The best defender from each continent
There is always going to be a debate regarding the best players in each position, with football changing at an exponential rate. In the world we now live in, opinions can change almost daily, with players going from obscurity to highly-rated in the span of just a couple of weeks.
With that being said, keeping in mind the criteria such as performance levels and importance to the side, here's a look at the best defender from each continent in world football.
Asia - Hiroki Sakai (Japan and Marseille)
As always, we start with Asia, and this was quite possibly the trickiest selection of them all. Despite Iran being almost certainly the best Asian national team defensively, the best individuals hail from the likes of South Korea and Japan. There are some good defenders playing for these countries but in the end, it is Hiroki Sakai, who just edges everybody else.
Hiroki Sakai is a Japanese footballer who currently plays for Marseille and the Japan national team. A versatile and hard-working full-back with a great engine, Hiroki has been with Marseille since 2016. He has won 47 caps for the Japanese national team and is the backbone of their team. He is certainly at the top when it comes to selecting the best defender from the Asian continent.
Africa - Kalidou Koulibaly (Senegal and Napoli)
Kalidou Koulibaly is a Senegalese footballer who plays as a defender for Napoli and the Senegal national football team, usually as a centre-back.
Born in France, but capped 28 times by Senegal since 2015, Koulibaly is a towering centre-back who does the simple things brilliantly. Hellishly strong, brilliant in the air and positionally intelligent, Koulibaly has been with Napoli since 2014, where he has twice made the Serie A Team of the Year.
He is without any doubt the best defender from the African Continent.