI of their national teams, and are expected to make a mark in the World Cup.