World Cup 2018: 5 classy centre-backs expected to stand tall in Russia
The history of the World Cup is one that has seen some very great centre-backs. Over the years, these players have been bulwarks for their teams, offering solidity at the back and protection for goalkeepers.
Such is the respect accorded to the proud men who have played this role at the World Cup that more often than not, they are usually the captains of their teams.
Some of the all-time greats of the Mundial have been centre-backs e.g. Franz Beckenbauer who led West Germany to victory at the 1974 World Cup held on home soil. Fabio Cannavaro’s marshaling of that famous Italian team which won the 2006 title (also hosted by Germany) is another fantastic example.
The 21st FIFA World Cup; Russia 2018 looks set to have another set of quality centre-backs come to the fore. Here is a look at 5 of the very best expected to dominate headlines:
#5 Vedran Ćorluka (Croatia)
Rugged, tough and uncompromising in the article, the 32-year-old who has had spells in English, Russian, Croatian and German football remains as aerially dominant as he has always been.One of the most experienced centre-backs in the tournament, Corluka is one player who has been around the block and is expected to be the voice of experience and wisdom for a Croatian side tipped to do great things.
Having never been the fastest player even in his early days, Corluka has always relied on having an excellent reading of the game as well as physicality to get about.
Expected to partner Dejan Lovren in the centre of the Vatreni's defence, he will be the cool head to Lovren's more erratic nature and given the absence of a natural defensive midfielder in the Croatian team, he will have to be the one to step into midfield spaces to either mop up or stop opposition attacks.