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Top 10 Best Defenders in the World – 2023 Soccer Rankings

Ranking the best defenders in the world of the 2022-2023 football season as Ruben Dias leads the way this year

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By admin | August 3, 2023

Best Defenders in Soccer

Being a defender is an art, I will always say that. Conceding goals can be detrimental to your team’s success and that is where elite defenders come in to save you. We have watched quality defenders appear throughout our lives and become key players in your favorite teams, right? They tackle, intercept balls, dictate the game from the backline, score headers, and save you so many times. Today we are going to select who are right now the best defenders in the world according to their performance and stats this last season. Who do you think will be the number #1 in the Top 10 Best Defenders in the World 2023 Rankings?

Honorable Mention

Thiago Silva

Club: Chelsea F.C.

Thiago Silva has been regarded as one of the best defenders of the last 10 years and also one of the best central defenders of all time. Since his arrival from Paris Saint-Germain to Chelsea F.C. the Brazilian has been a key player and one of the best players in the team despite being 38 years old.

This season was a rough one because injuries prevented him from playing more, but every time he was on the pitch he played well and Chelsea played better.

Top 10 Best Defenders in the World

10. Virgil Van Dijk

Club: Liverpool F.C.

Virgil Van Dijk for the last 3 years has been considered the best central defender in the world but sadly he is not in his prime anymore, or maybe he just had a bad season. This was a nightmare season for the Reds as a whole and without a doubt this has been Van Dijk’s toughest season until now but he showed his defensive dominance in some occasions.

He is still class though, and class is permanent, the day he hangs up his boots he will be remembered forever as a Premier League legend.

9. Theo Hernández

Club: A.C. Milan

The French Theo Hernández has been the most exciting left-back in world football since his arrival to A.C. Milan and he is even regarded by some as the best left-back in the world thanks to his goal contributions, athleticism, defensive capabilities, and dazzling dribbles.

This season he has played as good as ever and also became France’s first choice left-back ahead of his brother Lucas. The 25-year-old has been a key player for A.C. Milan and became one of the most desired fullbacks in the world.

8. Joao Cancelo

Club(s): Manchester City, FC Bayern Munich

“Excellent” would be the exact term to describe the Portuguese fullback. Joao Cancelo has been considered by a lot of pundits and critics as the best fullback in the world thanks to his contributions with Manchester City and also for his capability to play on either flank, something very rare in football soccer nowadays.

This season he suffered a loss of form, something that challenged him his place in the starting lineup at City. His eventual switch to Bayern Munich made him return to form.

7. Antonio Rudiger

Club: Real Madrid F.C.

In 2022, Antonio Rudiger arrived at Real Madrid F.C. and quickly became one of the most important players in the squad and a first-choice defender. The German consistently played well, and a key role in the backline for Los Blancos.

Thanks to his acceleration, aggressive style, and commanding presence, he has been considered one of the best defenders in the world since his Chelsea days, but in Real Madrid is where he matured into a world-class defender. He also became a key player for the German national team. 

6. Kim Min-Jae

Club: SSC Napoli

This is a surprise entry but he deserves to be considered as one of the best. The South Korean defender is one of the biggest revelations in the Serie A this season because since his arrival the Partenopei in 2022, he became one of the best defenders in Italy.

Characterized by his ability to read opponents, great strength, and aggressive tackling, Kim Min-jae was extremely instrumental of Napoli’s victory to its first Serie A title since 1990. Now in Bayern Munich, the South Korean is ready for another challenge in another country.

5. Achraf Hakimi

Club: Paris Saint-Germain

Now we are within the Top 5 Best Defenders in the World 2023 Rankings. Is Hakimi the best right back in the world right now? Yes, there is no doubt about it. Hakimi was one of the main reasons why Morocco did extremely good at the last World Cup, being pivotal in both attack and defense.

With PSG, Hakimi shows his class every single time he plays and became one of the best players in the whole French league. With blistering pace, eye for goal, good technique, and accurate passing, Hakimi can play everywhere at the right side of the pitch.

4. Eder Militao

Club: Real Madrid F.C.

Eder Militao is one of the most consistent players in the Madrid squad. Since his arrival he has established a fantastic partnership with Antonio Rudiger in the backline and his sole presence brings security to the team.

I know that he is not the first defender that will come to you mind when you think about the best defenders in the world, but Militao has been class for Real Madrid and turned out to be a match-winner for the team in some occasions just like the legendary Sergio Ramos.

3. Ronald Araujo

Club: F.C. Barcelona

The Uruguayan center back is often considered as one of the best defenders in the world since his arrival to F.C. Barcelona, but this season he showed that there are very few in the world better than him. Araujo has been a rock in defense for the Catalonian club and his partnership with both Christensen and Kounde are one of the best around.

We see him destroying opponents throughout the season, especially Real Madrid’s Vinicius Jr; Araujo has been Vinicius’ worst nightmare every time they play.

2. Marquinhos

Club: Paris Saint-Germain

When you think of PSG players, Marquinhos will not be the first player who will come to your mind, right? That is normal, don’t worry. Marquinhos is not as famous as the likes of Neymar, Mbappe, Hakimi, but he is the leader of the team and the most important player in the backline.

Since joining the French giants, Marquinhos has won 19 major trophies and usually considered the best defender in the league for a good reason. This season he played as good as ever and continued to dominate opponents with his amazing technical abilities.

1. Ruben Dias

Club: Manchester City

Ruben Dias is, by far, the best defender in football right now and one of the best footballers playing the game. The Portuguese center back has dominated the Premier League since his arrival to Manchester City thanks to his aerial ability, defensive prowess, physical game, and leadership, and also thanks to his passing mastery.

He is as important as Kevin De Bruyne for Manchester City and was one of the main reasons why the team won the continental treble this season.

How would you rank the Best Defenders in the world of the 2022-2023 Football season? Rank below to be added in the FIFA Rankings

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Players Count 10
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