Top 5 center-back pairing of the 21st century
- There have been some great centre-back pairings in the last two decades but these five are a notch above than the rest
#2 Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini
"Mr Bonucci and Mr Chiellini could give some Harvard University classes about how to be a central defender."
This is how Jose Mourinho addressed the greatness of this defensive duo after their sublime display against Manchester United in a Champions League tie back in 2018. Although the attack of United was not that potent a force that it used to be, the Juventus duo had already established themselves as almost non-pareil in this decade.
In the return leg against Barcelona in 2017, they produced one of the most remarkable defensive display that prompted their manager Allegri to asseverate:
“Barcelona failing to score goals over two legs is almost unheard of. It felt like we could have played for a whole day and not conceded.”
It was rightly so as the duo dished out 11 tackles, 8 interceptions, and 16 clearances together.
The Bianconeri have made the Seria A a league of their own, winning everything post-2010 and the contribution of this legendary coalescence at the heart of Juve defense has been simply monumental.
Giorgio Chiellini being the more aggressive of the two leaves the strikers at bay while Leonardo Bonnuci does the sweeping job by keeping the backline in perfect harmony.
Their longevity in the game at this level, for both club and country, makes them one of the best center-back partners in this century.Published 24 Dec 2019, 19:53 IST