The best defenders according to the Ballon d'Or rankings
As everyone knows, the Ballon d'Or has almost always been dominated by attackers and the last time a defender got the coveted was way back in 2006, when it was difficult to look past Italy's legendary central defender Fabio Cannavaro.
That being said, defenders do not usually win it and it is a bit of a shame since stopping the opposition from scoring is often more important than scoring them, when a team comes up against another team of equal strengths.
So, here is a look at the defenders who were ranked in the Ballon d'Or rankings and were definitely the best defenders in Europe last season.
#4 Mats Hummels
The German international has been one of the top central defenders in Europe for many years now and served as the defensive rock of the German Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich as they romped to yet another league title in 2016-17. According to Squawka, he was the 3rd best defender in the league and in this regard it needs to be added that an elite defender at an elite club like Bayern Munich has very little defending to do when compared to other sides.
Hence, it is a bit of a misleading stat and Hummels' prowess as a defender is not in question. Instead, Hummels has to assist in the build-up of Bayern's attacks and is an excellent passer, which is why he is so highly rated in European football. Last season, he recorded as a pass accuracy of 88%, the third highest in the Bundesliga and in the Ballon d'Or short-list, he was placed at 27th which made him the 4th highest ranked defender in Europe.