5 of the best defenders to have played for Juventus or Atletico Madrid
- These 5 footballers helped turn their respective clubs into defensive powerhouses.
#4 Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid)
With 378 appearances and 27 goals, Diego Godin holds the records for both appearances and goals by an Atletico defender.
Since moving to the red-and-black half of Madrid from Villarreal in the summer of 2010, the Uruguayan centre-half became the embodiment of Atletico's gritty resolve and steely determination. His able leadership under the astute tutelage of Diego Simeone helped turn the club into one of the finest defensive units in European club football.
A classical centre-back in an evolving era of possession-based football, Godin's dependability at the heart of the Atletico defence and strength in the air foiled many an opposition attack. The Rojiblancos' defensive solidity laid the platform for success at the other end of the pitch.
Godin was an integral part of the Atletico side which reached two Champions League finals (2014 and 2016), won the league (2013-14), Copa del Rey (2010-11) and two Europa League titles (2011-12 and 2017-18) during the Uruguayan's 10-year stay at the club. It was apt that it was Godin's headed equaliser at the Camp Nou on the last day of the 2013-14 season which sealed Atletico's first league title in 18 years.
#3 Andrea Barzagli (Juventus)
Considered one of the best defenders of his generation, Andrea Barzagli formed one-third of the BBC (Barzagli-Bonucci-Chiellini) defensive trifecta for both Juventus and Italy. He joined Juventus in the summer of 2011, from Bundesliga side Wolfsburg.
As is the requirement for a good modern-day centre-back, Barzagli's passing ability, keen positional sense, tackling ability, aerial prowess and composure in one-on-one situations are integral elements of his playing style. Barzagli's versatility also allows him to be deployed as a right-back.
It is interesting to note that one of the world's best defenders started his professional career for Serie B side Prostoise as a midfielder before being moved to defence, where he played for the rest of his career. Barzagli won the Serie A title in each of the eight seasons with Juventus before calling time on his career at the end of the 2018-19 season.Published 25 Nov 2019, 20:34 IST