The WC 2018 this time proves to be more competitive than ever featuring the sport's biggest stars like Ronaldo, Messi, and Neymar along with potential superstars who will look to announce themselves on the world's biggest stage like Salah, Griezmann, and Hazard.
Without a doubt, the pressure on the defenders will be immense as they do their utmost to keep these top attackers at bay. However, there are some top defenders who these strikers wouldn't want to face on any day. The talent of these defenders is sadly ignored as all the limelight is usually grabbed by the goal-scoring attackers.
There is a reason why the saying goes: "Goalscorers win matches but defenders win tournaments." The grit and aggression with the leadership qualities displayed by these goal-savers are absolutely vital. Consistency is key for these beasts as even a single mistake in the 90 minutes can prove to be the difference between winning and losing.
Let's take a look at the 5 best defenders in action at the World Cup 2018 who will be vital for their sides if they are to go far in the tournament:
#5 Mats Hummels (Germany)
The pressure will be on the Germans as they look to defend their World Cup title following a 2014 World Cup victory against Argentina in extra time. The 5-time Bundesliga champion, Mats Hummels, will be pivotal to how far Germany advance in the World Cup this time.
Hummels will undoubtedly be the first name in Joachim Loew's starting XI following a superb season with Bayern Munich where he also featured in the team of the season. Known for his excellent positioning, Hummels averaged a joint-league-high 2.1 interceptions per-game according to Whoscored.com. In 64 appearances for the national side, he has scored 5 goals proving he can score when Germany look at alternatives to find the back of the net.
The positioning master will be responsible for leading the defence as he has the experience of a World Cup winner. He is not the captain of the side but will be crucial for the Germans with his intelligence and leadership qualities if they are to win consecutive World Cup trophies.