Quality centre-backs are the backbone of a strong defense. The same is well justified by world-class centre-backs like Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci, Sergio Ramos, Thiago Silva, Virgil van Dijk and others.
The role of a modern centre-back includes building up play from the back. Over time, the importance of a central defender has become more significant than ever.
Some young centre-backs are immensely talented
The game of football is no longer solely about goals. The youngest of footballers are made aware of how a good defense can do wonders for the team. With this in mind, some young centre-backs have taken the game to a different level.
They have shown the maturity of an experienced central defender combined with the vibrance of a youth. Some of the centre-backs under the age of 25 look very solid for the future. On that note, let's take a look at the best of the lot in the world right now:
#5 Dayot Upamecano (Bayern Munich)
The Frenchman started his football career by playing in Austria with Liefering and Red Bull Salzburg. He managed to play a season at both these clubs before earning a move to RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga.
Dayot Upamecano had already earned a significant amount of attention with his impressive spell at Salzburg. He was shortlisted for the 2018 Golden Boy award courtesy of those performances. But it was with RB Leipzig that Upamecano was able to unleash his true potential.
The Frenchman is a tall and strong centre-back who loves tackling aggressively up the pitch. As risky as that is, Upamecano tends to be very effective with his aggression. He has got good pace for a centre-back which allows him to make up in case of a failed tackle.
To add, the 22-year old is comfortable playing in any type of formation at the back. Upamecano is also well-known for his passing range. He can spray smart long passes and create from the back given the opportunity.
German giants Bayern Munich have signed the French defender for €42.5 million this summer. Signing the young centre-back means the Bavarian club have secured a good and reliable defender for their future. Upamecano was named in the UEFA Champions League team of the season for the 2019-20 campaign.
#4 Pau Torres (Villarreal)
The 24-year old Spaniard was born and bred in Villarreal, so joining the club's academy came very naturally to him. After making his debut for the senior team in 2017, Pau Torres was sent on loan to Malaga.
Since the 2019-20 season, the centre-back has performed consistently well. Torres has only missed nine games in La Liga in the last two seasons. Last year, Villarreal created history as they won the UEFA Europa League, beating Manchester United in the final. Torres played an important role for the Yellow Submarine in achieving their first ever major continental trophy.
The defender is a very composed and reliable figure at the back. His key abilities lie in reading the game, making timely tackles and providing some incisive passes from the back to kick start the attack.
Torres has been linked with a number of clubs this summer, including Manchester United. The Spaniard reportedly rejected an offer from Tottenham Hotspur as well. With time, it will only get difficult for Villarreal to prevent a quality centre-back like Torres from leaving.