In the modern game, picking out the best defenders all across the world is a nearly impossible task. Playing styles of various teams are wholly different from each other and the roles that defenders play in one team could be quite a departure from the role they play in another.
We could always choose our criteria to cherry-pick them though. Gone are the days when defenders used to come for way cheaper than strikers. The transfers of Harry Maguire, Virgil Van Dijk and Matthijs De Ligt have proven this.
Defenders have always played a big role but it has started reflecting in their valuations only recently. On that note, let's take a look at five of the most valuable defenders in the world.
(Info courtesy: Transfermarkt.com)
#5 Matthijs De Ligt - €70 million
Matthijs De Ligt is yet to live up to the hype at Juventus after joining from Ajax in the summer of 2019 for a sum of €75 million. But anyone who has followed him during his time in Ajax would know that De Ligt has immense potential and could go on to be the very best in the business.
Matthijs De Ligt is still only 21-years-old and has his entire career ahead of him. He won the Serie A title in his first season with the Bianconeri. De Ligt's game benefits from his having been an attacking midfielder in his academy days.
As a result, he is a technically sound centre-back who can also get as physical as you'd want a centre-back to be. De Ligt is excellent with his tackles and is a major threat from set-pieces thanks to his height and aerial ability.
#4 Andrew Robertson - €75 million
Liverpool left-back Andrew Robertson is now valued at a whopping €75 million. To give you some context, Liverpool signed Robertson from Hull City in the summer of 2018 for an initial fee of £8 million.
Though he showed plenty of promise, it is at Anfield under the tutelage of Jurgen Klopp that Robertson burgeoned into the finest left-back in the world. All heart, lungs and legs, the Scotsman is a menacing presence down the left-flank and is just as adept in attack as he is relentless in defence.
Robertson is a rare gem of a player who never gives up and his crossing ability is the stuff of legends. Liverpool have received a lot of praise for signing relatively lesser-known players at cheaper prices and why wouldn't they? Robertson's value has shot up almost 10 times in the span of just two years.