5. Raphaël Varane
Raphaël Xavier Varane is a 28-year-old French professional soccer player who currently plays for Manchester United and the France national team as a defender.
Varane joined from French club, Lens, to Real Madrid in 2011. Over the course of ten years of his playing career with Real Madrid from 2011 to 2021, he won 18 trophies, including three La Liga titles, one Copa del Rey, four UEFA Champions League titles and four FIFA Club World Cups. He left Real Madrid for Manchester United this year.
Varane is considered as one of the current best defenders in the world and was member of France squad that won the FIFA World Cup in Russia three years ago.
Giorgio Chiellini is a 37-year-old Italian professional footballer currently playing as a defender for Juventus and the Italy national team.
Chiellini is a physically strong and aggressive defender, and is considered one of the current best defenders in the world.
Chiellini started his professional football career with Livorno in 2000, before moving to Juventus fives years later. With Juventus, he has won a nine Serie A titles, five Coppa Italia, and five Supercoppa Italiana titles. Chiellini has been named in the Serie A Team of the Year five times and has won the Serie A Defender of the Year three times.
He made his first professional appearance for the Italy national team seventeen years ago, and currently has a total of 113 caps, making him Italy's sixth-highest appearance holder. He has played for Italy at four UEFA European Championships, two FIFA World Cups, and two FIFA Confederations Cups.
3. Thiago Silva
Thiago Emiliano da Silva is a 37-year-old Brazilian professional soccer who currently plays as a defender for the English club, Chelsea, and the Brazil national team.
He is considered to be one of the current best defenders in the world.
He is renowned for his time at Paris Saint-Germain, where he won seven Ligue 1 titles, six Coupes de la Ligue, and five Coupes de France. He joined Chelsea on a free transfer, and won the UEFA Champions League.
With the Brazil national team, Silva has since earned over 90 caps, including appearing in seven major tournaments. He won a bronze medal in the 2008 Olympics and a silver medal at the 2012 Olympics, and finished fourth at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Silva later helped his country win the 2019 Copa América.
2. Sergio Ramos
Sergio Ramos García is a Spanish professional soccer player who plays as a defender for Paris Saint-Germain and the Spain national team.
Renowned for his capabilities of goalscoring and his skills of leadership, he is widely regarded as one of the current best defenders in the world and one of the greatest defenders of all time.
During his major professional soccer career with Real Madrid, Ramos was named to the FIFPro World11 eleven times, a record for a defender, and was awarded Best Defender of La Liga a record five times, before joining Paris Saint-Germain this year.
1. Virgil van Dijk
Virgil van Dijk is a 30-year-old Dutch professional soccer currently playing as a defender for Liverpool and the Netherlands national team.
Widely regarded as the current best defender in the world, Van Dijk is known for his strength, leadership and aerial ability. He made history by becoming the only defender to win UEFA Men's Player of the Year, and has finished runner-up for the Ballon d'Or and Best FIFA Men's Player two years ago.
After kicking off his professional career with Groningen, Van Dijk was signed to Celtic eight years ago, where he won the Scottish Premiership and was named in the PFA Scotland Team of the Year in both of his seasons with the club. Six years ago, he joined Southampton before signing for Liverpool three years ago. With Liverpool, Van Dijk won the 2019 UEFA Champions League and was named PFA Players' Player of the Year and the Premier League Player of the Season.
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