Top 15 best defenders this season (2024)

As we reflect on this season’s football highlights, I have compiled a list of top defenders who, in my opinion, have stood out with their exceptional performances. However, I want to emphasize that this is not a definitive list—it’s based on my personal observations and preferences.

Personal Opinion: My rankings and choices are influenced by the games I’ve watched and the criteria I consider important, such as defensive skills, consistency, and impact on their team’s success.


Diverse Perspectives: Football fans often have different viewpoints and value different aspects of a defender’s game. What resonates with one person might not with another.


Dynamic Performances: Players’ performances can vary throughout the season due to form, fitness, and tactical changes, making it difficult to have a perfect list.


Your Opinions Matter

I encourage you to share your thoughts and contribute to the discussion. Which defenders do you think have excelled this season? Are there any players you believe should be on the list but aren’t? Your insights and opinions are valuable and can help create a richer, more comprehensive conversation.


Let’s Discuss

Please feel free to comment with your suggestions and reasons why you believe certain defenders deserve recognition. Let’s celebrate the diversity of opinions and the passion we all share for football.

List made by


1) Antonio Rüdiger

Antonio Rüdiger is a German professional footballer who plays as a center-back for La Liga club Real Madrid and the Germany national team He is known for his aggressive playing style, tackling ability, and strong aerial presence ¹. Here are some of his career highlights


Real Madrid: Rüdiger signed for Real Madrid as a free agent for the club, penning a four-year deal starting with the 2022–23 season. He made his debut for the club, coming off the bench in a 2–0 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt in the UEFA Super Cup.


He has won the 2023/24 LaLiga with only 37 unbeaten and finally in the UEFA champions league.


2. Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)

Renowned for his towering presence and cerebral defensive abilities, Virgil van Dijk epitomizes defensive excellence at Liverpool. Despite contending with setbacks on the injury front, the Dutchman’s influence remains undiminished, his mere presence instilling confidence in the Reds’ backline.


Van Dijk’s impact extends beyond his defensive duties, as he often serves as a catalyst for Liverpool’s attacking endeavors, with his precise distribution and ability to initiate attacks from the backline. 

While injuries may have temporarily interrupted his dominance, van Dijk’s enduring legacy as one of the premier defenders of his generation is firmly established.


3. David Alaba (Real Madrid)

David Alaba’s enduring influence in the world of football is a testament to his versatility, defensive acumen, and insatiable hunger for success.


Capable of excelling in various positions across the pitch, Alaba’s seamless transition from Bayern Munich to Real Madrid underscores his adaptability and tactical intelligence.


A serial winner, Alaba’s trophy-laden career is a testament to his commitment to excellence and tireless work ethic. Whether marshaling the defense, orchestrating attacks from midfield, or providing cover in wide areas.


Alaba’s presence elevates the performance of those around him, making him an indispensable asset for any team. As Real Madrid continues to pursue glory on all fronts, Alaba’s experience and leadership qualities offer invaluable guidance and inspiration to his teammates.


4. Ruben Dias

He has indeed been a game-changer for the team, bringing a new level of stability and leadership to the defense. His pace, power, and ball-playing skills have allowed him to excel in Pep Guardiola’s system, and his ability to anticipate and intercept opposition movements has been crucial in Manchester City’s success.


Dias was named the Premier League’s Player of the Season in his debut campaign, a testament to his impressive performances. His impact goes beyond his defensive duties, as he often helps initiate attacks and provides a calm and composed presence on the ball.


Dias’s leadership qualities and commitment to excellence have made him a key player for Manchester City, and he will undoubtedly continue to play a crucial role in the team’s pursuit of silverware. His partnership with other defenders, such as John Stones and Manuel Akanji, has been impressive, and his ability to adapt to different situations and opponents has been a hallmark of his success.


Overall, Ruben Dias is a world-class defender who has brought a new level of quality and consistency to Manchester City’s defense, and his impact will be crucial in the team’s continued success.


5 William Saliba

William Saliba has been a revelation for Arsenal this season, providing a solid foundation at the back and playing a crucial role in the team’s defensive resurgence. Since his return from a transformative loan spell, Saliba has established himself as a mainstay in Mikel Arteta’s defensive setup, bringing stability and assurance to the team’s backline.


Saliba has played every single minute in the Premier League this season, a testament to his importance to the team. His physical presence and astute reading of the game have been instrumental in Arsenal’s defensive success, helping the team achieve the best defensive record in the division and one of the best in Europe.


Saliba’s versatility has been a key asset for Arsenal, as he excels in one-on-one duels and can initiate attacks from deep positions. His leadership qualities have also been evident, as he has marshaled the defense with confidence and authority.


Saliba’s impact on Arsenal’s defense has been significant, with the team averaging more points per game when he plays. His emergence as a defensive linchpin has brought hope and optimism to the club’s supporters, who see him as a key player in Arsenal’s quest to reclaim their former glory.


In conclusion, William Saliba has been a vital component of Arsenal’s defense this season, providing consistency, defensive prowess, and leadership. His impact has been significant, and he will undoubtedly continue to play a crucial role in the team’s pursuit of success.


6. John Stones

Crowned as the epitome of defensive elegance, John Stones’s proficiency in possession and tactical awareness set him apart as the quintessential modern-day defender.


Despite grappling with injuries, Stones’s impact at Manchester City cannot be overstated, as he seamlessly transitions between defensive duties and midfield orchestrations.


Renowned for his ability to initiate attacks from deep positions and break lines with his precise passing, Stones’s influence extends far beyond traditional defensive roles.


A true maestro with the ball at his feet, Stones’s elegance and composure under pressure make him a revered figure among fans and peers alike. As Manchester City continues its pursuit of domestic and continental success, Stones’s presence remains indispensable in the team’s quest for silverware.


7. Gabriel Magalhaes

A Brazilian defender for Arsenal, Magalhaes has been outstanding for his team, playing a key role in their good run of form in 2024.

8. Kim Min-jae

Kim Min-jae’s meteoric rise in European football is a testament to his exceptional talent and adaptability. Despite being only in his third season abroad, the South Korean defender has already left an indelible mark, playing a pivotal role in Napoli’s historic Serie A triumph before securing a high-profile move to Bayern Munich. 


Standing as a defensive stalwart, Min-jae’s imposing aerial presence and tactical astuteness make him a formidable force in the heart of defense. With his best years undoubtedly ahead of him, Min-jae’s potential to dominate the defensive ranks for years to come is undeniable.


9. Marquinhos

Operating in the shadows of PSG’s star-studded lineup, Marquinhos has emerged as a reliable leader at the heart of the defense, guiding the team to numerous trophies on both domestic and continental fronts.


Renowned for his consistency and composure under pressure, the Brazilian defender’s ability to marshal the backline and organize defensive structures has been instrumental in PSG’s defensive solidity.


Marquinhos’s leadership qualities and unwavering commitment to the cause make him a revered figure within the club, epitomizing the values of discipline and resilience. As PSG continues to pursue glory on all fronts, Marquinhos’s presence remains indispensable in their quest for silverware.


10 Eder Militao

Eder Militao‘s emergence as a defensive stalwart for Real Madrid is a testament to his blend of athleticism, intelligence, and unwavering determination.


Despite grappling with injuries in the 2023-24 season, the Brazilian defender’s ability to read the game and execute timely interventions has earned him accolades on both domestic and international stages.


Eder Militao is nearing a comeback after being sidelined by a serious knee injury since the start of the season. He has been out of the Los Blancos squad since the first weekend, playing only 50 minutes as per Football Espana


Militao’s versatility, coupled with his relentless work ethic, makes him an indispensable asset for Los Blancos, embodying the club’s rich tradition of defensive excellence.


With his star on the rise, Militao’s journey towards becoming one of the most formidable defenders in world football is only just beginning.


11. Cristian Romero

Here’s what I found about Romero of Tottenham ¹:


Personal Information:


Full name: Cristian Gabriel Romero


Date of birth: April 27, 1998


International Career:


Cristian Romero is a talented player known for his aggressive play style and ability on the ball. He has had a successful career playing for clubs like Tottenham Hotspur and the Argentina national team, and has won several awards and accolades for his performances.


12. Jules Koundé

He is a French professional footballer who plays as a center-back for Barcelona and the France national team. Koundé is known for his speed, power, and technical ability, making him one of the most promising young defenders in the world.


Here are some of his key attributes:


Speed and agility: Koundé is incredibly quick and agile, allowing him to keep up with even the fastest opponents.

Power and strength: He has a strong physical presence, making him a dominant force in aerial duels and tackles.

Technical ability: Koundé is comfortable with the ball at his feet and can play long passes or dribble out of tight spaces.

Leadership: He has already shown leadership qualities, often marshaling the defense and organizing his teammates.

Koundé has been impressing fans and scouts alike with his performances for Barcelona and France, and is widely regarded as one of the best young defenders in the world.


13 . Ronald Araújo

is a Uruguayan professional footballer who plays as a centre-back for Barcelona and the Uruguay national team. He was born in Rivera, Uruguay, and began his career with Rentistas before moving to Boston River and eventually joining Barcelona in 2018. Araújo has won several honors with Barcelona, including the La Liga title, Copa del Rey, and Supercopa de España. He has also been named to the La Liga Team of the Season and the IFFHS CONMEBOL Team.


14. Mats Hummels

Mats Hummels is a German professional footballer who plays as a centre-back for Borussia Dortmund and the Germany national team. He is known for his leadership, vision, and passing ability, making him one of the top defenders in the world.


15 Ake (Manchester city )


Achraf Hakimi


Trent Alexander-Arnold


3 Davies


4. Walker


5. Josko Gvardiol


Alessandro Bastoni


Micky van de Ven

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